Monday, July 23, 2012

DNF: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Monday, July 23, 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Flirting in Italian #1
Source: Library
Setting: Italy
Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)
As she plans on studying art history, Violet goes to museums a decent amount and sees a lot of art. This piece, however, is different. The painting is hundred of years old, yet the girl in it looks exactly like Violet. This discovery sparks an adventure to Italy where she's determined to discover the mystery behind this painting, while navigating drama and Italian boys.

I really tried with this one, I did. I wanted to like Flirting in Italian so badly. and it's so rare that I don't finish a book. (For the record, I've been blogging for a year and this is only the second DNF, the first being The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.) But having gotten through 2/3 of the book and not really enjoying it at all, I'm ready to throw in the towel.

A really big issue is Violet. Mainly, she thinks about three things: 1. How much skinnier every girl is compared to her 2. Boys and/or kissing boys 3. Petty girl drama. On occasion, she'll bring up the painting (which is just the reason for her being in Italy), but it's usually just to reconsider looking into her heritage. In fact, after the prologue, it took until about halfway through the book for Violet to mention the mysterious painting again.

And then the supporting characters weren't much better. At first, Paige and Kendra come off as caricatures of caricatures, and while Paige improves a bit (her bluntness is refreshing and amusing), they're both a little flat. The same goes for Luca. Other than his looks, there's nothing that makes him seem that appealing, but Violet falls for him right away.

Also, semicolons. There are so many! I have nothing against the semicolon, but too many and it just doesn't work for me. (There were 4 semicolons in a 5 sentence paragraph. Two were in one sentence alone.) It made it feel either like a run-on or a bit stilted, depending.

I do have to say that Henderson did a fantastic job with the setting. Italy seems romantic and dreamy, and I wish she had gone into more detail in this aspect of the book. I really enjoyed it when Violet says how the Italian landscape makes her want to paint because it hinted that there may have been more depth to the book's protagonist. Unfortunately, though, that depth doesn't show up in the first 230 or so pages I read.

This book may appeal to some readers, but it just didn't work for me. I expected more solving of the mystery behind the painting, and didn't get it, and the main character isn't strong enough to keep me reading.
*2 stars*
Do you have a differing opinion of this book? I'd love to hear it! (:

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