Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review: Love & Gelato

Hey everyone! I can't believe it's been six months since my last book review! My GoodReads goal is to read 25 books this year, and I am only up to four so far this year. Since it's Summer now, I've decided to get back into reading. For my graduation, my friend Eleanor bought me Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch and I was able to read this book in about five days because I was so captivated by it.

Synopsis from GoodReads:

“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 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:

To sum up the plot in a straightforward sense: Lina's mother dies in the first few pages of the book, but her mother had arranged for her to move to Italy to live with a father she had never met. The plot is more than that because she is given a journal that her mother wrote from when she spent a year in Italy when she was in her twenties. Lina meet Lorenzo (who goes by the name "Ren") who's mother is from Texas, but they live in Italy, and they become friends instantly. She also meets other teenagers from the International School who all have really interesting back stories, but none of them are fully Italian.

One of my problems with the book is that it all takes place within a week. Lina has a breakdown literally everyday about her mother, and she goes on this journey with Lorenzo after only knowing him for a day. Also her father, Howard, is super chill with the fact that the daughter he never met before literally three days before is going off with a boy he doesn't know on a motorcycle around Italy. Lina also causes so much drama for herself and the friend group that existed prior to arrival, and everyone just takes her side. I feel like the plot should've been over a long period of time because nothing too deep happens, and by the end of the book (literally six to seven days) after the beginning, she decides she loves Italy and wants to stay there. My other problem with the book is that the descriptions of the places in Florence seem like someone looked at a picture of Italy and has never went there before. An example is how she describes Florence, "The climb was totally worth it. The view of Florence was just as stunning as my mother had described it, a sea of red rooftops under an unblemished blue sky and soft green hills circling everything like a big happy hug" (pg.194). I don't know about you, but I didn't really get the feel of Florence from that passage or describing something as a hug. 

Lina did absolutely no research on Italy before moving there. An example (pg 166):
Lorenzo: "Hey do you want to get a gelato?"
Lina: "Whats' that?"
Lorenzo: "Gelato. Italian ice cream. The greatest thing that will ever happen to you."
If you're moving to a different country, wouldn't you do a little research on the food and culture. Don't even get me started about how she literally knows none of the sights of Florence, and asks Lorenzo everything.

Overall, I liked the book because it was a cute summer read and it made me want to go Italy (despite the subpar descriptions). I think it was a cute book and I got excited over the romances in the book, but I don't think it was a "literary masterpiece," but I do recommend if you want a light and cute read.

I usually do favorite quotes, but there weren't any that particularly stood out to me. 

Christina Madeleine

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1 comment

  1. Sounds like the ideal book to be sitting by the pool with on your summer holidays! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme



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