Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting in Italian 
Author: Lauren Henderson
Release date: June 12, 2012
Published by: Delacorte Press
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In Flirting in Italian, Violet finds herself heading to Italy for the summer because of a painting she sees that looks eerily just like her. Her main goal is to discover who the girl in the painting is and if she, Violet, has any connection to her. Violet, dark-haired and petite, has always felt like she doesn’t quite belong to her parents—mom a blond, svelte Scandinavian and father, a pale Scotsman. She believes that this painting could reveal some things about who she is, though she can’t tell her mom, so that’s why she’s going to Italy—to play detective.

This is a fun yet, at times, serious story of a girl who has always felt like she doesn’t belong but also doesn’t want to believe that her parents have been lying to her her whole life. This is why she decides to take matters into her own hands and do some digging before confronting her parents. The fun part is that Violet is taking part in an educational program that groups her together with four other girls, all of whom have their own reasons for going to Italy—one of which is to flirt with cute, Italian boys!

I would have given this story a 5 out of 5 stars, except then I reached the ending--extremely disappointing, now it’s a 2 out of 5. There is apparently going to be a second book that reveals the mystery about the painting. In truth, I see no reason why the author couldn’t have finished the tale in one book. There is no other significant conflict that was featured and wrapped up in this story other than a minor problem between Violet and the royal family living next door. Very enjoyable writing by the author created a fun romp through Italy with the four girls, but the initial incident—painting, who-am-I mystery—plays a very, very small role in the story, so the weird, heavy ending did not fit the light-hearted Italian romp that was 300 pages long. I am not sure that I will even read the next book—I might pick it up in the library and read the ending, so I know the answer to the question that should have been answered in the first book. If the author wanted to do a series, she should have given each of the four girls a problem that was featured and solved in a four book series.