17 October 2016

Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci

Hey everyone,

was seeing a lot of hype about this book all over Tumblr and when I saw the beautiful pictures of it on Instagram I couldn’t resist requesting it from Netgalley. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Roman Crazy in return for an honest review by Simon & Schuster. I’ve read a few books by Alice Clayton before so I was intrigued to see how her collaboration with Nina Bocci would turn out.

The book:

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

My thoughts:

As soon as I started the first page Romance Crazy drew me in. I felt I was there with Avery as she watched her husband having sex with his secretary, I was cheering for her as she confronted her soon-to-be-ex-mother-in-law and I was proud of her when she got on the plane to Italy instead of taking the scumbag back. Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci have a gift for writing wonderfully human characters and this is what made me love this book. I was able to connect with Avery as a character because she felt human. She was a nuanced character, someone able to bravely stand up to her mother-in-law and yet emotionally falls apart afterwards when no one is around. She isn’t hundred-percent sure that going to Italy is the right thing to do, but with encouragement from Daisy and the realization that apart from her parent's nothing is keeping her Boston.

Choices were made, decisions were cemented, and paths were chosen. But no one said I had to stay running on that particular hamster wheel.

Yet in Italy, she meets the one that got away – Marcello. Now I say the one that got away but as the reader learns Avery is the one who ran away all those years ago. Understandably Marcello is angry. At this point Avery is a mess of emotions, she’s nervous to see Marcello again, sad about her would-be divorce and excited about being in Italy. The chemistry between Marcello and Avery was undeniable, yet so are the trust issues. Marcello can’t trust that Avery won’t run away again and Avery can’t say for sure that she’s staying this time. I would argue this is a slow-build romance because Avery and Marcello have to learn to trust the emotions between them again.

We tumbled into bed that night still smelling faintly of rosemary, too stuffed with wonderful food to do anything more exciting than cuddle and whisper into the night.

While I loved the developing relationship between Marcello and Avery, I also loved reading about Avery personal development. The more time she spends around Daisy and in Rome, the more Avery realises what she gave up in her marriage. Her life became about what Daniel wanted and needed. Rather than pursuing her love of art history and conservation, her life revolved around committees, lunches and having dinner ready. In Rome, she is finally able to start living for herself again. I loved watching Avery rediscover herself. She doesn’t lose herself in her new relationship with Marcello and still finds time to see her friends and pursue her passions.

It was my first full day alone in Rome and I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I was letting fate decide. I closed my eyes and flipped the coin.

I really wanted to give Roman Crazy 4.5 stars, but stupid Goodreads doesn’t allow half stars so I have rounded down to 4 stars. I loved reading Roman Crazy. It completely absorbed me and made it difficult for me to concentrate on work! In many ways, this book reminded me of the Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins, just the older more grown-up version. The only thing that stopped me from giving it five stars is because we never get  Marcello’s perspective. Although I got a sense of who he was and how he was thinking it would have been interesting to get inside his head for a few chapters.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!