Published by Sourcebooks Fire; May 1, 2011
Paperback, 304 pages
Borrowed from library
When Jessa catches her boyfriend, Sean, making out with Natalie "the Boob Job" Stone three days before their drama club's departure to Italy, she completely freaks.
Stuck with a front row view of Sean and Natalie making out against the backdrop of a country that oozes romance, Jessa promises to follow all of the outrageous instructions in her best friend's care package and open her heart to new experiences.
Enter cute Italian boy stage left.
Jessa had prepared to play the role of humiliated ex-girlfriend, but with Carissa directing her life from afar, it's finally time to take a shot at being a star.
- Description from book
I know a lot of people did not enjoy this book. I know there were many negative reviews and it almost makes me think twice about my own feelings on this book. I simply cannot believe that this many people detested a book that I consider to be one of my all-time favourites.
To me, it was amazing. Stunning. I loved the travel aspect of it, though it certainly wasn't as prominent as I thought it would be. It didn't shine, like so many other foreign settings have in the past but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Kim wrote a gorgeous cast of characters, ones who were incredibly layered and felt real. They weren't flimsy, one dimensional characters, they were complex and fascinating. I am not kidding you, without skipping a beat, I would read another book on each and every single one of the characters. Even Jessa and Carissa, who are frankly the most annoying characters ever. I like to think that the other characters made up for them.
The best part of this story is how it's not about a romance. It's about finding yourself and learning who you are. It was so nice and refreshing to see that. And I think that's why the book meant so much to me. I have absolutely no clue on who I am or how to find myself so it was just nice and comforting to see someone like Jessa, so absolutely buried in all of her crap that she has little sense of who she is, find themselves again. That, in itself, made this book amazing for me. There's something about that reality that deeply resonates with me and though this book may not be technically perfect, I am thankful I read it.