Brothers Danny and Elijah Silver used to get along well, despite - or perhaps because of - their seven year age difference. But when Elijah was seven and Danny fourteen something changed between them, and now they live almost completely separate lives - Elijah hangs out with his best friend Cal (who is not his girlfriend), smoking weed, dreaming about life and disarmingly thanking people. Danny wears a suit and tie, is the metaphorical fair-haired boy of Gladner, Gladner et al thanks to his brilliant rescue of the Miss Jane's account, and resents Danny's faultless kindness and laid back attitude.
When their parents pull out of a non-refundable trip to Italy, the brothers are forced to take their place. Their parents hope it will bring them closer together, and their parents may be right. Because when Elijah meets Julia he's instantly attracted, and something about her softens the edges of both brothers.
I enjoyed reading this YA novel, and particularly liked the memories it conjured up of my own, significantly less eventful, trips to Italy. The tension between the brothers is well portrayed, their characters are clearly distinguished, and the book was pleasant enough. But nothing particularly stood out for me - a little like an unexceptional gelati, perhaps - sweet, inoffensive, a little refreshing, but not piquant or particularly memorable. - Alex