REVIEW: LOVE & GELATO

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Title: Love & Gelato
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Where I Got It: Strand Book Store // Buy it here: Amazon 
Recommend: Yes
Rating: 3/5


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 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 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 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.




MY THOUGHTS

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is a story that follows Lina spending her first week under the Tuscan sun after her mother died. Her mother had Pancreatic cancer. When she died, Lina's mother sent her off to Florence, Italy to spend the summer for what she thought was to discover that same magic that she felt living in Florence all those years ago. Lina's mother also wanted Lina to get to know someone she held dear to her heart for so many years. Her mother, Hadley, had sent a journal she used while living in Italy to Lina to read while she stayed in Florence or so she thought. The story of the journal is interesting and so are the things that occur due to what's in it. Did I mention that Lina is staying in a cemetery? Yup! It's a memorial for fallen American soldiers during World War II. 

After the first night of her stay in Florence, Lina meets a guy around her age named Lorenzo or Ren for short. He's basically her tour guide and friend through it all. He's half Italian and half American. According to Lina, he's either Italian or American when it's convenient. She tells him about the journal and they find themselves trying to figure out the mystery of her mother's past. Who was Hadley really? Hadley spilled her heart out on the pages. Anyone who reads her journal would be drawn into living life vicariously through Hadley's words. 

Ren and Lina go on this journey together. They discover a lot about each other, themselves, and the truth about Hadley, Lina's mom. In general, Love & Gelato is a lovely story.


So what do I really think?

The story itself is touching. It draws you in and gives you a serious case of FOMO. Believe me, you'll want to swim in gelato by the time the book is done. What bothered me the most is how clueless Lina is. I understand she didn't know about certain things before her mom died, but the girl is just clueless in general. Her best friend from back home was praising Lina for wanting to travel the world before her mom got sick. She mentioned that Italy was one of those places. For someone who wanted to visit Italy, isn't gelato a basic thing to know about the country? Lina also has these theories about her mom that get dumber and dumber every time and each time she realizes it. She also jumps to conclusions every moment of the story and it starts to get annoying after awhile.

There are many parts of the story that were too predictable like the first couple of chapters and the ending. I did enjoy other parts that kept me guessing, but that only came from her mom's journal, not Lina. The journal made the story. 

Typos are a turnoff and this book had some. I didn't include the native Italian speakers speaking English around Lina. That part is understandable, but the rest just bothers more than it should have. I know I'm not the only one.

Overall, I give this book three stars. Although I've given this book three stars, I recommend this book. It's a light, fun read. Despite all I said, I enjoyed it. The adventure kept me reading and so did want to know what really happened with her mom and her mysterious ex-boyfriend X. 

For all the reasons above, I am giving Love & Gelato three stars. Although it is a lovely read and I couldn't put the book down, there are still things that I couldn't forgive or get over that happened within the story. 




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