Rory Hartnett has sworn off love, so boys will not be a distraction on her six-week study abroad trip to Rome. She has her plate full dealing with her anxiety in a foreign country, making new friends to explore the city with, taking classes, and applying for an internship at a travel e-zine.
But when she meets the cute artist sharing her eccentric host mother’s lodging, all bets are off.
Fall in love with the first in a brand new series about four girls finding themselves — and maybe love — in the city of fountains. If you loved Anna and the French Kiss or Love & Gelato, you won’t want to miss this sweet New Adult series from new romance author Lena Mae Hill.
This was yet another book that I’ve had for ages, and that for some reason I kept putting it off… now I’m thinking that I would rather have skipped it. But alas, I read it. It was bad.
I will say that the whole book was a miss for me, and I couldn’t find any redeeming qualities on this book. But I’m gonna tell you guys what I hated the most, ok?
I’ll be honest, the main character on this book, Rory, suffers from severe anxiety, and while my understanding of the mental disease is limited, and I can see how debilitating it can be, the representation of anxiety in this book was poorly done in my opinion. When it’s well written, you can empathise and understand a disease, even if you never suffered from it. Here, the only thing I really wanted was to club Rory in the head and make her shut up, because her fears were way way too irrational. And it was written in a way that we were living inside her head, in the irrational land, for over 90% of the book.
With that said, I hated Rory. I wanted to feel for this girl, but I just couldn’t. She worried about everything, and while I understand that it might be a true representation, it was way too much. Are they thinking I’m ugly? Will the taxi driver have a bomb? How will I pay the groceries? I’m the 5th wheel… would they even notice if I was gone? It was exhausting to be in her mind. But the real kicker is that she reads like a 15 year old, while she was supposed to be 21. I couldn’t get my mind around that fact. She was so insecure, and she was willing to do whatever it took to please people who she hardly knew and she thought would never look at her as a friend. Still, one of them wanted to cut off her favorite skirt, and what did she say? “Sure“, while really thinking “NOOOO!!!“. I can’t… I just can’t… I mean, this girl runs and hides in her room each time Ned looks at her a little bit longer. What was that? She was so immature!!!!
The rest of the characters weren’t that much better either. I wanted to like Ned, the love interest, but I just couldn’t for some reason. I appreciated how he took his life, doing what he wanted and taking advantage of opportunities, but I think the book focused way too much on weed and how he was always smoking pot and so on, and it just made me like him less and less.
The group of friends mostly just annoyed me, because I felt like they should have tried to make Rory feel included, especially since they all saw how hard it was for her. They do try from a point on, even if she resists it, but I still felt like something was severely missing there.
The romance didn’t make any sense for me, there was no chemistry at all there. Much like Rory’s previous romance didn’t make sense to me either, but hey, what do I know…
While there is a slight character development towards the end, when Rory actually affirms herself for a couple of pages, it was still too little too late. This book could have been loads better if she actually grew, if she used the fact that she was alone in a foreign country to actually take life by its horns. She didn’t. She needed push after push after push, and she only slightly stands up for herself towards the very end, and very feebly at that.
This book definitly wasn’t for me, it was a pain to actually finish, and I’ll definitly stay away from the sequels.