Love and Gelato
By: Jenna Evans Welch
Young Adult, Romance
Published: May 2, 2017
From the Cover:
A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.
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 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.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a YA novel. I wanted to read something refreshing and that is exactly what this book gave me. I enjoyed the premise of the plot. I wish I had more time to travel the world, and I felt like I was right there in Florence, Italy while I was reading.
I thought the characters were well developed and there were some twists that I didn’t see coming. I felt like the romance between Lina and Res was believable considering their ages. One of my main worries about reading YA novels is that they can be filled with too many literary tropes. This was not the case here. There was no “insta-love” or female that needed saving. I will admit I was a little concerned when I first started reading that I might not *jive* with the characters or the plot. Those concerns were unnecessary, thankfully. Sometimes I felt like Lina’s actions and dialogues were a little immature, but that just might be coming from me being far removed from the high school days.
I think this is a book that would be a good beach or lazy weekend read. It has just the right amount of light romance and feel-good storylines that will add a refreshing kick to your reading list. I will say this book might be better for those on the younger end of the reading spectrum as if you are looking for a mature romance story, this book might leave you disappointed. I think I might just be right on that line.
Travel List This book made me hungry to travel. I’ve never been to Europe, but I have been to Asia and South America. One of my favorite things about going to foreign countries is tasting their cuisine. I felt like this book left me hungry for authentic Italian food (probably my favorite type of food). I’ve already added Italy to my travel shortlist.