Category Archives: contemporary

Review: Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
Published: Viking Children’s Books (Penguin)
Released: June 14, 2012
Source: Purchased

This was a fun read, especially while on vacation. I love Japan and almost anything to do with Japan, though I’ve never once visited. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since I discovered it a couple months ago, and I was not disappointed.
I always love these whodunit mysteries that always leave you guessing. You think it’s character A because it’s so obviously character A, and yet you question your guess because that’s TOO obvious. I’m always unsure of my guesses because of this, and maybe that just highlights a character flaw about myself, but I can’t be the only one like that. Everytime Violet latched on to a new suspect I was like OF COURSE! How could it not be them?! Only to find out, well yeah that’s why it couldn’t have been them… Some people might get frustrated with those kinds of stories but I love them. In the end I wasn’t really all that surprised by one of the involved suspects, but I was just a touch disappointed because I’d liked what we see early on of that character.
Violet has to be one of my favorite characters of all time. She’s just so real. Bursting with ideas, but also the insecurity that virtually everyone deals with at that age. She’s very creative and artistic. I love how she’s drawing her own manga and using that as an outlet for figuring out her ideas on the case. I also love how she uses kimono fabrics to create scarves. Absolutely adore that. All the secondary characters are great as well, and I would have liked to have seen more of Edge, even though romance isn’t really the focus of the book. I’m just a romantic, what can I say? The only thing that marred this book in any way for me was how readily the FBI were taking tips from a teen. That seems a tad bit unrealistic, but then again what do I know? Anything is possible.

Review: Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release date: June 12, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Flirting in Italian #1

I could not put this book down. I was in love with Flirting in Italian.Years ago I took a People to People student ambassador trip to three European countries, and Italy was one of them. This book makes me want to go back so much.
Lauren Henderson does a great job of writing young sexy Italian men. I couldn’t get enough of Luca. Especially the interactions between Luca and Violet. There was insta-attraction, which I think is better than insta-love. And it felt realistic since every time Violet is talking to herself in her mind about Luca, it was the exact same way I’ve done with boys I was into in the past. If for nothing else, read this book because of Luca. He’s too sexy a character to pass up.
The other characters in this book were done well too. I liked how it seemed the four girls might not get along at first, and were then given a common enemy. It would’ve been nice to explore why Elisa is the way she is though, and maybe see all of them start to get along, but that could happen in the next book. I was surprised at what was revealed about Catia, Elisa’s mom. Scenes with Leonardo and Andrea were few, but they were fun ones to read and I hope to see more of those two.
The story was great. Except for a few too many inner dialogues for Violet, the story moves along nicely and is well written. The only thing I was disappointed about was not learning more about Violet and that painting of the girl she looks like. But from the way the book ends it looks like that will explored in the next one, so it wasn’t a huge issue. Especially since there were plenty of sexy Italian boys.
Flirting in Italian is a fantastic summer read and will definitely make you want to go to Italy for your own adventure. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book coming out in 2013.