Love, Lucy by April Lindner [google+ • website]
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: European travel, college, becoming your own person
Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)
Summary: Lucy is on the vacation of her dreams, traveling around Europe. But it comes with a steep price. In exchange for her trip, her father demands that she forget about becoming an actress, attend college and study to become a business major. (Blah.) While in Europe, Lucy meets a boy her heart can’t forget even when she’s back home in the thick of her semester.
I’m not one for making grand book comparisons, but I really want to capture your attention so I’m tossing that aside to tell you that if you enjoyed Just One Day and Just One Year, I think you’re in for another special treat if you decide to check out Love, Lucy.
Do I have your attention now? Okay, good.
Lucy is an actress. She comes alive on stage. But her father thinks she needs something solid to fall back on because there are tons of mediocre actresses who don’t make it in the real world. He stubbornly believes she should forget about acting, go to college, and major in business. After a failed audition, Lucy bargains away her future by accepting a trip to Europe for agreeing to her father’s plans.
Lucy marvels over the sights and history of each location with an acquaintance, Charlene, whom her parents have paid to travel along with Lucy. (This part was a little bit odd to me. Charlene is older, but not by much, and as nice and wholesome as Lucy is — why didn’t she go with any of her actual BFFs?) Love, Lucy begins at nearly the end of Charlene and Lucy’s travels, just as they’re arriving in Florence, Lucy’s most anticipated location. The girls are nearly at their wit’s end with one another though — Charlene’s abrasive attitude has put a damper on Lucy’s bright, peppy outlook. As they need some space from one another, Lucy bumps into a guy who works at their hostel, Jesse, who doubles as a street performer.
They bumble and meander their way through a few sites and make plans to meet up the next day (much to Charlene’s great displeasure.) Thus begins their great European love story…
Until Lucy’s plane departs and they’re thousands of miles from one another with nothing but email addresses to keep them connected. Lucy’s flung back into the reality of college and doing something she doesn’t want to. Though she dislikes her studies, she develops strong friendships with her roommates and tries to move on from Jesse when she meets Shane, a nice, intelligent, kind guy. She and Jesse try to remain in contact, but it’s difficult for Lucy to imagine him moving on and it becomes difficult to be honest with him about Shane. Their emails lessen and Lucy is in this self-realization state of trying to go after what she really wants (being in the Rent production her college is holding auditions for) and not moving too fast with Shane (when her heart still yearns for the boy she met in Florence).
Love, Lucy is filled with friendships (great ones!), cute boys, descriptive travel scenes, and the good ol’ message of going after what you want, standing up for yourself, and not letting other people write your life’s story. (Note: while I may have used JOD and JOY to get your attention, Love, Lucy stands on its own and takes you on a unique, lovely journey.)