Publication date: June 12th, 2012
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!
When there's a book titled Flirting in Italian, you automatically fantasize about sunny summers in Italy, imagine yourself walking through narrow cobbled streets and of course flirting with hot Italian boys in Vespas saying "Ciao" all the time. Right?
Well, not quite. In its defense, Flirting in Italian had all that but not to the expected amount.
So, we have 2 british girls, 2 American girls and 1 Italian girl in Tuscany, Italy. Violet, one of the British girls, was the protagonist, smart, outspoken and determined. The American girls however were not painted in the brightest colors. They both were beautiful but one was arrogant and the other was kinda dumb. And that wasn't even what bothered me. What I didn't get was their relationship with the English girls. Until the end I couldn't figure out if they were friends or enemies. Violet herself says one thing one time and another thing the other. I guess whenever it suited Violet they were good but, when they contradicted her they were mean. It doesn't quite work that way, but yeah.
I also expected a fiery, passionate romance between one of the girls (Violet, most likely) and a hot as hell Italian.
Well, I am Greek. I know first hand how Italians act when on holidays in Greece. Let me tell you, it's not pretty. And the way Henderson portrayed the alleged "sexy Italian boys" it reminded me of these guys a lot, and honestly I don't really care for them. If I had not experienced the Italian+summer+Greek island combo I would too find everything in the book pretty cool. But seeing that I have, I can say now that I'm not a fan. So, I was definitely not feeling the hotness of the Italian guys.
There were a lot of historical factoids about Tuscany and Italy in general which was cool. However, there were some dialogues in Italian which were not later explained in English so that was a little bit confusing.
The story behind FIT sounded very interesting at first: Violet enrolls in summer courses in Italy after seeing a painting of a girl in the 1700s who is a dead ringer for her. She always thought herself different from her parents with her dark coloring, and she wants to explore her potentially secret heritage. Unfortunately, we didn't get a lot of that, as Violet doesn't find anything helpful till the end of the book, which mostly revolved around the girls' rivalries and not even develops the much anticipated romance between Luca and Violet.
I expected a lot more from Flirting In Italian than nonsensical conflicts and drooling tourists. I also thought this was gonna be a stand alone book but I was wrong. There is gonna be a companion novel called "Following in Love in Italian". No info yet about its release date.