Author: April Lindner (website | twitter)
Publisher: Poppy (Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown)
Source/Format: ARC provided by HBG Canada in exchange for an honest review (thank you!)
Publication date: January 27, 2015 (next week!)
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | B&N | IndieBound | iTunes | Google Books | The Book Depository
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.
In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
I enjoyed Love, Lucy for what it was – a very light, sweet contemporary romance with a little bit of self-discovery. I read the whole thing in a few hours, and the action and drama kept the plot moving, and kept me wanting to finish.
Our MC, Lucy Sommersworth is a talented actress who has found success in high school and her community. But Lucy’s practical, businessman father doesn’t want her to major in drama in college. Instead, he gives her an ultimatum – he will pay for Lucy to go to his alma mater, and a month-long trip to Europe if she will major in business. Lucy, having recently had a bad audition experience, is questioning her choices, and reluctantly agrees. On her trip to Europe, though, Lucy meets Jesse, a musician living his dreams by staying in Florence and busking. Through him and through her own love of Italy, Lucy begins dreaming again.
What this book does best is illuminate some of the very real issues that teens – and adults – have in marrying the practical with the whimsical. If you’re an artsy teenager, or a teen who really wants to major in something where there is an uncertain future ahead, what do you do? Do you go with your heart and do what you love, or do you major in something practical and just follow your dreams on the side? It’s a question that I still struggle with even now in my adult life, and I think a lot of teens will relate to Lucy’s confusion.
I never got really feels-y with this book because it was written in third-person, making Lucy’s voice seem a little distant from me. It was heavy on description, which worked for the travelling part, but made me feel more like I wanted to actually experience the things that Lucy was going through, not just have them told to me.
I also found Jesse’s voice a little hard to believe – he just didn’t seem like a real teenage guy to me. He seemed far too self-aware – and observant of Lucy’s feeling and actions. He was definitely a fantasy guy in that way.
Despite my reservations, I enjoyed this simple love story and it was the perfect book to read on the beach during my holidays. It felt like a fluffy version of Just One Day by Gayle Forman – without the impact that book had – but nevertheless, if you love travel YA with a lot of romance, this one will satisfy that need.
Old-School Writing: Unlike many YA books these days, Love, Lucy is written in third-person, which reminded me so much of the books that I read way back in the 90s. It feels very much like a throwback to older YA, and to a way of storytelling that isn’t done a lot these days.
I Want To Go To There: Author April Lindner has clearly done a lot of travelling to Italy, and the descriptions of Florence, Rome, and the rest of Europe made me want to go back there immediately.
|Photo: Witthaya Phonsawat|
The Realities of Travel: Linder describes – with frightening accuracy – what happens when you’re travelling with friends for a long time – especially if you’re backpacking or rooming together. Sometimes it’s just too close quarters, and money is tight, and you start getting a little snippy with each other. As frustrating as this part of the book is, it was vividly real for me and reminded me of a few bittersweet moments in my own travels.
Book Theme Song:
He said, “Let’s get out of this town, / Drive out of the city, away from the crowds.” / I thought heaven can’t help me now…I can see the end as it begins…Say you’ll remember me…Say you’ll see me again / Even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
The Final Word:
Love, Lucy is a book for dreamers. It’s for people who love contemporary romance, who have a bit of wanderlust, and who just want to escape into a romantic European adventure for awhile. A perfect beach or vacation read.
LOVE, LUCY comes out next Tuesday! Will you be picking up a copy? Are you a fan of travel YA like I am? Do you sometimes just want a fluffy escape from reality like this book? Have you had some struggles with the practical vs. your dream? Let me know in the comments!