Review: To Tuscany with Love by Gail Mencini

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I received this book as an ARC for an honest and open review from NetGalley

“Two Turban-clad men with dark complexions looked at the four students with obvious disdain.”

I read as far as that paragraph, and then stopped, knowing full well that if I continued to read I would just get frustrated and upset (turns out I was right, after I browsed through the remainder of the chapter). What was supposed to be an “adult coming of age” novel instead was a book filled with every sort of stereotype known to man, exemplified, along with racism.

It starts off with a group of American students traveling abroad. Each student has a very defined stereotypical personality. There’s the fat nerd (who actually has a boyfriend), the blond twins, the rebel, jock, etc. There is nothing unique to any of their personalities, and the entire story follows one stereotype after another. When the novel isn’t busy slamming people in this manner I felt it made no sense, having little at all to do with the actual story. It felt incredibly disjointed.

I also found it rude when the students started on the train to Paris and then the book launched into how these “Middle Eastern turban wearing men” were probably carrying bombs in their luggage and so the students had every right to search through their bags. It felt unrealistic and incredibly racist.

This book was certainly not what I was expecting or hoping for.

1/5 stars

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