Giving this book a 5* review based purely on the fact that it made me cry and books don't make me cry very often! As well as making me cry this book was so wonderfully written that it made me laugh and feel a whirlwind of emotions all at once. I honestly felt I was living this book as I was reading. One Italian Summer is an amazing YA that features loss, friendship, romance, drama and I only wish this book was longer - I loved it so much.
The main characters are a trio of sisters I only wished I had; they're portrayed as best friends, believing they tell each other everything and supporting one another in a way only sisters can. The book is based in Italy, a place very dear to their hearts and they go away for what feels like could be their last summer as a complete family - before the sisters go their separate pathways in life. But they go in honour of their late father, as Italy is a place where they find parts of his soul/life everywhere they go.
As they story plays out their is a love that unfolds that I'm sure we can all relate to, a "I want him, but does he want me too?" kind of tale; that makes you both happy and scream wishing that you could make the characters do as you want them to!
Along side this, there is another romance. A secret romance. One that leads to drama and big decisions; one that is played out in the background of the book but soon becomes a major part of the story line.
Although the book feels like it is set around typical teenage romance, the love feels pure and something much older than a first love. It is written so purely and portrayed in different ways - something for everyone to relate to and that's maybe why I like this book so much.
But mostly, this book is about loss and letting go - how do you carry on when such a big part of you, your life and your soul has gone? How do you keep your family together when the foundations have cracked and the main component is no longer there to support?
This book is heart breaking and relate-able. Touching. I honestly felt connected with the characters in a way you don't always get when reading a book. A wonderful summer read that covers so many important topics throughout.
I wish everyone would read this book!