One Love by Deanna Cabinian is not a coming-of-age novel (IMHO). The coming-of-age novel is One Night also by Deanna Cabinian. The latter takes place in high school; One Love takes place in the university. While we can argue about the maturity of some university student actions, I want to point out that by now the characters are “of-age,” so let’s get on with taking on more responsibility. However, I was delighted to read more adventurous experiences of Hunter Lake. He still had the good sense to ask for advice from his mentor, Elvis. Admittedly, some may argue about the maturity of Johnny, an older mentor, who makes his living as an Elvis impersonator but for Johnny, impersonation is his business.
There is a long-distance relationship. Hunter loves Greta, but Greta is in Italy. Hunter, along with friend Ronnie, are not far from their home base in Hawaii. Thirty minutes away from campus Hunter can see mentor Johnny/Elvis. Hunter is too far away to meet the parents daily or even weekly, but they are accessible by phone, text, Skype, and he can travel to see them if the situation requires it. Mostly, Skype if for Greta as Hunter tries to maintain a relationship that might not be sustainable. Greta is making new friends in Italy and this is not something Hunter would discourage if she remembers Hunter is her BFF with an ultimate objective of marriage. That is what Hunter thinks he wants. He is not sure about Greta’s commitment.
Hunter and Ronnie are living the campus social life that includes the possibilities of many hook-ups. That won’t happen between Hunter and Charlotte as he struggles to maintain loyalty to Greta. But he cannot deny his feelings of attraction for Charlotte and she is not trying to conceal her attraction for Hunter. While this romantic struggle is going on, there is also …
a great section on travel in Italy. I spent most of my European period in Munich and traveled in Bavaria during several weekend excursions. I now feel guilty for not having spent the time to visit Italy. Cabinian’s description of several tourist sites in Italy are very well done and should please whatever Ministry in Italy is in charge of promoting tourism.
Cabinian piques reader interest to ever higher levels in search of a resolution to romantic possibilities facing Hunter. Somewhere around 75% of the novel, this becomes a real page-turner. There are ten discussion questions at the end for those readers wanting to talk about this novel at a book discussion club. All the questions are interesting except Question 10. I would assign that question to Cabinian so that she can get on with writing the next novel. I gave this a five-star Amazon rating because of the excellent writing appropriate to this genre.
The author offered an advance reader copy of this novel. The choice to submit a review was mine. I look forward to reading more from this author (even if I must pay for it).