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’ve never read A Room With a View which is probably really sad since I was an English major. I have read some of April Lindner’s retellings in the past, most notably Jane. That book wasn’t exactly the most memorable book that I’ve read, but I remember it being a decent enough retelling.
Well, I remember not wanting to rip out my hair or my eyes weren’t rolling so much they were going to fall out.
But it wasn’t anything to write home about at the same time.
When I say Love, Lucy I din’t connect the dots right away that it was a retelling. I just saw Italy! And that’s why I preordered it. I’m hoping for the original novel’s sake, that the character were better formed and weren’t idiots with first world problems.
From what I read about the original, I think part of the problem was adapting it to where the problems the characters faced didn’t seem petty. It’s not an excuse for a lackluster book, but it at least sort of gives you an idea of what problems the author was facing when plotting this particular retelling.
Because petty is what everyone, every subplot, and pretty much everything is in this book. Petty or insipid. Yes, that actually probably describes the story better.
I think the biggest problem I had with this book was its main character, Lucy.
God, she annoyed me.
I’ve read enough whiney YA protagonists throughout the years to know that I would squash this girl’s friendship bracelet within five pages.
She’s the sort of person I always get annoyed with. She never wants to stand up for herself even when it’s obvious that she needs to freaking say something. I also hate how she apologizes for her friend, when her friend did nothing wrong.
It’s just annoying.
Once again, I’m giving Lindner the benefit of the doubt and am assuming that the Lucy in the original novel was like this. But I might be wrong.
Regardless, it doesn’t give the novel an excuse to have flat characters. Look at how many layers have been added to fairytale characters in other YA adaptions. Those stories are only a few pages long, versus A Room With a View which was a full novel.
The love interests were just bland. Bland, bland, bland. While there was a triangle, it wasn’t much of one (you knew who Lucy was going to get with) and honestly I didn’t get what the big deal was about Jesse. Other than the fact that he and Lucy made a pretty couple.
As for the actual plot itself, it was pretty predictable. And the big conflict, Lucy’s dad not paying her tuition if she majored in whatever she wanted to major in was ridiculous. Oh, she talks about being in debt if he doesn’t pay for his tuition…but guess what, Lucy, most people are in debt.
I really don’t get what you’re crying about.
That aside though, there were parts of this book that worked. Lindner was able to incorporate the Italian setting really well. You really did feel Italy throughout the entire Italy set parts. Although, there might’ve been one too many comparisons to Roman Holiday. I am all about book traveling, so the fact that I actually felt like I visiting this wonderful country is a plus for this book.
Love, Lucy is a ridiculously predictable story with bland characters. As stated many times in this review, I haven’t read the source material for this retelling so I have no idea exactly how accurate it is to that book. What I do know is that if you have a couple of hours of time that needs to be wasted and you want a quick read, give this one a try.
Rating: A solid C. Not a great book, but I don’t hate myself after reading it.