Friday, February 6, 2015

Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Title: Love, Lucy
Author: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

I haven’t read any of April Lindner’s previous novels, but when I heard about Love, Lucy, I knew it had to go on my TBR. I mean, a contemporary romance partially set in Italy? Yes, please! As it turned out, it was the perfect, fun read I was looking for, and in the process gave me a major case of wanderlust.

Lucy made a deal with her dad: she would go to his alma mater and give up acting in exchange for a summer spent backpacking through Europe. When she gets to Italy, Lucy falls in love. She falls in love with the history, the culture, the art, everything around her. What she didn’t expect to fall in love with, or more specifically who she didn’t expect to fall in love with, is Jesse, the street musician whose room she steals in the hostel. During those last few days in Florence and Rome, Lucy and Jesse have a whirlwind romance. But when Lucy returns home, she’s ready to put her trip behind her and start university. Though as much as she tries, she can’t seem to stop thinking about Jesse, about the few days they spent together in Italy. Could it have been more than just a holiday fling?

I am an absolute and total sucker for any story that involves summer, romance and travel. With April Lindner’s Love, Lucy I got all three and it made for a story I highly enjoyed. In all honesty, I didn’t really know all that much about the book before I started reading. I had a vague idea that it involved a trip to Italy and a holiday romance, but that’s pretty much all I knew. But once I started reading, I was hooked. If only because of all the descriptions of Florence. I’ve been fortunate enough to have gone to Florence twice before and reading the descriptions of the city, it was like I was transported back there. I could picture it all. And it made me want to go back there like you wouldn’t believe. The same thing can be said for the descriptions of Rome. Though I may be going there soon, so that desire to go back will be satisfied. Beyond the beautiful setting, what I liked about the story in Love, Lucy is that despite being YA, the story is set immediately after high school and during the first semester of college. In the case of this story, having it set during that time worked really well. It’s a time of change and figuring out who you are, and that’s exactly what Lucy is doing over the course of the story. Just like the synopsis says, this is a coming-of-age romance, and thanks to Lucy and Jesse it’s a pretty adorable one.

Figuring out what you want to do in college is hard. I remember when I was a senior in high school, trying to decide what I wanted to major in while I was applying to university. At the end of four years, the degree I graduated with was not the one I had thought it would be. So I could understand how Lucy was being pulled in all these different directions. How she wanted to be an actress, but at the same time had spent most of her life hearing her father talking about how much he had to work to get to where he was and that a business degree was the way to go. But the whole time I was reading, I could tell that Lucy was miserable doing what her father wanted her to do. The only time she wasn’t miserable was when she was with Jesse. Lucy and Jesse were absolutely adorable together. I loved watching them explore both Florence and Rome with each other. My only wish is that I could have found out more about Jesse. About who he was, about where he came from. I just wanted to know more about his story. But at the same time, the slight mystery around him worked well for the story, making Lucy question whether or not what she’d had with him while in Italy was real or not. 

If you’re looking to escape to Italy without breaking the bank, you should pick up Love, Lucy. Not only will you get to explore Italy with Lucy, you’ll also get and adorable romance out of it as well.

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