Author: Federico Moccia
Original Title: Tre metri sopra il cielo
Rating: 5 stars
Last year in October, I saw a commercial on a Spanish television to an upcoming movie about two teenagers with different backgrounds and social statuses that fall in love with each other and the obstacles they come across. Now I've seen a lot of movies on this subject and it seemed like just another Romeo and Juliet story. Until I saw the guy's bike. When I saw that motorcycle I knew I had to find out more about the movie. And that's how I found out that it was actually made after an Italian book. I also found out that it had an Italian adaptation and a book and movie sequel. I decided to read the book after I saw the Italian movie on Monday.
The book's central characters are Babi and Step.
Roberta "Babi" Gervasi is a seventeen year old girl who's about to graduate high-school. Babi is the typical good girl from the upper middle class: she's always dressed properly, she has an acceptable boyfriend, she only hangs out with people with the same social status, she goes to a private school. The only wild spot in her life is her best friend, Pallina. Babi tries really hard to be the girl that her mother, Raffaella, wants her to be, even though part of her hates it.
When she meets Stefano "Step" Mancini, she sees him as the exact opposite of what proper means: he doesn't come from a wealthy family, he's had troubles with the law, he doesn't have a degree, he doesn't have a job, he likes to party a lot, he's getting into fights whenever he feels like it, he likes illegal races.
At the same time though, Step is the one that makes Babi feel loved for who she really is, not for who she's supposed to be. He gives her the chance to be herself without judging her, even though she's not doing the same thing for him. She isn't able to accept the differences between them and she always tries to change him, make him "proper", acceptable.
The death of Step's best friend and Pallina's boyfriend, Pollo, changes everything. Pallina is suffering a lot and she finds it very difficult to be around Step, who reminds her too much of her lover. Babi and Pallina don't have much to say to each other anymore and that makes their friendship become weaker and weaker. Step suffers a lot because he considers himself guilty for the death of his friend.
Six months after the death Pollo, Babi tells Step that she's seeing another guy. Realizing that he lost her, Step decides to leave the country and go to the US to try and move on.
I thought the book was very good. And I liked the change it brought to the whole "first love" subject. Even though it might seem predictable, because you know that Babi will fall in love with Step and you also know that their love won't last because of their differences, it was still enjoyable.
I didn't like the fact that Pollo dies, because I think his love story was one that was meant to last a long time and because he was a fun character, a softer Step. Also, I hoped that by the end of the book, Babi would become acting like a grown-up. But I guess that she thought that bad things happen when you're not acting properly and she got too close to tragedy and that scared her. And it made her fully embrace the lifestyle that was acceptable for her mother and for the people with the same social status as her.
I think it was a very good book, especially for a debut and I think I might try some of his other works.