Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Love, Lucy

LOVE, LUCY
April Lindner
Contemporary Young Adult
304 pages
Poppy
Available January 27th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
The first third of Love, Lucy is a cute escape read, allowing us to lose ourselves on the streets of Florence with Lucy as she tries to make every minute of her European vacation count before she has to return to the States. The remaining two thirds of the book see Lucy returned home, attempting to find happiness within the life parameters her overbearing father has set for her, all the while remembering her Tuscan romance with palpable longing. While Lucy’s story has its sweet moments, it remains more on the surface despite the presence of some weightier issues like family drama, sex and cheating (!), moving us along before we have a chance to really sink our claws (and our hearts) into the meat of Lucy’s life.

In additional to being more superficial overall, Love, Lucy also reads younger than we expect going in given Lucy is a freshman in college. There’s nothing hugely specific that gives the impression of a younger age, it’s more the feel of Lucy’s voice that, when combined with the fact that we don’t delve very deeply into her feelings for the people in her life, makes this story come across as better suited to younger YA readers (sex between Lucy and Jesse is mentioned on a couple occasions, but those scenes fade to black, implying they sleep together without getting into any detail.).

Lucy herself is an enjoyable heroine for the most part, standing up for herself in situations where we desperately want her to voice an objection, and showing a bit of backbone we can’t help but appreciate. Her spine of steel comes into play predominantly toward the end when things with her father reach their breaking point, but as is the case with the rest of the story as a whole, their issues are wrapped up neatly despite his cruel disregard of what she actually wants out of her life. Overall, Love, Lucy is a quick read, skimming us along the surface of Lucy’s life as she tries to sort through the cacophony of voices telling her her place in the world in search of the one that’s most important: Her own.

Rating: 3/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

43 comments:

  1. The cover definitely gives off the cute vibe. It sounds like a fun little read, even though it comes a little younger.

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    1. I loved the part in Florence:) I was lucky enough to spend some time there in college and I loved every second of it!

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  2. This looks really cute! It's a shame that it was superficial though. :|

    Lovely review, Jenny <33

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    1. I hoped for a little more of an emotional connection to Lucy and those in her life Melanie, but I could appreciate it for what it was.

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  3. That stinks this read was a bit disappointing. I loved that the book's setting is in Florence, but it seems everything else is a bit superficial. I will wait to get this one from the library. Thanks for the honest review, Jenny!

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    1. I wished the Florence part was longer!!! And I could have done without the cheating. That just never sits well with me:(

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  4. I'm not sure how I feel about Lucy coming across as a little young. I think that would bother me as well given that she's a freshman in college. Do you think I would like this, Jenny? I like that Lucy is strong towards the end, but I'm wondering if this is going to be the book for me...
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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  5. I know I'd love being taken to Florence again in the pages of the book, because it's a city I've visited a few times and I simply love it more every time!
    But I feel like the rest of the book would probably fell flat for me.
    Great review Jenny!

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    1. ME TOO PILI!!! Let's met up in Florence sometime in the not-too distant future. I'd be all for that:)

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    2. Ooooh, that'd be fantastic Jenny!! =D

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  6. Oddly enough because it was a little flat, I actually think this would be a good gift for a friend's daughter. She seems to love contemporary ya that don't have a lot going on. She might love this one :)

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    1. Definitely a good one to recommend then Felicia!

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  7. It sounds and looks sweet. Not sure it would be a book I would jump on to read it but maybe one day. Thanks for the review, it was a discovery!

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    1. It had its sweet moments for sure Melliane:)

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  8. I think delving deeper into issues can be hard, especially in a book with younger characters, without getting angsty, so I understand that, but... if you can't really fully connect with the characters' struggles, that's no good either. =/

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    1. I guess she felt a little young for me given she was a freshman. I know there's still a lot of growing up to do at that age, but something about her just felt more freshman in high school. It's hard to explain:)

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  9. This really does sound like an adorable read. I actually like that it is geared towards the younger YA audience. They really need more of these type of reads. ;)

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    1. I'm not sure if it was meant to be directed toward a younger YA audience given she's in college, or if just came across that way to me! Might not be that way for everyone:)

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  10. You know that actually sounds pretty cute and I'm looking forward reading it. I know how you think about cheating and how much you hate this also in books, so I hope it won't bother me as much!

