Yesterday afternoon, I was having a look for a new film to watch last night. Checking Netflix I spotted a Netflix-produced one prominently pushed (of course Netflix would) on the service’s home screen. Called Love & Gelato, other than its “American girl in Italy” promo premise described in short, I had no clue what it was about.
However, it did also say it was based on a book. So I did what we all do next: I checked Wikipedia. To my surprise, there was no article about either the book or the film (at least not yet).
How we often do things in our current world. LOL! Still searching for film reviews of some kind, with my first ”google” a Goodreads (a site that is not for authors, but for readers, so I do NOT use it) link popped up to the novel. Figuring now I was maybe getting somewhere, I clicked…
Thanks to some of the initial reviews, I learned the protagonist is a late teen about to start university. That immediately made it clear to me it is a young adult (YA) story. So I knew it was not really my thing (or my wife’s).
Still, I was intrigued because reviews were nearly all good to great and most seemed to be 4 or 5 stars as you can see from the total above. I saw next a reviewer noted that “there’s lots of wholesomeness” and that the author “comes from a strong Christian background” but does not push religion. That was fine and perhaps to be expected for a young adult novel, and was to me final confirmation it was not going to be even a bit at times “adult” even approaching a dopey Emily In Paris level.
Then as I scrolled down further this 2017 review from an Italian reader stopped me in my tracks:
I suspect her review there may have been even better than the novel itself. After all of the lousy wider news of late, I needed that chuckle.
I have no idea how much the novel’s author – whom I had never heard of before – actually knew about Italy when she wrote a book set in Italy. So I don’t know whether she had been there, but according to that Italian reader that author got it wrong fundamentally from about the start – which readers who had never been to Italy naturally would not have noticed. After seeing such, that reader wrote that she gave up on the book and filed it on her ”Do Not Finish” shelf.
Her review is a reminder and a word of warning for any author. If you choose to write about anywhere that is real, it is useful to have visited it and/or at least to truly research it in some depth in order to well-know about what you are writing. If you don’t and if you get anything wrong, you are going to get caught – and perhaps called out – by actually knowledgable readers.
Then again, it may not matter:
Hope you are having a good weekend, wherever you are. 🙂
P.S. In the end, we did not watch a film…
We watched a different type of acting job: Kyrgios defeat Tsitsipas in the 3rd round at Wimbledon. 😉