Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wanderlust Wednesday Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch


 
 
Gelato in Rome <3

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Series: Standalone
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
390 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}


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 get back home.

But then Lina 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 Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she 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.



Love & Gelato showed up on Edelweiss shortly after my trip to Europe last year, and since I had Italy (and gelato) on the brain I was instantly intrigued. I waited until closer to publication date to read it, and when I finally picked it up, I told myself not to get my hopes up too high since I’ve been disappointed by a lot of my most-anticipated books lately. Happily, Love & Gelato not only lived up to my expectations, it exceeded them. This book had me completely charmed from beginning to end.

Lina had a great voice. She was funny, smart, and observant, and I appreciated that she was flawed. She was a believable character and one I easily related to. Ren was absolutely adorable. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to show his weird side, and I also loved how willing he was to help Lina. The two of them together had me alternately giggling and swooning, and it was so much fun to watch them start out as friends and evolve into something more. They had plenty of bumps along the way, which just made their story more believable, and made me root for them even more.

You know those books where you know something should bother you but for whatever reason - you’re reading it at the right time, you connect with the characters, the writing sucks you in, whatever - those things just aren’t an issue and you love the book? That’s how I was while reading Love & Gelato. There was a part of me that kept thinking ‘none of this would be happening if Lina would just talk to Howard instead of insisting on waiting until she finished her mother’s journal, but I was enjoying the story so much I wasn’t bothered. I liked the addition of Lina’s mom’s journal entries. Lina learned a lot about her mom that way, and it helped her connect with her after her death, learn more about her dad, and also give her ideas of things to see and do in Italy. I loved getting to see Italy through Lina's eyes; it made me long to go back and eat my weight in gelato, bask in the sunshine, and visit sights with hundreds or even thousands of years of history.

Love & Gelato is a compelling story about love, loss, friendship, and family. With the addition of the journal entries, it was like a story within a story, and both stories kept me enthralled. Full of real characters and vivid descriptions, this book had the perfect balance of fun, emotion, and romance.


Have you read Love & Gelato? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you been to Italy? Have you tried gelato? Do you have a favourite flavour or flavour combination?
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2 comments:

  1. This book sounds super cute. I love when a book exceeds expectations. I ate so much gelato in Italy that I actually got kind of sick of it, if you can believe that.

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    Replies
    1. I can't and WON'T believe that, Jenny! *covers ears* ;-) We actually didn't get to eat as much as we wanted because we ran out of cash and none of the places take debit. We didn't want to get more cash out since the ATM fees cost a small fortune and most places in Europe seem to freak out if you don't have THE EXACT CHANGE. We joked that there should be a Gelato Card you can get like the Oyster Card in London for transportation, except you put money on it and the gelato shops deduct accordingly haha

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