Book Talk: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae


Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


Pippa is off to Italy for the summer except she’s not at all excited that she’s being forced to go to this art program by her parents. When she finds herself ALONE and in ROME she embraces spontaneity and decides to spend her summer in Italy but NOT how her parents are expecting her to.Β  She ditches the art program and decides to travel on her which opens her up to new friends, some cute boys and incredible memories.


a4What a cute, adventure-filled romance! It was a really good summer read that simultaneously cured and riled up the travel bug in me. I enjoyed and breezed right through it and really enjoyed Pippa’s full story — her relationship with her mom and grandma, the romance, her adventure and seeing the world through new eyes.

Here are the highlights for me:

1. The travel descriptions absolutely transported me: Seriously, Kristin Rae nailed the Italian setting and just completely immersing you in this adventure as a reader. I hated when I had to put it down and be reminded that OH WAIT I’M JUST HERE ON MY COUCH instead of eating gelato (True story: the main character went to the same gelato shop I ate at) or staring at the Coliseum all wide-eyed because of how her descriptions just invited all your senses to just plop right into the story and experience it all alongside Pippa.Β  The descriptions were just really fantastic and were exactly like what I NEED in a good travel-y novel to satiate my wanderlust temporarily and then make me start fake planning trips immediately after. (Seriously, Will was so irritated with how much my wanderlust HOWLED during and in the days after reading this one). I loved revisiting Rome and seeing more of Italy through this book.

207307_502515195062_247_nfrom my trip in 2007

2. What a sweet romantic hook: I always dreamed of being swept off my feet but some hot Italian when I wentΒ  to Italy. (It would only ever be a dream because I had just started dating Will haha). So I completely understood where Pippa was coming from in making “fall in love an Italian” one of the things on her list. Oh and then there’s a charming American boy too! I wouldn’t say there is a love triangle really. I mean, she has feelings for both guys and entertains both ideas but her feelings all make sense to me honestly. I loved watching her try to figure out her feelings for both guys — one who is sexy and more exciting and the other the sweetest guy ever. I liked them both as people but there was only ONE in my mind. But the swoonworthy moments just absolutely made me melt. I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU. Especially the end.

3. I loved the premise and how Pippa really did embrace this opportunity: I thought it was a fun premise that the main character would be sent to Italy for an art program that she had no interest in and then she decides to do what SHE wants to. At first I’m like, CHILD THIS IS DANGEROUS but then I saw Pippa has a good head on her shoulder and makes sure somebody knows where she is. I know I learned a lot about myself through travel and I enjoyed Pippa start to, from the moment she chose to say yes to this adventure, to really start to see herself, her parents and the world through new eyes. This is the element that made it more than just a cute romance and I enjoyed this self-discovery and seeing how her perspectives shifted and changed in certain areas.

And now I’ll share some pictures of little College Jamie in Italy!

208164_502555125042_6661_nTrevi Fountain, bring me back!



207189_503020836752_6364_nSeriously, I wanted to faint when I saw the Colosseum. History made my bones just giddy.


factors+ the fun, the romance, the travel
Nothing really.

Re-readability: Possibly but um can this be a movie?? I’d watch it!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I’m split. I want one just because what if I need an immediate armchair adventure to Italy but I’m picky about what stays on my shelves. Has to be a favorite or I know for sure I would reread it (and I don’t re-read a TON). I would, however, purchase it for a friend if I knew they dug travel-y YA novels.

a5People who like light and fun contemporary YA with substance, people who want fun travel novels, lovers of cute romances

a8Wish You Were Italian was a charming armchair adventure through Italy complete with a side of heart-melting romance and self discovery! It was a great story as a whole and the vivid descriptions just completely transported you to the point where you might start to question yourself if you were really there or not. My heart felt as light as cotton candy while reading this one (except for the one part that made me CRY) while also wrestling with some of the things Pippa was struggling with — her parents, knowing what she wanted, etc. Perfect read in the summertime but also a great way to battle winter blue’s I’d imagine.




a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* What are some other books that make you all wanderlust-y??


The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. This sounds lovely. I’ve been obsessed with going to Italy since I was little so I’m sure I’d love this book. Sounds like a nice holiday read, not sure I could read it at home because I think I’d be desperate to go to Italy, think I’d have to read it while already on holiday.

  2. I really enjoyed this book and I remember telling you after I finished it that it was a Jamie book! The travel aspect was so spot-on. Kristin really did her homework in that department. But what I also liked is that this story dug a little deeper than just your average fluff. Pippa was faced with some challenges and seeing her character grow as the novel continued gave this story more substance, in my opinion. Also, that ending?! LOVED it.

    • Yes it was absolutely a me book! When it came in the mail I was like YEAH BUDDY ME BOOK. And then you confirmed it so I would have been reaaaaaally disappointed if I hadn’t liked it. And YES I would have still liked this book had there not been that depth there but I LOVED these issues Pippa was wrestling with. It made for a much greater read for me! That ending made me like HAPPY CRY. Of course I was sad crying right before that soooo SO MANY EMOTIONS!

  3. Why didn’t I include this in my birthday book order from my husband? I must try and read it this summer!

    You totally reminded me of Mary-Kate and Ashley in front of the Trevi Fountain in their Italy movie. Hopefully you’ve seen it and know what I’m talking about?


      And omg YES YES YES I used to love all their movies…especially When In Rome. You are my new favorite for that reference today!!

  4. I’m really glad you liked this one because I have a copy in my office calling my name. (Like after I read ten other books but still!)

  5. Your pictures are SO CUTE! I’m so happy you enjoyed my little book, and I’m right there with you planning fake trips back to Italy. Sigh.

    • I think we need to start a club — the Fake Trip Planners Club. And then we can win the lottery and put all those plans into good use πŸ™‚

      Seriously though, this book was marvelous. I cannot wait to see what else you write!! IS THERE TRAVEL INVOLVED??

  6. OH MY GOSH I was in ALL those places last week! SERIOUSLY this review couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m going through Italy withdrawal, so I may just have to add this to my summer reading list!

    • Ah that is perfect!! And I’m so jealous!!! Did you have an amazing time?? I NEED to go back.

      • It was fantastic, of course! Have you been to Venice? If not – add it to the itinerary when you plan your return trip! πŸ™‚ It is a DREAM

  7. I have never had gelato. Which makes me sad to my core, b/c it sounds delicious! Love the pics and I’d love to see Italy someday. Is it wrong that I want to go mainly b/c of the food? πŸ˜‰ And the history, of course, can’t forget that! Wish You Were Italian sounds like a fantastic book, and maybe the closest I’ll get to Italy for sometime.

  8. College Jamie is adorable! Love the photos you shared of your time in Italy, it’s on my travel bucket list!

  9. Oh, my, Italy! I’ve been wanting to go for ages, and your travel photos have just triggered my wanderlust all over again.

  10. My main takeaway comment here is going to be that you have such good hair. I have hair envy of college Jamie.

    Also, Italy envy.

    Also, I think this is on my Kindle and all indicators point to it being an April kind of book.

  11. I reeeeeally enjoyed Wish You Were Italian! It was just a fun read, and I too loved the way that Kristin Rae wrote about Italy and all of Pippa’s adventures there. I was unsure if I wanted a copy for my shelves too, but couldn’t resist the lure of this book — so now I’ve got it sitting pretty (and I’m itching for a reread)!