Before I jump into March's book review, I wanted to thank you all for all the support you've shown Skylights Magazine over the past two weeks! It's been a whirlwind and I'm so grateful. I've written a post over there about learning how to edit as a writer, if you're interested :)
Title: Love, Lucy
Author: April Lindner
I feel bad for this book. Not because I didn't enjoy it because I did. However, because of the subject matter of this novel, it gets compared to and falls a little short of other novels that I love. Love Lucy is a novel about travel and romance and a bit of self-discovery. In that vein, it gets placed in my mental library beside one of my favorites, Anna and the French Kiss, as well as a recent read, My Life Next Door.
As I've mentioned already in a full review, Anna and the French Kiss is a story about travel, first loves and self discovery, while My Life Next Door (thoughts coming later this month) is a story of family and summer romances. Both were phenomenal. And however unfairly, Love Lucy just can't hold a candle to either of those novels.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it because I absolutely did! Linder's writing style was solid and she did a wonderful job of making the reader long for foreign places. I felt like I was 16 again (the age I traveled to Italy) awestruck by all of the Italian scenery. When I visited I really adored both Florence, which is like a European NYC, and Rome, so seeing those places again was a bit nostalgic. And I really loved the mention of the classic Roman Holiday - great movie! I also really liked the message of this novel for our main character Lucy. About following your heart both on a personal and professional level. The pressures of society and family especially can be heavy to bare so it was good to see a character struggling with some of those things and figuring them out. It made the novel interesting, although I have to admit that some parts got a little repetitive and I may have skimmed through quite a few chapters (Eep!).
For me, where Love Lucy falls short of the two novels mentioned earlier is in the love department. Although I liked the characters individually, Lucy and her Italian beau Jesse just didn't seem to have much chemistry beyond the typical "whirlwind foreign romance" variety of most travel books. Don't get me wrong, they serve a purpose in each other lives in this book. But it's a purpose that could be furthered by a friendship just as much as a relationship. That ache of loving someone? I just didn't feel it. And because of that, as one of those readers that loves shipping her characters, I couldn't really connect with the progression of the storyline.
All in all, Love Lucy was a fun read. If you're looking for a novel about travel and how it changes you, this is a decent option. Is it worth an impulsive purchase on your Kindle and a speedy read through? Probably so. Will it change you? Probably not.
April's book is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Winner of multiple awards, including the Prince Award, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a heart-warming novel about the classic tale of how polar opposites attract, about that friendship that can change the course of your life. Having heard so very much about the brilliance of this novel, I have been looking forward to reading it for over a year, so I'm very excited to jump into it this month! This would be a great month to join us! Review will be on May 5th.
Did you read Love Lucy with us this month? Got any thoughts? Or maybe some recommendations for travel, romance books? Let me know!