Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: "It Had to Be You" by Janice Thompson

Bella couldn't be happier that her long-feuding Aunt Rosa and Uncle Lazarro have finally admitted their love for one another and are getting married. Their forties-style wedding is sure to be a night to remember. But when the Rossi house begins to fill up with family from Italy—and an old mobster from New Jersey—life starts to get complicated. Will Lazarro's friend from the past drive the happy couple apart once more? And will Bella ever have time to think of her own rapidly-approaching wedding amidst the chaos?

Oh this book makes me wish I was part of an Italian American family, or at the very least part of the Rossi clan. This series has been so fun to read. The stories are just extremely well written and everything is brought to life through wonderful words. I really love how the family acts as a unit. This series has shown one of the strongest families I have ever read, where parents and children treat each other with respect and love. They have their disagreements but they handle it realistically and maturely. They are close but willing to part when needed. I also have appreciated how her family does not feel as if Bella has to marry another Italian American and is very happy with her relationship with DJ. Now her uncle's wife did get to me at times but luckily she wasn't too big a pain in the neck. I laughed at how they brought the Italian contingent to a Texas Roadhouse to satisfy their taste for true Texas fare. I found it interesting that they brought them to a chain restaurant as opposed to a real Texas steakhouse but I guess since they are on the Galveston part of Texas this would make more sense.

I love how the whole story just flows from one wedding to another. Bella is wonderful at what she does and I so wish I could have asked her to do my own wedding. Reading about all the adventures that take place really drew me into the story. I could see the dresses, hear the swing music, taste the food.
Oh and this is also one of the best foodie books I've read this year. Seriously, I got stuffed reading about all the food in the book. I don't know how in the world these people stayed slim after eating that food for years. I wish that I had Rosa to cater my wedding or at least been able to sneak a bite of one of her dishes.

While I really liked this book, I felt out of the three books in the series, this one seemed a bit preachy. I didn't have any problems with it but if a reader who wasn't a Christian read the book they might feel bombarded by constant talk about conversions and Christianity. The other two books did reference this and does make it clear that Bella, D.J. and their families and friends are strong Christians. This story however seems to make it more of the focus than the other two. I also felt really bad for Bella and how everyone seemed to ignore her own wedding. I just thought that was so inconsiderate of her friends and family to insist that she give all her time and energy in THEIR weddings but only once did anyone bring up Bella's own wedding. It's no wonder what happened to her happened. I can understand the excitement of getting engaged and finally being able to marry the person you love but one should not take advantage of other people.

Still though, I really did love this book. I'm really sad that everything has to end but I'm glad at how everything in the story ended up. It's a been a joy to follow Bella in her adventures. This is a great series about faith, family, fun and food with a bunch of weddings and stories about true love thrown in.

It Had to Be You by Janice Thompson is published by Revell (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

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