Love and Gelato Book Review
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Genre: YA Romance
“I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-take landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father–and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Love and Gelato has been on my wish list for quite some time, but I always had books I needed to buy for research for my writing that I pushed this off. So when I went to BookCon and found it half off, I couldn’t resist! This book came at the perfect time. I was ending my own (wonderful, but stressful) vacation, that the only thing I needed on my flight back home was a light-hearted book. And in honor of Father’s Day–today is the perfect day to review.
Back when I put it on my wish list, I was intrigued by the idea that Lina–the main character–was going off to search for her father while still in high school. Having my father in and out of my life, I knew I needed to read of her adventures. But I figured that with the stunning pastel cover and title of the book, that her story of finding her father would be gracious and loving. While Jenna Evans Welch didn’t have me crying, she was able to create a more in-depth storyline that caught me off guard.
The book follows Lina briefly through the death of her mother and then you’re soaring off to Tuscany with her for the summer. I found myself reminiscing in my own European adventures and wondering when I’d be able to make it to Tuscany to explore the culture Lina is immersed into and taste those buttery, melt-in-your-mouth pastries.
Within the first few days, Lina meets a friend named Ren who is her sidekick through this entire adventure. They become immediate best friends and you can’t help but wish you had a Ren in your life. When Lina is given a journal of her mother’s own adventures through Florence, the book begins to set up for a far more intense journey than just gallivanting through Italy.
We go through Lina’s highs and lows. Whether it be grieving her mother’s death, solving the mystery of her father, or falling in love in Italy, we are very much so the fly on the wall through it all. I read most of this book traveling home and cursed the airplane as it landed at the pivotal moment in the novel. And when I closed the book on Lina’s story, I only wanted more.
My only complaint would be wanting a more emotional connection through the drama that is happening. But that’s my preference of books because I love the “pull at my heartstrings” books, but this one has more of a reputation to be happier and looking on the brighter side–and that’s what Lina needs to heal and go through her own self-discovery.
It was light-hearted and a easy read, everything I needed to de-stress. But Jenna knew the precise moments to turn the emotions and pull you away from the glorious European lifestyle and bring you back into your sixteen year old self.
I’ll definitely be checking out Jenna Evans Welch’s other books as this was my first introduction to her work.