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Wish You Were Italian: An If Only novel Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: If Only
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619632853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619632851
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Pippa may be disappointed in her summer plans, but don’t feel too bad for her just yet. Her art-gallery-owning parents have signed her up for an art-history program in Florence. By herself. With an envelope stuffed with cash. Before she leaves, Pippa’s best friend Morgan gives her a bon voyage gift—a journal with assignments to get Pippa “out of her comfort zone.” Pippa takes the assignments to heart: the first thing she does when she arrives in Italy is lie to her parents about where she is and ditch the art program to stay in Rome. Soon she finds herself caught between a gorgeous Italian bad boy with a secret, and a handsome Americano in town for his own summer program. Though it’s a little unbelievable that Pippa would be so put out by a free summer-long trip to Italy, and a few characters are a touch two-dimensional, Rae’s debut novel is a breezy, fluffy summer read full of dreamy romance. Grades 9-12. --Candice Mack

Review

"A charming and addictive read. Devour this delicious treat like a double scoop of gelato." —Lindsey Leavitt, author of Going Vintage and Sean Griswold’s Head
 
"Enjoyable—an ideal beach read." —Kirkus Reviews
 
"This breezy, envy-inducing romance opens the If Only series." —Publishers Weekly
 
"Rae’s debut novel is a breezy, fluffy summer read full of dreamy romance." —Booklist
 
"Readers may enjoy the international setting and details about Italian culture and travel in this innocent romance." —School Library Journal

More About the Author

Lover of books, music, crafty things, and chocolate. I write YA fiction and am represented by Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Author of WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN (Bloomsbury/May 6, 2014).

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Final Thoughts: If you are looking for a fun, cute, summer read- this is the one you need!
Jessica Leigh (Lovin' Los Libros)
In fact, she made it all sound even better than I remember, so now I feel like I need to go back to better see things through Pippa's eyes.
Just Me
Light, airy, fun, friendship to love romance, great characters, gorgeous backdrop...perfect read.
kindlemom1 (My Guilty Obsession)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim {kimberlyfaye reads} on June 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This was *exactly* the book I needed in my life after finishing a heavy read earlier today. It was so freaking charming. I've always had a hint of wanderlust, but this book kicked it into high gear. It makes me want to book a flight to Italy, eat gelato, take a whole bunch of photos and meet a hot boy guy.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the catalyst for Pippa's adventures in Italy – the "to-do" list/scrapbook from her BFF Morgan. I thought it was clever and thoughtful and gave me a lot of insight into their friendship. While Morgan isn't in the book that much, she plays a HUGE role in Pippa's life while she was overseas. I loved following Pippa through all of her Italian adventures. I was so very jealous. It was easy to get swept away and live vicariously through her. Krista's descriptions of everything from the people to the places to the food were so vivid it felt like I was right there with Pippa.

The characters in this novel were wonderful. I really liked Pippa. I related to her if for no reason other than her love of photography because I share that love. I was incredibly jealous of her shooting her way through Rome . Darren was adorable. I was rooting for him all along. Bruno definitely had charm and I could see how Pippa could get swept away with him. Her friendship with Chiara and her interactions with all the other characters were also realistic and enjoyable to read about.

Wish You Were Italian is part of a series, but they're standalone novels. I didn't read the first book and didn't feel as though I was missing anything. (I did, however, go back to buy the first book just because I want to see how it compares.) This was a great, mostly light and fluffy YA contemporary with humor, heart and a whole bunch of swoons.
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Format: Paperback
WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN is the second novel I've read lately set in Italy. (The one I preferred was BLONDE OPS.) I wanted to like this novel, if only because Kristin Rae is a fellow Houstonian.

The main flaw is similar to that in Stephanie Perkins' ANNA IN THE FRENCH KISS, but unlike that novel it doesn't recover. Namely, protagonist Pippa is pissed that her parents are sending her to Florence, Italy for the summer. Yeah, I was crying a river for her. She's supposed to study art history there, which she doesn't want to do because she wants to be a photographer. I hope she realizes that if she goes to college for photography she will have to study art history and it will make her a better photographer.

When Pippa arrives in Rome, she wants to stay and be a tourist. So she ditches her program (because Florence is a terrible place to be a tourist, obvs) and sets out. (And yes, I was wincing about the thousands of dollars in tuition her parents lost. Pippa never thinks twice about this.)

Most of the action takes place in Cinque Terre, part of the Italian Riviera, where Pippa heads after all signs seem to point in that direction. She stays with her new friend Chiara, who is a good friend if a bit two dimensional. Pippa also starts falling for two boys: Darren, a fellow American, and Chiara's bad boy cousin. Pippa's main fault with Darren is, of course, that he isn't Italian and she wants to fall in love with an Italian while she's abroad. And Bruno is super smooth, even if he does have a player reputation.

I think WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN has its good points. It certainly makes me want to visit Italy and see all the sites for myself. But the setting has more character than the actual characters. Yes, this is a breezy summer novel, but the love interests are straight out of central casting. Pippa has the most development, and I found her so annoying. (Seriously kid, stop complaining about your parents.)
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Format: Paperback
This book had it's ups and downs, I found Pippa the main character to be annoying and oblivious to the outside world at times . Her love interests were slightly cliche and all too perfect. Also I found the ending abrupt and unrealistically fairy tale like . Pippa's mother seemed all too fake and should be more resistant to change . On a more positive note Kristen Rae made me want to travel and see new cultures and experience a true adventure international style for myself . This book really transformed me to Italy and I felt like I was in Pippa's shoes . I would recommended this book to anyone who is up for the challenge of being frustrated and inspired by a book simultaneously.
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Format: Kindle Edition
THE SHORT OF IT:

Wish You Were Italian was a charming armchair adventure through Italy complete with a side of heart-melting romance and self discovery! It was a great story as a whole and the vivid descriptions just completely transported you to the point where you might start to question yourself if you were really there or not. My heart felt as light as cotton candy while reading this one (except for the one part that made me CRY) while also wrestling with some of the things Pippa was struggling with — her parents, knowing what she wanted, etc. Perfect read in the summertime but also a great way to battle winter blue’s I’d imagine.

FULL REVIEW:

What a cute, adventure-filled romance! It was a really good summer read that simultaneously cured and riled up the travel bug in me. I enjoyed and breezed right through it and really enjoyed Pippa’s full story — her relationship with her mom and grandma, the romance, her adventure and seeing the world through new eyes.

Here are the highlights for me:

1. The travel descriptions absolutely transported me: Seriously, Kristin Rae nailed the Italian setting and just completely immersing you in this adventure as a reader. I hated when I had to put it down and be reminded that OH WAIT I’M JUST HERE ON MY COUCH instead of eating gelato (True story: the main character went to the same gelato shop I ate at) or staring at the Coliseum all wide-eyed because of how her descriptions just invited all your senses to just plop right into the story and experience it all alongside Pippa. The descriptions were just really fantastic and were exactly like what I NEED in a good travel-y novel to satiate my wanderlust temporarily and then make me start fake planning trips immediately after.
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