Finding Leda; the Science of Happiness (Italian College Novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finding Leda: The Science of Happiness is the first book in the Italian College series, part of Gaia B. Amman’s The Italian Saga. The saga follows Leda from childhood to adulthood, through relationships and friendships, studies and travels as she grows up.
In Finding Leda, we see Leda starting college to study Biotech. Determined to move on from a bad relationship, Leda welcomes a fresh start. Her social group at college is determined more by her carpool group and choice of seat on the first day than anything else, leading to an interesting mismatched group. She gets a blast from the past when she finds that Claudio, a boy she went to middle school with, is now two years ahead of her and, somehow, less evil than she remembered.
In this series, I particularly like the characters who are always there, in the background. Boyfriends come and go, but people like Starry, Leda’s mum, and Lexi, her best friend, are always ready to come back on the scene when Leda needs them. It’s interesting seeing their relationships develop.
Another thing I particularly like in this book is seeing Leda muddling her way through the sciences, as someone who had previously mostly studied literature. Having already read some of the later books, when Leda seems pretty confident as a scientist, seeing her struggling to get to grips with a whole host of ideas and processes is interesting (and not just because I learnt a lot about science on the way!)
For me, this is a four star book. I’m enjoying the series, and would recommend it to fans of coming-of-age stories that span a long duration (I feel like I bring up Adrian Mole every time I review one of Amman’s books but seriously, if you liked Adrian Mole and feel like Adrian could have been a bit more female and Italian, you’ll love this).

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