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 swearwords, mostly in Italian.
The book is the first in a series following the same characters throughout their life.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange of a honest review*
I enjoyed this story though it’s not something I’m used to read.
I read this book so fast, I was surprised. It was fun and easy to read. We read from a girl’s POV and by this I mean a 10 year old girl. It’s something I’m not used to read but it was so refreshing. It was fun to see adults from other POV, to know how she saw what other grown up might consider normal. It was refreshing to read the innocence of a child that we loose somewhere in the way.
We follow Lee through her last years of childhood before becoming a teenager. She goes through some important moments in her life. This book has a lot of content, of important topics but they were shown in a way that you realised they were present but from a child’s mind they are not always obvious.
I must confess that since we read from Lee’s POV there were some things that weren’t obvious (something with a crush) but it was so fun to find out.
The crushes, funny moments, without worries and games were really great to read.
It was weird to see how everyone developed and moved on with their lifes but that is what happen.
One of the things that was great about reading from Lee is that you end up quiestioning yourself: Why are adults so complicate? When does life get so complicated?
Something I haven’t said is that this book is not set in the present, it actually is set in the 80s. One of the first things we learn in this book is that Lee doesn’t want to be a girl. Through this book we see why she doesn’t want to be a girl. The stereotype is so big, the pressure to fit in a role, how to act or dress is so big that she wishes to be a boy. But being honest, doesn’t this happen now? Maybe it’s not that obvious but still…
In this story you follow the story of a normal girl, who doesn’t want to be a girl, she just wants to enjoy her childhood. You see how life changes and how she sees those changes.
I’m just going to talk about Lee. We follow her through those years, we see her change not only in aspect but in mind. For her these years are big steps, really important moments. As I have said a thousand times in this review, reading how things were from her ‘innocent’ mind was refreshing and mind opening.
Though she is still a child and she has a lot more to go and develop is great to read those changes.
There is such a beauty in children’s games, an ability to enjoy life one second at a time that adults too often forget. Incredibly, some grownups seem almost resentful of this ability, and do whatever they can to force some fear and commonsense into kids.
Most adults fail to see that, even though less experienced, children are actually smarter, because they are able to imagine a future that is not limited by what is likely and possible.
You never know when life is going to surprise you with a revolution, an event that will mark you for the rest of your days. Up until the moment when the tsunami tears you off from the ordinary, every day is the same in your constant complaining of its banality. You should live every day as if it were your last, or your first, or the only day of your life, because even when nothing jolts you out of your tracks, you are different, changing by the minute.
I was coming to realize that we are just as strong as the pain we are forced to face.
I found myself alone, looking for answers when I didn’t even know the questions. Monsters didn’t disappear when you grew up, adults just assumed they were something else, something possible. I understood that weaknesses were to be hidden, problems covered up, just moving forward and hoping for the best. But perhaps, more importantly, I received the confirmation that words were not necessary to communicate, in fact they were often in the way, rather describing things as adults wished they were.
About the author:
Gaia B Amman was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her PhD 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.