Friday, 16 June 2017

A Review of One Italian Summer

One Italian Summer is a book by Keris Stainton. Almost a year ago, Milly's father died, and now she and her sisters Elyse and Leonie are going out to Italy, with their Mum for her sisters wedding. It's their first vacation without Dad, with whom they would go to Rome every year. With memories of her father around every corner, can the sisters learn to manage their grief and understand each other better? And can Milly get over the stupid thing she did with her cousin's best friend Luke after the funeral?

From the cover, I thought this would be a lighthearted summer read. I didn't expect I would be actually crying. I feel lied too.

I loved the three sisters and their relationship. I totally bought them as best friends and sisters. Milly is a worrier, something that has only got worse since the death of her Dad. Elyse is into fashion, and while the book doesn't go into it much, she's never presented as shallow for being interested in fashion. Leonie was my favourite of the three. I loved her attitude. I'm not the person to comment on whether her romance was handled well (she's been dating Gia, the Italian waitress, since last year) but I enjoyed it. Leonie's relationship actually seems more real than Milly's. Their relationship is based very much on physical attraction, but that's okay. As the book points out, you don't need to look for a deep and meaningful connection when you're 18. I would have liked this book to be three times as long, with switching POV from all the sisters, actually.

I didn't actually realise it was UK-based when I first picked it up, so that was a nice treat. And I could identify with things so much! My Dad uses "The Folder" when we go on holiday abroad! He's also a worrier, like Milly. He can't just switch off when he gets to the airport. And my Mum would totally do that thing where she can't figure out smartphone-based boarding passes!

This book is a huge reason why your opening sentence needs to be good. As opening sentences go, "Do you want to dip your finger in Dad?" is sort of off-putting. And I will say that the way characters use technology and text felt a little weird. They must have a very good international data plan!

I recommend it for people who like a little sadness in their summer reads, and for anyone who happens to be going to Rome!

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