Monday, February 1, 2016

An Italian Adventure Review & Signed Book 2 Giveaway

An Italian Adventure by Gaia B. Amman 
(Italian Saga, #1) 
Publication date: November 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

A humorous coming of age tale of friendship, sisterhood, and family drama set against the gorgeous backdrop of northern Italy.

Recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Green, Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie
Italy, the late 80s. Leda is a bookish tomboy whose life is turned upside down by shady Nico, who just moved north from Sicily. Their unlikely friendship will evolve through a whirlwind of adventures leaving both kids transformed. Ultimately, Leda will discover that adults aren’t always right, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of everything else.

Recommended for ages 13 and above. Some swear words, mostly in Italian.

The book is the first in a series following the same characters throughout their life. 
I was hesitant when I agreed to review this book since I was unsure of the age group it was targeted for. Is this a preteen book or young adult?  I was afraid that the book would be written for a younger crowd and be immature and silly. Well, any apprehension I had regarding the book proved misguided and faulty. Therefore, the prose has the essence of good writing, making it enjoyable for a reader of any age.

As we know from the blurb the book takes place in late 80’s Italy. The main character is a die hard tomboy who prefers to be called Lee. She is tough enough to lead a group of boys doing crazy daredevil behavior, but also has a deep love of books and is a profoundly wise young girl.

Adults’ great truths were nothing but assumptions and big leaps of faith.

This author did an excellent job of providing the reader with side-splitting laughter. Lee’s family was a bit unconventional for example her and her sister violet called their mother “Starry” from Clockwork Orange. Lee starts going through the “change” all young people her age do but remember young Lee is not like other girls. On vacation when Lee sees a boy that she thinks is cute for the first time and he asks what her name is her response is priceless:

I stared at gorgeous Ezio, wondering about protocol. Should I give him the stink eye and ignore him, kick him in the shins just in case, or simply answer his question

I enjoyed this book. The use of creative wording along with the creation of atypical characters and never ending situations that take place within the stunning surroundings of Italy makes for a nice read. There were only a few things that I did not like. One is that the curse words are in Italian which I did not understand the point of. If you have a Kindle it translates them for you or it can be looked up on the computer. Second not much is mentioned about how the father pulls his life together unlike the mother after the falling out. The third is my own issue. I was not aware that this was part of a series, but I have to admit the author did a good job wrapping up the end.    

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gaia B Amman was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her Ph.D in molecular biology. She’s currently a Professor of biology at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she was voted “the professor of the month” by her students. Her research and commentaries have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed international journals including Nature.

A bookworm from birth, she wrote throughout her childhood and won two short story competitions in Italy in her teens. Gaia is an avid traveler and many of her adventures are an inspiration for her fiction. Mostly she is passionate about people and the struggles they face to embrace life. Her highest hope is to reach and help as many as she can through her writing as well as her teaching. She authored the Italian Saga, an irreverent series of humorous and insightful young adult novels taking place against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy. The books, light-hearted and funny at first sight, deal with issues like sexuality, divorce, friendship, abuse, first love and self discovery.


  1. Thanks for hosting today, Angie! This sounds like a well written read and unique, too! Great review! :)

  2. Thank you for the kind words and feedback. People's feedback regarding my reviews is incredibly helpful.