Antonia Labella is fifteen years old and has yet to be kissed and it is her deepest desire to become the first official living saint. Don’t think she’s serious? Well every month Antonia sends a letter to the Pope with a new saint idea, whether it be the Patron Saint of Figs, or the Patron Saint of First Kisses, she always has a new idea. She also makes sure that she is in all the good graces of all the current saints, she prays to a different one each night and even keeps a saint journal where she keeps all of her prayers.
Then there is the whole kissing business. There is this boy, Andy Rotellini who Antonia has been lusting after since well, forever basically. She truly believes that he will be the one, but she just may be mistaken in that area. While becoming a saint and experiencing her first kiss seem unlikely, it certainly isn’t from lacking of trying on Antonia’s part. On a journey of self-discovery Antonia grows up a bit and learns all there is to first kisses and sainthood.
Well, lets start with the fact that I liked this book. The writing was decent, the plot was original and the characters were pretty good. I loved the Italian authenticity and thoroughly enjoyed the religious views that Antonia brought up and discussed. I also think that this book has quite a broad appeal. It’s a good book for young and older teens and overall is just plain fun.
As for the plot, well it started out really well. For the first fifty pages or so I was continuously laughing and was really enjoying the book, I pretty much figured that this was going to be a great book, but alas I spoke too soon. Soon Antonia became completely infatuated with this jerk guy and completely ignored the nice guy, and then the story just started getting repetitive. Antonia was doing the same things over and over again and it got very frustrating. The plot was definitely the downfall of the book, but the ending and beginning definitely saved it from being a total blow out.
Although the plot was not that great, the characters were fabulous. Antonia was funny and oh so obsessed with becoming a saint. Her saint ideas were absolutely crazy, but I loved each and everyone. She was adorable waiting for her first kiss and I loved the relationship she had with her best friend. My only qualm with her is that she felt considerable older than fifteen, but it was only until the end of the book that I realized this, so it wasn’t that big of an issue. Antonia’s grandmother was also a trip. She was forgetful and senile which pretty much made her absolutely hilarious.
Overall I liked this book and thought that it was a solid debut for Donna Freitas.