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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Wish You Had a Brain

Wish You Were Italian: An If Only novel - Kristin Rae

I will give this to this book.  I was almost, almost willing to give it a pass.  When it first started I was able to forgive bad characters, bad decisions, bad everything really because of Rome.


Because any book that features Italy, well, has that to its advantage.  Italy can at least hide some of a bad books very obvious flaws.  And it was doing a pretty good job with Wish You Were Italian until the love triangle from hell swallowed up Italy and I was left a very unhappy reader.



And I really wasn’t expecting much.  All I wanted was a cute fluffy read with fairly decent character.  While this book was fluffy it felt half hearted.  Like it was merely written in such a way to sell.


I do understand the concept.  Books aren’t merely published NOT to make money.  But at the same time, do you have to be so obvious that you only wrote this book to make a buck.  Seriously, there is obviously no love in this story or its characters.

And that just makes me sad.


To summarize this book there’s really not much to say except an American brat goes to Italy and decides that instead of experiencing the wonders that is Florence by taking an extensive arts program, she’d rather walk around aimlessly around the country and waster her parents money without even thinking things through.


Genius, right?


That right there, you think, should’ve been enough to have alarm bells ringing in my little head.  But no.  I decided to still give it a chance, mainly because it involved Italy.  And I thought, for the most part, the Rome scenes were pretty good.  A little cliche-yes.  But good enough for these types of books.


However, once our genius of a protagonist heads to the coast line to mooch off of her new friend’s relatives-and just how does she manage to get a job without a work visa I do not know-the book as I said before goes sadly down hill.



As I said earlier previously, more often than not love triangle= dead on arrival.  And that is very much the case in Wish You Were Italian.


One of the love interests was essentially obsolete from the very beginning.  You knew that Pippa wasn’t going to end up with him.  I don’t even know why Rae even bothered with him.  I guess just to tie in the title, but still.  You knew who the end game was going to be before the triangle even started.


And as for the endgame character….



Honestly, I think the best way to describe Darren is he is essentially a hodgepodge of Rae’s celebrity crushes with the personality of melba toast.  Okay, since your wondering I’ll go into more detail:


His name is Darren Ledger: The fact that his hair is eerily described like the late great Heath Ledger’s in 10 Things I Hate About You and there is a note in the acknowledgments about how Darren Criss inspired the author throughout the book.  Usually, I’d say nothing but since the character is described as looking like Darren Criss-with Heath Ledger’s last name- and has the first name of Darren.  Oh, and is an archeology student who has a brown fedora…


God damn it.


Okay, I get having a crush on a celebrity or a character.  But can’t you be a little discreet about it and not have your audience roll their eyes at your fan girling.  Maybe this is me.


Besides, this the second half of the book suffered from making the Italian coast seem really boring and the fact the book was hampered by melodrama.

Bad melodrama too.


I can handle melodrama if it’s done correctly.  But this melodrama.


Please.  Just please.


I really don’t know why it’s so difficult to create a decent European summer book.  I mean, films have been successful with it.  One of my favorite movies, Only You, had a main character that was dumb as rocks that went to Italy.  However, unlike this book, I actually enjoyed that movie.  It might have been in part because Robert Downey JR was in it, but I actually think it was more than that.  I think it was the fact that that movie took advantage of its setting and acknowledged how idiotic the main character was that made me like it.


Oh, and it had no freaking love triangle.


I will give this book this, it’s slightly better than the other European vacation book I’ve read this year (Royally Lost).  Not that that’s saying much since all you had to do to be better than that book was create a main character that at least appreciated Europe.  Which Pippa did if it didn’t involve art.


Seriously though, way to be a tease.  Florence is one of those cities that deserved to be explored more.  Than all ew it’s art.


Overall Rating: D.  Not a complete flop.  The beginning had hope.  Unfortunately, as the book progressed I became more and more annoyed.

Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/wishyouwereitalian