Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taking Tuscany (Indian Island Trilogy - Book 2)

Taking Tuscany. Renée Riva. David C. Cook. May 2009. 
Paperback. 288 pages.

Three years have gone by since the Degulio family moved to their old crumbling castle in Tuscany. A.J. had to leave her dog, Sailor, behind along with her best friend, Danny. It's not an easy task for A.J. to make new friends at school, especially because she's the only blonde, freckled-faced, fair-skinned girl there. She describes it much better. "As if I didn't stand out enough already. In cookie terms it's like being a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti."pg.15  Annalisa Tartini is the "Queen Bee" at A.J's new school and gave her the nickname, Yankee. Every day she tries to avoid the queen bee and her followers, but they always seem to run into each other, which calls for some kind of trouble.

When A.J. becomes friends with a nun named Sister Aggie, she confides in her and explains how unhappy she is because she was forced to move half way around the world with her family. Sister Aggie tells her to read a certain book that really makes her think and begin to appreciate her life and family a little more. With those accident prone Degulio kids, another one of them gets hurt and A.J's appreciation grows stronger for her family. She sees just how precious they are, even though they're embarrassing, family is everything.

This has easily become another one of my favorites. Renée has a beautiful way of writing stories that bring out different emotions as you read and she adds a great moral to them. Taking Tuscany had me laughing and I even cried a little. Even though A.J. is 3 years older in this story, she is still the same funny character I couldn't get enough of in Saving Sailor. Another thing I really liked is that this is a clean story, so you won't come across anything inappropriate being said. I don't think there's a certain age group this book is geared toward. Even if there was, anyone can enjoy it. The next book in this series is Heading Home. I'll be reviewing that one next.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

You can read the first chapter HERE
To buy this from the publisher click HERE

*Special thanks to Karen Stoller of David C. Cook for sending me a review copy.*

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