Title: Wish You Were Italian (If Only… #2)
Author: Kristin Rae
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!
Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love? (Source: Goodreads)
Pippa wants to make her own choices, and when she gets shipped off to Italy for the summer she finally does. She skips out on her mom’s art school and instead travels around Italy making friends and trying to accomplish some of her own goals, including falling in love with an Italian. On her journey she meets adorable Darren and dark Bruno who both charm her and vie for her affections. This story is cute, with a few elements I wasn’t really expecting, but a lot that I was expecting. It was an enjoyable read, I basically read the whole book in one sitting, and it a good beach read.
Pippa is sweet, maybe a little lacking in characterization, but she’s still sweet. She’s fits well for a standard teenager who doesn’t get along with her mother. This means that she’s really easy to identify with, drawing you into the story easily too. I thought her choice to run away was daring, and definitely a little on the Just One Day side. The two romantic leads are a little more interesting than Pippa. Darren is adorable and sweet, the perfect romantic lead because he’s an ambitious guy who falls for Pippa hard and fast. I thought he was super adorable, and obviously modelled after actor Darren Criss. Bruno was a little less…cute or swoon worthy. I didn’t really fall for him, even though I guess you’re supposed to, and then he’s supposed to crush you? He’s such an obvious player than I didn’t buy into it. He reminded me a lot of the guy from Flirting in Italian who is also guy of a douche. I didn’t buy into it, which made the love triangle hugely disappointing.
Plot wise, this is probably not so new. For me, that’s okay. These kinds of books, girl goes to foreign country and falls in love, are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. I find them fun to read, easy to read, and they just make me kind of happy because they’re cute. I don’t expect anything out of them except maybe some romance, a few laughs, and maybe a heart squinching moment or two. So, for me the plot was just fine. There weren’t so many heart squinching moments though, so that’s a little disappointing. (Want something super cute, with a similar plot, lots of heart squinching goodness, and unexpectedly good writing? Meant to Be. I think I compared these two a lot in my mind when reading.) There were a couple of surprises in this book, which I won’t mention for fear of spoilers, but it doesn’t change the fact that this book doesn’t really stand out. It’s really enjoyable though.
I think the book offered pretty good coverage of Italy with some interesting focuses, like photography and archeology, which I really enjoyed. I don’t think Pippa does anything too interesting, pretty standard tourist stuff, but it still sounded like a dream vacation and the kind of vacation I’d love to have taken so I still enjoyed reading about it.
This book is part of a new Bloomsbury series called What If… which I am interested in reading all of because they all seem like cute reads, and I was not let down by this book in terms of expectations. I think this book was good, but it won’t stick with me forever. If you’re looking for a cute, fun read with some swoon worthy moments that this book is a good fit.