Author: Kim Culbertson
Publication: May 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really Liked It
-- My Thoughts --
Jessa is heartbroken after she finds her boyfriend cheating on her. So a trip abroad will be all she needs. And on this journey of self-discovery, her best friend sends her 20 envelopes that she has to open everyday and do the thing that is written inside. And together with her little envelopes, she finds out what friends and love really mean.
The first thing I loved about this book is the setting. I love books about foreign places, since you can experience all of it through the eyes of the main character. And this book was a gorgeous trip to Italy. I am sure that the author put a lot of work into building such a believable surrounding. It felt beautiful, I could see myself in the streets of Italy, smelling the amazing flavors.
The characters are this book's strongest suits; Jessa is such a quiet, reserved girl. She reminded me a lot of myself, the way she thought, the way she behaved. But above all that, she is a writer. And that connected me with her on a whole other level. Then, there are the guys. And not all of them are love interests. There is the cheating boyfriend, Sean. There is the sweet, kind best friend Tyler. Then there is the gorgeous Italian Giacomo and the adorable Dylan Thomas. I fell in love with their uniqueness. Every single one of them is a character on his own.
There is not much romance in this book. Except a little at the end. But still, it is very believable and real. Sweet and kind. The perfect kind of love. This book is about self-discovery. It teaches you valuable life lessons. It teaches you that before you can forgive someone, you have to forgive yourself. To find yourself. I loved all the different references to culture that the author put in this book. They made it even more interesting.
Finally, the ending was perfect. There is the potential of a hopeful future, with no loose-ends. I love these kind of endings. This book is an enjoyable read with a deeper meaning.