Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Published: May 3, 2016
Source: Paperback, 389 pages
Summary: “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-tale 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: I gave this 4/5 stars on Goodreads!
Thoughts: I adored this book! The wanderlust in me definitely came out while reading this one. If there is one place I desperately want to travel to one day, it is Italy. So, reading a book set in this beautiful place was so fun for me to read.
The writing was sweet. This is for sure more of a teenage novel because our main character is only 16 or 17? The writing reflected that, but it didn’t really bother me. Sometimes it is more refreshing to read such an easy read, so I have no complaints about the writing.
This story is about a girl named Lina who sets off to spend a summer in Italy after her mother passes away. It was her mother’s dying wish for Lina to go and spend time with her father. Lina is given one of her mother’s journals from her time in Italy and Lina is able to experience Italy through her mom’s words and experiences. She also finds out things that aren’t so pleasant, and has to figure out how to best handle it.
This is a very mild mystery as well, and I enjoyed that aspect of it. The whole “Who is my father?” thing is one of the main plot lines of this book, and I adore the way it played out. It wasn’t what Lina expected, but it worked out so well.
There was definitely some insta-love here, but I didn’t mind it. Not in summer contemporary novels. Sometimes insta-love drives me mad, but it worked for this book. I thought it was super cute.
Lina was a great character. She had flaws, but overall, she was good. She is a teenage girl that lost her mom and is just trying to figure out what her life is and who she really is without her mom. Lina’s decision making skills need work and her rationale for doing things was fuzzy most times, but she always learned from it. I think that is a good thing to write about in a teen novel. I enjoyed reading her journey and reading her grow up a little bit and figure out who she is.
The other characters are great also. I loved Howard so so much. And Ren. Ahhh Ren. So cute, so stinking sweet!
The setting was so beautifully written! I haven’t been to Italy, so I wouldn’t know if the places mentioned were described correctly, or if some of them even really exist. But the way this was written was just so beautifully described. I could see the places in my head. I just want to go SO bad. Maybe one day.
Overall, I thought this was a very cute summer read. Nothing deep or insanely amazing, but very cute. I would recommend it for anyone just kind of wanting to get out of their head for a while and read about the beautiful Italy!
Have you read this one? What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading! (: