Monday, August 7, 2017

"Taking Tuscany" by Renee Riva

About this book:

  “A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country... until her family decided to stay. It's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.
  The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she's going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can't anyone see that Italy isn't really home? It will take a catastrophe - and a few wise words from a friend - for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.”

Series: Book #2 in the “A.J.” series. Review of Book #1 Here! 

Spiritual Content- Prayers, talking to God, & blessings over food; Going on a Saint Pilgrimage; A couple Scriptures are mentioned; Talks about God & Heaven; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; AJ’s family is Roman Catholic; Many mentions of God & Jesus; Many mentions of prayers, praying, blessings over food, & praising God; Many mentions of churches/cathedrals, church going, Mass, confessions, priests, sisters, convents, callings, & sins; Many mentions of saints & saint statues; Mentions of those in the Bible & painting of them; Mentions of witnessing & faiths; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of Jews; Mentions of Baptists, a youth group, & becoming a pastor; Mentions of a Catholic School; Mentions of martyrs & saint pilgrimage (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of miracles; Mentions of blessings; Mentions of a cross necklace; Mentions of the first Thanksgiving; A couple mentions of the pope; A mention of taking communion;
             *Note: Mentions of Satan in the Garden of Eden; Mentions of wondering if [AJ is] possessed; Mentions of enlightenment & Siddharth in the after world; Mentions of Greek mythology characters (Aphrodite & Hercules); A few mentions of sacrifices to a goddess; A few mentions of cavemen & the stone age; A mention of voodoo; A mention of being sent to Hell; A mention that Hilter put people through Hell.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blah, blah, blah’, a ‘buzz off’, a ‘darn’, a ‘heck’, a ‘holy mackerel’, a ‘sucker’, a ‘what the heck’, two ‘blasted’s, three forms of ‘dang’, three ‘oh my gosh’s, six ‘ stupid’s, eight ‘dumb’s, eleven forms of ‘idiot’; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Pain & a broke bone (barely-above-not-detailed); Mean girls; Mentions of World War II, deaths, hatred, Nazis, camps, & Anne Frank’s story; Mentions of a 12-year-old girl who was beheaded; Mentions of accidents, injuries, & blood (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of when AJ almost drowned; Mentions of alcohol (including wine) & drinking; Mentions of smoking, tobacco, cigars, & a pipe; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of rumors; Mentions of mean girls, bullies, & pranks; Mentions of animals cooked with their skim still on (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of helping deliver & stitching up bloody animals; Mentions of an animal’s death; Mentions of a (dance) club; A few mentions of almost freezing to death; A few mentions of the mafia; A few mentions of jail;
A couple mentions of roadkill;
           *Note: Mentions of Pop culture, books, TV shows, movies, celebrities; A few mentions of Barbie; A mention of Girl Scouts; A mention of Starbucks; A mention of aliens.

Sexual Content- A bit of noticing; Playing spin-the-bottle at a party & AJ says she doesn’t want to lose her virgin lips; A ‘baby’, a few ‘hunk’s; Mentions of writing a romance novel & writing a boarder-line semi-detailed kiss; Mentions of kisses & kissing; Mentions of hand holding with a boy; Mentions of when AJ’s sister wouldn’t let boys kiss her & break her heart; Mentions of cute boys, boyfriends, girlfriends, dates, blushes, crushes, & bikinis; Mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of boys/men gawking at AJ’s sister; A couple mentions of married men asking AJ’s sister to dance; A couple mentions of a bombshell; A couple mentions of married couples kissing; A couple mentions of a romantic ice skating dance;
             *Note: Mentions of the David statue (no details besides it being completely naked; AJ says that ought to at least put a fig leaf on him; AJ’s mother also has a mini replica, which AJ doesn’t understand why a married woman would want a state of another man who’s naked; AJ’s Nonna says only a pervert would wasn’t a statue of that and paints pants on him); A couple mentions of fannies & buns; A couple mentions of butting into a conversation; A couple mentions of designers that are like “this class of people stuck somewhere in between feminine and masculine”; A mention of being hormonally out of wack; A mention of a woman’s hips; A mention of a betting a booty; A mention of a name meaning Immaculate Conception.

-Angelina Juliana “AJ” Degulio, age 13-14

                                1st person P.O.V. of AJ
                                              Set in 1972 {Epilogue in 1974}
                                                        266 pages

Pre Teens-

New Teens-

Early High School Teens-

Older High School Teens-

My personal Rating-

For some reason, I was thinking that I wasn’t going to enjoy this sequel as much as “Saving Sailor”. Oh, I was wrong! I enjoyed it just as much and laughed just as much. “Taking Tuscany” was just as fun and now I’m giddy that I get to read the third book!

See y’all on Wednesday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

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