Wish You Were Italian

Kristin Rae. Bloomsbury, $9.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-61963-286-8
This breezy, envy-inducing romance opens the If Only series, written by multiple authors. For some reason, 17-year-old Pippa Preston is dreading spending the summer in Italy—her parents are forcing her to attend an art history program in Florence. When Pippa’s plane lands in Rome, she discovers that her father has given her an envelope full of euros, and she decides to forgo summer school in favor of sightseeing and meeting boys. A new Italian friend, Chiara, whisks Pippa off to her family’s house on the Cinque Terre, and Pippa’s charmed summer becomes even more so (especially after two boys, one American and one Italian, enter the picture). Debut author Rae’s style is upbeat and cheerful, but like Pippa, who throws caution to the wind, the story lacks direction, with choppy prose and brief chapters tugging readers this way and that. Rae uses advice from one of Pippa’s friends back home to give some structure to Pippa’s zigging and zagging, but it’s not quite enough to anchor the novel. Available simultaneously: Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard. Ages 12–up. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 05/06/2014
Hardcover - 323 pages - 978-1-61963-285-1
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4088-5551-5
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