My Thoughts On: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Posted June 9, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 15 Comments

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Series: Flirting in Italian #1
Published by Delacorte BYR
Publish Date: June 12, 2012
336 Pages
Source: Borrowed

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! –(summary from Goodreads)

Flirting In Italian 

by Lauren Henderson

My Thoughts: Oh boy, Flirting in Italian.

Flirting in Italian is the story of four girls – Violet, Kelly, Kendra, and Paige – that take an immersion-type course together in Italy. The girls live together and spend their time studying Italian art and culture, learning the language, and partying it up with Italian boys.

Violet is the story’s main focus, and she is an interesting gal. She is a dead ringer for an Italian girl despite the fact that her parents are Norwegian and Scottish. Violet also has a secret reason for being so interested in this Italian course: she has seen a painting in which the subject, another girl, looks exactly like her. They could be twins – except that the painting is from the 1700’s. Violet has a sneaking suspicion that because of her looks vs. the looks of her parents, she could be adopted and she wants to investigate this further.

There are parties, and there are more parties, and there are boys, boys, boys. The friendships between these four girls are tried and tested. There is a conspiracy and a big mystery, and there is a promising romance.


I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but there were things I really liked and things that left me a little…wanting. First of all, I loved reading about Italy because I am all about setting and this book was set so well. The art scene, the culture, and food – everything – was described perfectly and I could visualize it like a movie. I loved the way it was written, too, because Lauren Henderson wrote it like a perfect summer read. Her language is easy and effortless, and it makes it easy to turn the pages and breeze through the book. But…

I feel like the ending was a little wonky. I’m not sure if it felt like it was a little bit too rushed or clunky or just awkward, but the ending left a little bit to be desired. For me – for me – I just felt like there was a bit build-up, build-up, build-up….and OH! make sure you grab the companion book when it comes out for the next part of the story… I also wish the characters were a bit more developed and that the main character had more self-esteem (which would have been a great place for Violet’s own personal development). 

I think there is a great market for this book for the readers who love the YA contemporary romance, because the boys are very Italian and swoony. And there are some kisses, and we all love that. But I think I was expecting a little bit more from the mystery part of it, the painting part of it, and the ending. Sure, I’ll read the next one when it comes out because I’m invested and I want to know what is next, but I felt more frustrated than anything when I closed this book.

Flirting in Italian will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary
Great Setting: Italy
Italian Culture, Art

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
will be available for purchase on June 12, 2012.


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


15 responses to “My Thoughts On: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

  1. This definitely sounds like a lovely summer read. I think I'll give it a go because I'm LOVING contemporary romance this year!

    Awesome review Asheley 🙂

  2. I love a good contemporary romance and when I first heard about this book I really excited but I'm not longer interested after reading the mixed reviews. Sorry you didn't love it. Tha for the lovely, honest review 🙂

    • You know, Rebecca – having read this one, if I could go back, I might would wait until the second book is out and read them back-to-back. This one sort of leaves you hanging in a big way. The second one may be super fantastic. But I don't love to be hanging like that.

      I'd recommend waiting until the next book comes out and reading them together, because there are some great parts to it. The ending, not so much.

      I don't want to give any more away, but don't count it out completely…just maybe push it back?

  3. I'll admit I was turned off to this one the second I heard this didn't have a real ending because of a sequel. And it IS a sequel. I feel like they keep calling it a companion novel because that's usually the format for contemporary, but when the first story's ending and characters need that other book to be complete, it's really a sequel, which in my mind is a different thing. Oh look at me going off on a series tirade. BUT I'll just sum it up to say that one of the things I love about contemp is the standalone appeal, so I just don't think this one's for me.

    • If you are at all interested in this one, I think you need to "pull a Heidi" and wait until the series is completed. For YOU, that is the only way YOU need to read this one. Otherwise, you will be not-very-happy with the way this one ends. TRUST. Even then, I'm not entirely sure this is a Heidi series…

      This one would've been a perfect opportunity for what some of the pubs are doing right now and releasing the series rather close together, like what St. Martin's did with Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy – a few months apart with each installment…that ending was just killer. I'm just not sure this was done very well. But who am I? Certainly not an industry professional. 🙂

  4. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for Flirting In Italian which sucks because I am all about spending time with a great contemporary in the summer. So, it just sucks that certain bits left you wanting. I have also heard the Violet is awful, which again, makes me sad.

    I am glad though that you found things to like about Flirting In Italian. I am going to try and keep and open mind going into it!

    • April, it DID leave me wanting because the ending was a little unfinished and strange without resolution, and I just cannot buy into that as a reader. I just can't. I can deal if there are other redeeming qualities such as great characterization, but these characters were not even the most developed I've ever read, and Violet had a very poor self-esteem, which I hope improves with the remaining installments in the series. I had high hopes for this book, even such that I read it borrowed on a tour, but it just fell flat.

      I WILL say that the setting was incredible, and for me setting can be very redeemable. I loved it a lot. And I enjoyed the writing style of the author because it was very summer-y and breezy and quick, just like a summer-y YA contemp should be.

      I hope when you read it, you feel differently. I will read the next book, but I am hoping for greater things, such as resolution and answers to the ending that was thrown at me in the very last few pages of this book.

      Like I said in an earlier comment, I wish I would have waited on this one and read books one and two together, one right behind the other.

      LOVE it when you stop by April!

  5. HMMMM. I've heard mostly bad things about Flirting in Italian, and I myself put it down after 20 pages – not because it was bad or anything, but I just wasn't interested yet. BUT I put it down with full intent to read it after BEA. Which it is now after BEA so hopefully I'll read it soon.

    I am not pleased about what I've heard about the ending – I'm not sure that I like it being a series, although I need to read it to find out.

    Thanks for the review, Asheley!

  6. I love a good plain 'ol straightforward contemp but if other elements (like mystery) are introduced then I expect them to actually make the story better and that sadly doesn't sound like the case here.
    I think I'll wait and see what people think about the companion before I decide to read the first one.
    Thanks for the heads-up :]

  7. Ok, so I TORE through this book. But like everybody else I had NO idea that it wasn't a standalone. 3/4 of the way through I decided to look at a couple of reviews online, because I knew the end was coming and it still was nowhere near a resolution. THAT is when I found out it's the first in a planned trilogy. But, once I discovered this, I didn't feel so panicked and it ended up being an enjoyable read. Unlike many reviewers I didn't have a problem with Violet or Luca (in fact I thought he was pretty sexy.) What I did have issue with was the fact that I thought this book was going to be centered more around the 'big mystery' and it ended up being more about the romance. I'm hoping that the second book in the series will return to that original focus. But, issues aside, like you I LOVED the setting (Tuscany in the summer, YES!) and am interested to see how events turn out:)

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