REVIEW: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Synopsis: 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
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Rating: ★★★☆☆ / 3 sweet stars.
Review: Love & Gelato was a sweet and quick read. Perfect for a leisurely Summer day. It's the type of book that doesn't make you think too hard or require a lot of imagination, and sometimes that's a good thing. Every now and again you need something sweet and easy, and that's where Love & Gelato is the perfect read.
The overall story arc isn't very hard to deduce. Even still, I won't spoil it for you. The setting of Tuscany and Florence was beautifully described in this book, however, and the setting of Howard's home and Lina's new residence was interesting and fun. The author gave us great glimpses of the countryside and the city. It was a lovely transportation.
The characters are all sweet, if a little predictable. I must say that the relationship between our lead, Lina, and her new dad, Howard, was a far more sweet and compelling story than the traditional love story that plays out in the book. I wish we had more time with these two together or at least an epilogue skipping into the future.
As for the journal and journey that leads Lina through the book...it was a little flimsy, plot wise. She reads it slowly because, why exactly? We're given a reason, but really, it's just silly that she didn't sit down and read all the answers that she clearly wanted and was right in her hands. She goes in search of names and dates like a little detective but doesn't utilize her greatest asset? It irked me.
Overall this was a very sweet book, though heavier than I thought it would be. I expected a little more levity, some humorous happenstances...and maybe a little more gelato. But really that's because I think there can never be too much Gelato!