Series: If Only...#2
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens on May 6, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Debut Author Challenge, 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge, 2014 YA Contemporary Challenge
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Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!
Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?
I saw to word Italian so of course it became a must read!
Wish You Were Italian follows Pippa as she lies to her parents and spends her summer traveling Italy instead of going to an Art Gallery course that her parents signed her up for in Florence. Pippa’s friend, Morgan, gave her a list of assignments to complete, and Pippa decides to do those and to travel the country on her own as she didn’t want to attend the course. A goal that Pippa set for herself was simple: fall in love with an Italian and bring him home at the end of summer. But Pippa is torn between two boys: an American archaeology student and a local Italian bad boy.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure that I would enjoy this novel at first. It started off slow and was pretty uninteresting for me for the first half or so of the novel. It had some set up, but not much. For me, it just seemed like a never-ending story of Pippa hating her parents for sending her to the art course and sightseeing in Italy. We weren’t even introduced to the Italian boy until about half-way through the novel. However, after that point, it got so interesting that I couldn’t put it down.
Pippa was an interesting and relatable character. She was rebelling against her parents by not going to the course, but she felt bad about it, showing how much of a good girl she actually was. She cared about her Gram, who she eventually comes clean with, and her best friend right from the start. You couldn’t help but enjoy her character because she was friendly, nice, and caring.
“Bruno, on the other hand, talks constantly. It’s still my first day on the job and I’m already ‘the best slicer of bread on the planet of earth.’ And apparently I don’t sweat; I glisten in the sunshine, which he finds sexy. The attention is quickly making me the best eye-roller on the planet of earth too.”
There were two boys in this novel and a love triangle, as the synopsis hints at. Bruno was the Italian bad boy. Bruno was a character that I really didn’t like no matter what he did. I felt like he was a bad influence and we had been warned about his character from other characters so I just couldn’t open myself up to his character. I thought he was manipulative and just over-all not a good character (which means that he was written pretty well!).
“‘I want to make this work, Pippa. I know we met for a reason.’ His breath is warm on my face as he whispers, ‘I can’t not be with you.’”
Darren was the American archeology student. He was the better of the two, but I didn’t like him as much as I have other book boys for some reason. His character just fell a little flat for me. He was nice, smart, and adventurous. He was adorable at times, but he just didn’t shine for me.
The romance in this novel was more on the light and fluffy side, which is the aim for this new If Only line. It took some getting used to, as I am used to reading New Adult that is hotter and heavier than this was. But it was refreshing, in a way, to see a slow-building, more realistic romance. I enjoyed the romance aspect of this novel very much, even though it took a long time to actually get to it. And I have to say, I am Team Darren. Totally.
Chiara was Pippa’s new Italian friend. Out of the characters that were not Pippa, I enjoyed Chiara’s character the most. She was wise beyond her eighteen years and she was a very good friend to Pippa while she was in Italy. She took her under her wing and guided her on her journey and kept her level while also pushing her out of her comfort zone. She was a great supporting character. I also loved Morgan, Pippa’s friend from the States. She, just like Chiara, pushed Pippa out of her comfort zone while keeping her grounded. She was there for Pippa whenever she needed it. Without these two characters, I feel the outcome of this novel would have been very different.
I absolutely adored the world building in this novel. It was set in various parts of Italy, and I felt like I was traveling right along with Pippa. The descriptiveness of the locations made everything realistic as if I was actually experiencing the things that Pippa experienced. It was obvious that a lot of research went into this novel; either that, or Kristin Rae has been to these sites before!
Wish You Were Italian was great once it got going. If you enjoy a great setting, foreign boys, and an adventure, then this is definitely one you want to give a try!