While the weather in Holland hasn't gotten the message that it's almost Summer, or even Spring, I was in the mood for some cute Summery contemporary romance. And granted, there's not much to this summary, but it sounded like it would be just the thing! Seeing Magan from Rather Be Reading go WTF??? made me a bit cautious though, cause she doesn't do this often and I trust her opinion.
But all this aside, Flirting In Italian started off ok, sure I was a bit annoyed at the description of Violet's mother, seemingly being nothing more than an overprotective, fragile woman. And only one of the four girls, Kelly, was immediately endearing to me, but I was willing to look past all that. Because it held the promise of some cute summer romance and family secrets and I'm SO into that!
And I was enjoying myself reading the first part of the book, with the girls going ga-ga over the hot Italian boys and learning more about the culture and just generally trying to form a friendship with each other. Only one of the boys, Andrea, seemed like a winner to me, though I can imagine the attraction of the others just as easily, they just didn't do it for me. But we were doing ok, I wasn't expecting this to be an amazing read for me, but enjoyable looked doable.
Right up until we got a little bit closer to the end and the 'family mystery' started getting more storytime. And it was then that I just found myself staring at the pages in disbelief and thinking 'These people are ALL CRAZY!'. Because really, they were. And Violet's right away believing someone's out to get her and suspecting everyone, even the girls she's there with and it was just weird.
Also, this whole thing started with Violet being curious about a portrait she'd seen that had a girl in it that looked exactly like she did and wanting to find out more about her. She's always questioned whether she was adopted because she looks nothing like her parents. But of course it's a more logical solution to just lie to your mother about your reason for wanting to spend the Summer in Italy than just asking her if she'd been adopted or if her father wasn't her father after all. Obviously. *rolls eyes*
The romance wasn't working for me, Luca was just a bit too messed up and I didn't know if he even really liked Violet or not and it was just confusing as hell. And while I get the attraction of just such a guy, it felt off and I didn't swoon right along with Violet, like I'd wanted to.
Now it's time for a little rant that will contain spoilers:
***SPOILER, LIGHT UP TO READ***
Seriously, if there'd been ANY chance of me being some guy's cousin, not to mention half-SISTER later on, I'd NOT be thinking of pursuing a relationship with him! Can you say incest?
Also, WTF WAS UP WITH THAT ENDING??? I mean, GAH! These people are beyond crazy and it didn't seem believable and it was just WEIRD! The family servant is trying to poison Violet... Yes, cause that's completely logical. And why the hell didn't Violet text Kelly like she'd promised to when she found out something wasn't adding up? YOU STUPID GIRL!
***END OF SPOILER***
I just had to get that out, sorry!
I did like the exploring of the Italian culture and the girls forming a grudging friendship over a mean Italian girl. I liked that Paige spoke her mind and owned up to her shortcomings, it was refreshing. I also liked that dancing was such a stress-reliever for Violet, I'm the same way. Music is the thing I turn to when I'm stressed/sad/happy, basically no matter what mood I'm in, music makes it better. I also liked that she discovered a new side of herself that wanted to be an artist.
I started to get worried towards the end because I didn't know how everything would get wrapped up in those last 30 pages, because I was fully believing this to be a standalone. And the end made me SO angry because NOTHING is resolved and all the big plot points are still wide open! Turns out there's going to be a companion novel. I don't really mind a cliffhanger ending, but this wasn't one, it was just me being left completely unfulfilled with all my questions unanswered and let's just say that's not a good place to be after finishing a book.
I'm so mad at that ending that I don't think I'll even pick up the companion novel.
Basically, this novel had the promise of being a cute summer read with some mystery included in it, but I didn't much care for the execution. And the ending left me raging, looking for my torch and pitchfork. It wasn't for me, I don't like being left with a sense of having wasted my time because nothing got resolved AT ALL.
My rating: 1,5 stars