Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Flirting in Italian

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
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Jan 15, 13

bookshelves: young-adult
Read in May, 2012

Violet is an art student in London who sees a picture hanging in a small museum, and the girl in the picture looks just like her! She manages to arrange to travel to Italy and study in a small Italian language course with Catia, who runs a sort of finishing school. This gets her near the castle from which this painting came, and also away from her very overprotective mother who looks nothing like Violet. Joined by fellow Brit Kelly and Americans Paige and Kendra, Violet settles into a routine of learning Italian and nicieties like flower arranging, going out with Catia's children, and falling for the handsome but wicked Luca. The housekeeper at the castle has an odd reaction to Violet, and she does bear a strong resemblance to the current owner's sister when she was young. When someone tries to lock Violet in a secret passage and she is late poisoned, it's clear that there are secrets that someone would like kept that way.

Strengths: The biggest need for books for girls that I have in my library is for romances, but it can be hard to find one that is intriguing and middle school appropriate. This was both. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a huge favorite, so anything where girls travel does well. The relationship between the classmates is a nice touch.

Weaknesses: The whole mystery aspect of this seems weak to me. Why not just ask is she is adopted instead of planning a whole scheme to get to Italy? There is a bit of drinking, but never ends well. I don't see another book to this one, but the last paragraph hints at one.
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