Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Review: Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)
Length: 304 pages
Source: ARC from ALAMW15
Rating: Though not wholly terrible, I, sadly, did not love Lucy


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.

A Room With a View is one of my favorite books of ALL TIME. I read it when I was fourteen and it's lived very happily in my heart ever since. Not long after, I saw the movie version of A Room With a View and fell in love with that too. So going into Love, Lucy I was half excited, half wary, because a great adaptation of my fave book could be great, but a bad one could make me crankypants.

As an adaptation of one of my favorite books, Love, Lucy mostly fails to capture the true emotional struggles and themes of the original. Taken on its own, ignoring its connection to the classic, Love, Lucy is still pretty bland and highly frustrating. It takes a female-driven novel and makes it less that, and doesn't really manage to update the turn of the century moral and personal dilemmas Original Lucy struggles in a way that plays.

The best part of Love, Lucy is the beginning, in Florence. Lucy and Charlene--who are not close friends-- are backpacking together across Europe, and by the time they reach Florence, their relationship is starting to fray. When Lucy meets the dreeeeeamy Jesse--rather hilariously described as having a "light New Jersey accent"--their relationship basically crumbles as Lucy falls head over heels in vacation love. Or is it real love?
I looooved getting to visit Florence in the book, and the travel porn bits were the best. Plus, it reminded me of the summer my friend and I did exactly what they're doing exactly WHERE they're doing it, so that was nice. Lucy is not overly brimming with personality, but I was fondest of her in this beginning section. I only really ever connected to her emotionally when she was struggling with her love of acting and being on stage. She dearly wants to be a stage actress, but her father hardcore does not approve and is very controlling and basically bribes with a trip to Europe so she'll acquiesce and be a business major.

So, yes. The beginning section was kind of fun and escapist (falling in love in Florence! Gelato and sunshine and cathedrals and underground clubs and kissing on scenic hilltops!), though I was hoping for things to be a little more The Lizzie McGuire Movie and less wannabe Just One Day.My main issue was the blandness of the characters, namely Lucy. Lucy kind of sucks? Like, I sympathized with her parental issues, but the narrative paints Charlene as being a bitch for being upset that Lucy has chosen to completely ditch her in Rome to spend time as Jesse, when I was like, "Lucy, if you were on vacation with me and left me ALL ALONE in a foreign city to bang a boy, we would have WORDS."
Same, Kate, same
But, again, the Italy portion was by far the best. It's when we fast forward to the end of summer, to the beginning of Lucy's freshman year at college, where all my feels went kaput.
p sure Lucy forgot how to do that

 Then I REALLY couldn't understand or sympathize with Lucy's poor decisions because they were so obviously, glaringly wrong. The parralels with A Room With a View start to fall apart. Shane didn't need to exist in the plot. As he stands, he doesn't work at ALL as a Cecil character, because he really doesn't represent what Cecil is mean to represent in the original. He's just a nice dude whom Lucy is obviously not in love with. To say Lucy is in denial about her feelings is such a frustrating understatement. Her romantic "issues" were just SO. UTTERLY. FRUSTRATING. Not to mentioned contrived and easily solved and GAH LUCY YOU GOT SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO

The only compelling issue was Lucy's battle with her father over her desire to do theater (though that was a little bit over the top and my god is he a shit). I did like the friendship feels this book provided, though again, Lucy is mostly a terrible friend.

Just watch or read the original. It will make you want to go to Florence and fall in love, but it won't make you snarl in frustration


  1. When I first read the book blurb, I automatically thought "Lizzie Maguire. Movie. Hilary Duff. Italy." How could I not? I'm sorry this didn't work out, though. My hopes are shot down, unfortunately.

  2. Ooh! I have A Room With A View! I haven't read it yet though. I didn't know there was a movie. And I certainly didn't know Love, Lucy was an adaptation of it. That peaks my interest greatly

    Ha! I LOVE your caption! That was my first thought, that movie when I heard of this book.

    Ah, it's so cool you've been to Florence. How amazing. I've also heard this compared to Just One Day. I AGREE! It would totally piss me off if my friend/acquaintance blew me off for some guy they just met. Especially in a foreign city, I mean, because come on, that's just NOT really safe. For her friend or her. Going off with strangers. Ugh

    Well gosh, it's disappointing you didn't like it. I probably won't read this. I have to be able to like or have some connection to the main character and the only fictional character I can stand not being a good friend would be Veronica Mars.

    Lucy is not Veronica Mars so….

  3. I'm so bummed that this is getting a lot of meh reviews. I actually don't think I've seen a single person who really liked it. It sounds like it should be so amazing. There aren't enough books set in beautiful foreign countries, so that intrigued me right away. Maybe it's a good thing my library hasn't gotten it yet lol. And I'm almost embarrassed to admit I haven't read or seen A Room With a View, but I'll try to rectify that soon!


Note: comments on posts older than 90 days are automatically moderated, so they won't show up here immediately. Thanks for commenting! :)