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    1. Cheating. Grrrrrr. The only reason it wasn't really a deal breaker for me in this one is I wasn't overly invested in the guy she cheated on, so while it was bothersome on principle, it didn't drive me batty.

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  11. It's a shame that this novel remains surface-prone and superficial, not to mention reads younger as well. I was so looking forward to a New Adult novel different from the rest but it seems as if I'll still have to wait. I'm glad you did enjoy aspects of this one, Jenny. Wonderful, detailed review!

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    1. This is definitely YA not NA. Sex is mentioned but it's completely fade to black, and her voice just feels young. I don't know how else to describe it!

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  12. I've had my eye on this book for the longest time now Jenny, it gave me the impression of a fun cute read, so I'm glad to see that you were able to enjoy it overall and that it did delve into some difficult issues too. I think I still will be giving this one a go to experience the whole backpacking through Italy, I seem to be obsessed with books set in Europe lately!

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    1. I would have loved to spend more time in Italy Jasprit! That was the best part for sure, but it was over too quickly and then we were back in the States. Boo.

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  13. This sounds cute, but I a don't' about the cheating and stuff after the romance in Italy. It has a strong Just One Day vibe to it.

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    1. Cheating. *sigh* No good. It wasn't made into a big deal in this one though Heidi, so that was at least something. It happens, she eventually admits to it and they both move on with very few fireworks.

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  14. I know this is a retelling of Howards End, which I haven't read and I barely remember the movie adaptation. I think this book might have a better outcome if you know the original book?

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    1. Oooo I didn't know this was a retelling Rummanah! And this ended well, so I'm guessing that's a deviation from the original:)

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  15. I love how fun April Lindner's books are. They truly are an escape. I think Jane will always be my favorite, but this one was good, too!

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  16. Still, it sounds cute and I think i could enjoy it

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  17. Uh..cheating?! I'm worried. I've been looking forward to reading this book. *chews nails*

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    1. I know. Cheating is typically a death knell for any book with me, but it wasn't a big deal in this one. I hate that it happened and that she didn't just break things off beforehand, but it was low on angst overall.

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  18. The first one third of the novel sounds shallow in terms of the heavier topics that are later addressed. Hmmm.

    Does this sound younger because of the vocabulary or because of the MC's attitude towards life? I'm just curious because even though you said the sex is very light, I find it interesting that sex would be even mentioned in a book for 14-15 year olds.

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    1. I'm honestly having a hard time putting into words how she felt young. It was more an overall perception than her vocabulary or anything else. And the issues with her dad were definitely heavy (to me) given how incredibly hurtful he was, but that was all largely glossed over and things just suddenly worked out for the best in the end. I would have liked a little more development there:)

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  19. This sounds like a fun quick read, but it's too bad Lucy's voice reads younger, and the overall story is superficial. I will put this one on the back burner for when I'm looking for a quick uncomplicated read. Lovely review!

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  20. Sounds cute but, yeah, I can see it reading younger than college freshman. Trying to catch that NA wave, maybe? Aging up a character? Who knows.

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  21. It's so strange when some books read younger than you think they should. That always unsettles me in a strange way. That said, I don't think this one is for me. I LOVE the Italian feel, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to enjoy the back and forth btwn the two guys. Or really the middle part when she's with the other one. I'm glad you found things to enjoy about this, however.

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  22. Hmmm. I have this one pre-ordered but I think I might be better served to hold of and wait until it's on sale or to get it from my library.

    I had these very kinds of issues myself and I don't know that it will work for me. Thank you SO much for this review and your opinions. It has helped me out tremendously! :)

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  23. I want to say that I think I read a book by this author. I loved your review Jenny.

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  24. Oh, its a shame this read isn't as mature as we would like to think it could be. It doesn't sink into the themes it brings across and it seems pretty superficial. I like the idea of it being set in Florence though. I think I will save this for a day where I need a light read without too much seriousness to it.

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