Seasoned with luscious descriptions of Renaissance architecture and Italian food, a sure bet for fans of romance fiction and...

READ REVIEW

LOVE & GELATO

Her life already upended by her mother’s short illness and death, Lina, 16, moves to Tuscany to live with the father she’s never met.

Lina’s repulsed to discover that her father, Howard, is the caretaker of a World War II cemetery in Italy. She’s had enough of death, thanks, and doesn’t need to see all those crosses outside her bedroom window. Determined not to stay, Lina secures a promise from her best friend, Addie, to help her return to Seattle. But as readers probably know by now, Tuscany is irresistible. Soon Lina’s seduced by its rolling hills and Florence’s myriad beauties and attractions. Gelato and a guy play their parts. Lorenzo, known as Ren, a handsome, half-Italian, half-American neighbor, attends the school she’ll be enrolled in if she stays. He introduces her to classmates who welcome her into their close-knit posse, including a wealthy—and hot—Brit, Thomas. Howard proves both likable and an ideal parent—caring but not hovering. Why her mother never mentioned him until she became ill, and why Lina looks nothing like him, remain mysteries she’s determined to solve. The journal her mother mailed to Italy—detailing her own year in Florence as a photography student—holds some but not all the answers. Lina narrates in a breezy style, her mother’s journal entries interwoven to provide revelations at carefully paced intervals.

Seasoned with luscious descriptions of Renaissance architecture and Italian food, a sure bet for fans of romance fiction and armchair travel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3254-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more