Review: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

loveandgelato11

“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.

PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse

PAGES: 389

~*~*~*~*~

Upon a first glance, this novel sounds like my future autobiography. Alas, it is not. Really disappointing.

Everyone needs a good summer read. Qualifications for a good summer read (in no particular order):

  1. Must look good next to actual sand. On a beach. In the middle of some exotic location.
  2. Keep your mind occupied so you don’t think about the pile of stress you usually carry on your shoulders or the overwhelming debt you still owe to someone… somewhere.
  3. Enjoyable characters. Engaging plot. Exciting twists and turns. Effortless delivery. Basically, a lot of “E” words. Sorry not sorry.

Love and Gelato qualifies as a good summer read.MORAL RATING:

PG: Kissing yo (!!!!)

THE GOOD:

This novel is Sarah Dessen-esque in the amount of brain power it requires to read, and I mean that in the most positive way. It puts on no airs and does not aim to be anything other than a pleasant novel with cute characters and a sweet romance.

After Lina’s mother’s passing, Lina seems to struggle with her own sense of identity. What better way to sort that out than to be shipped across the pond to a father you’ve never met? I felt for the poor girl and I was rooting for her journey of self-discovery to succeed. I did have to keep in mind that she had been shipped off to Italy. Italy. Can that ever really be a bad thing? I think not.

Ren was a likeable character with a sweet, mushy center. He almost caused a couple toothaches, he was that sweet. Loved him.

THE BAD:

The only bad aspect is that I found this novel a little too predictable. This did not altogether detract from my reading experience, though. It is what it is!

SOUNDTRACK:

Erlend Øye is a babe. Not quite sure how this Kings of Convenience member of Norwegian blood came to be singing in Italian on a solo career move, but I won’t question it when it sounds like this. In Italian, “la prima estate” means “the first summer”. Fitting for a book about summer romance in Italy, yeah? Have a listen. And fall in love.

MY VERDICT:

Overall, I’d give Welch’s novel 3/5 hearts. While it likely was not one of my top ten of 2017, it was a fun, delightful summer read!

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