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Literature / Three Steps Over Heaven

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Three Steps Over Heaven (Italian: Tre metri sopra il cielo, which literally means Three meters above the sky) is an Italian novel by Federico Moccia. It was first published in 1992, but becomes hugely popular only with its reprint in 2004. Only one year before the success of Twilight, in Italy there was another popular teen romance novel, targeted explicitly at teenage audiences. The plot is basic: good girl falls in love with Troubled, but Cute boy.

Despite the popularity with the Target Audience in early 2000s, it was always a controversial work. It has an even more controversial sequel, Ho voglia di te ("I want you"). Both books got a movie adaptation, and a few years later a Spanish remake (Tres metros sobre el cielo) and relative sequel (Tengo ganas de ti) were released.


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Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: We go from the blue-eyed blonde Babi of the book to the brown-eyed brunette Babi of the movie.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Spanish remake changes the name of several characters. Stefano/Step becomes Hugo nicknamed "Hache", Pallina becomes Katina, Paolo becomes Alex, etc.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Babi falling for stereotypical bad boy Step.
  • Beta Couple: Pollo and Pallina (respectively, Step's best friend and Babi's best friend) start a relationship before the two protagonists.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Babi's whiny, boy-crazy sister Daniela, who is two or three years younger than her.
  • Delinquents: Step and his friends. When Babi starts dating Step, she reluctantly starts to get involved in their criminal lifestyle.
  • Downer Ending: After the death of Step's best friend, Babi decides to break up with him.
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  • Dude Magnet: Babi, and is aware of it. During an argument with her friend, she claims to be the biggest Dude Magnet in her school.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Babi in the book. The movie version popularizes the brunette version of Babi, which was also used in the Spanish remake.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
    • Babi is mature and a brilliant student (Responsible), Daniela is a shallow Bratty Teenage Daughter who only thinks about boys and often lies to her parents (Foolish).
    • Step is a delinquent (Foolish), his older brother Paolo is formal, well-dressed, and has a good job (Responsible).
  • One-Gender School: Babi attends a private, all-female school.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: All the main characters, whose first names are almost never used. Not only we have "Babi" (we can assume it's a nickname) and Step (Stefano), but Babi's best friend is nicknamed Pallina ("Little Ball") while Step's best friend is nicknamed Pollo ("Chicken"). In the sequel, there's also Gin, short for Ginevra.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Babi and Step. Even if they are madly in love, their worlds are too different and their relationship doesn't end up well.
  • Troubled, but Cute: The whole point of Step's character. He's the ultimate Badass Biker, violent, part of a gang of delinquents, leather jacket, has a Freudian Excuse, is extremely handsome, and shows his heart of gold when he falls in love with the female protagonist.
  • Uptown Girl: Rich girl Babi. Delinquent Step.

Ho Voglia di Te provides examples of:

  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Gin, the new female lead, is rebellious and the opposite of Babi.
  • Love Triangle: Step, Gin, and Babi. Babi is a Romantic False Lead here, and we are clearly supposed to root for Gin.
  • Maybe Ever After: Step and Gin. The ending is ambiguous, but it's implied they will get back together.
  • Older and Wiser: Step is no longer a hoodlum.
  • Really Gets Around: Daniela, Babi's boy-crazy sister, is now sexually promiscuous. She gets pregnant in a club's toilet, without even knowing the father's name.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Gin. At first it looks like a normal Boy Meets Girl story, but later it's revealed that Gin has been obsessed with Step for years, and she had many picture of him and knew everything about his life, much time before they actually met each other. Even their "casual" first meeting was planned by the girl.
  • Stalking Is Love: When Step finds out in Gin's diary that she has been stalking him for a long time, he's actually pleased and even more attracted to her.

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