Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Love, Lucy

Love, Lucy
By April Lindner
Published: January 27, 2015

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.

My review:

Love, Lucy is a contemporary retelling of A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. The original Edwardian novel is the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman traveling in Italy with her older chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett and what happens when she meets the unsuitable George Emerson. In this modern version, Lucy is traveling with Charlene, the daughter of a family friend during the summer before college. Lucy makes a deal with her parents that in exchange for bankrolling her trip to Europe she will give up acting and major in business. Now her trip is winding down as she and Charlene arrive in Florence. When Charlene is upset that they didn't get a room with a view like they were promised, they end up switching rooms with a young Italian man named Nello and his best friend, Jesse.

Lucy and Jesse initially don't get along but as she explores Florence she keeps crossing paths with him and they begin a friendship that turns into something more. I liked how Jesse supported Lucy's dreams but he didn't have much ambition himself, deciding to just play his way around Europe instead of making any long range plans. Charlene doesn't approve of Jesse and she and Lucy continually bicker although they've gotten along well until now. Lucy sometimes acts immaturely and while I didn't warm up to Charlene (she reminded me of Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls) I did feel sorry for her as she became a third wheel. 

The second half of the book shows what happens when Lucy returns to the U.S. and goes to college. She continues to miss Jesse until their long distance relationship hits a snag. She has to decide if their relationship was just a "vacation flirtation" like Charlene said it was and if it is time to move on with someone else. Lucy is also tempted to get into acting again when she sees that the drama department is holding auditions for Rent, her favorite musical. If she got the part and her dad found out, he'd stop paying for her tuition.

While I didn't always like Lucy's behavior I felt bad for her because of her relationship with her dad. He doesn't support her dreams at all and he is trying to push her into his idea of what is best for her. He wouldn't even let her act for fun while majoring in business and he says some pretty crushing things about her abilities. 

Overall I liked this book though it didn't live up to Jane, Lindner's contemporary version of Jane Eyre. Unlike that book, Love, Lucy doesn't depend as much on the original classic it is based on but that may be a good thing as readers don't need to be familiar with A Room With a View to appreciate the book. The setting in Italy is fantastic and I wanted to see Lucy realize her dreams and work out both her relationship with her dad and her romantic relationship with Jesse. I think this book would appeal to readers who liked 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Wish You Were Italian and other contemporary teen romances involving travel.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. Thanks for the great review, Christina! I have been extremely curious about this book, but have read some mixed reviews. I love the setting of Italy, but I think I will start with Jane first since you said that book is a little bit better. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall!

  2. I just finished a book set in Tuscany. I think the Italian setting alone is so conducive to romance!


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