One Step to You

Federico Moccia, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Grand Central, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3277-9
Some of the spark is lost in translation in Moccia’s English-language debut, a trilogy-launching tale of star-crossed teen lovers in 1980s Rome. Wealthy, 18-year-old socialite Babi Gervasi is both intrigued and wary when she meets bad boy Stefano “Step” Mancini, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks. She disobeys her parents and ditches her high-society admirers to embark on a tumultuous relationship with the fiery Step. But can their love transcend their very different social circles and the disapproval of their families? Though the narrative is oddly flat, with banal characters and stiff dialogue, Moccia does capture the turbulent passion of teen love. Step and Babi’s affection for each other and excitement at rebelling against societal expectations is believable, and Babi’s inexperience with sex is realistic and respectfully handled. There’s disappointingly little scene setting, save references to Roman streets that will offer insight only to those already familiar with the city. The cultural references to the 1980s will play on readers’ nostalgia, but it is unclear why this is being marketed to adults rather than teens. Despite some heartfelt moments, this disappoints. Agent: Maria Cardona Serra, Pontas Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/11/2021
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Romance/Erotica
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-1001-6
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