Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Review: Spanish Lessons by Jessica Peterson

Spanish Lessons (Study Abroad #1)
By Jessica Peterson 
Release Date: March 2016
Source: Amazon
Vivian Bingley has big plans for her semester abroad in Spain...

Along with her BFF, Maddie, Vivian hopes to indulge her inner Art History nerd by visiting the best museums in the world. She also wants to tackle more practical concerns—like a less than stellar GPA in her major, Economics—with the help of a Spanish tutor.

But falling for her studly Spanish tutor definitely isn't one of them.

Madrileño Rafa Montoya is the stuff study abroad dreams are made of: super studly and super smart. He also happens to be super into Vivian. With his wicked dancing skills and his passion for the arts, he tempts her to throw caution to the wind and live out her wildest dreams.

Only problem? Maddie wants Rafa, too, and Vivian promised herself she’d never settle for second best again…not after a hookup-gone-awry last semester left her heartbroken. Is it best for Vivian to protect her heart at all costs? Or is letting Rafa in worth the risk?

I was in a kick for books that had travel in them, so I knew I had to pick this book up. I loved studying abroad in college (I went to London) and couldn't wait to see how our main character would fair spending an entire semester in Spain. 

Vivian is beyond excited to spend a semester in Spain, soaking in the culture and art while taking some classes for her Econ major. When she arrives, though, Vivian quickly feels completely out of her element and missing home. Her first night out, she is shocked to run into Rafa, a local who makes her feel butterflies and a real connection. But Vivian has had her heart broken before and doesn't want to start something she knows has an expiration date. 

In the beginning of this book, I loved how studying abroad was not all sunshine and roses for Vivian. While I wish we got a more realistic sense of the person hosting her (it felt like we saw the host woman twice and she was only in there to provide a house for the girls), I liked how homesick and insecure Vivian and her best friend Maddie were. Being away from home really is scary and it was easy to connect with Vivian and her fear of being in a new country and falling for someone she doesn't want to fall for. 

I really enjoyed Rafa and how charming he was. He was so sincere and really did have feelings for Maddie. What bothered me, though, was how selfish and horrible of a friend Maddie was to Vivian. I really hate characters who are the best friend of the main character but act very selfish and ruin their chance of love and happiness. Why are they even friends?! Also, I understood why Vivian was so hesitant and resistant to start anything with Rafa, but it was a bit much by the end and I was tired of Vivian continuously explaining why she wasn't going to be with Rafa. 

While there were some things that I wasn't the biggest fan of, I still enjoyed this study abroad novel with a very relatable main character and a hot Spanish guy who makes your heart flutter.

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