Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve all had an excellent first week of September!It was a bit of a long week for me, so TGIF!
Today I have a review for my most recent read, Love & Gelato.
This was the first book that I read for the Fall Bookish Bingo that I am participating in, (you can view my original post and TBR here) and it fulfills the prompt of reading a books set in another country.
I also read this book for #TheReadingQuest for the bonus challenge of Open World (read whatever you want). This book added 10XP to my pre-existing 40XP, totaling my at a whopping 50XP! This means that I have now made it to Level 2, yay! I also earned 38Hp since it was 389 pages. When added to my existing 114HP, I am at a total of 152HP!
And now, on with the review…
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Genre: Young Adult -Contemporary, Romance, Travel
Publication Date: May 2016
My Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
Read September 2017
“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.
I feel as though I have been waiting an eternity to get my hands on a copy of this book, and finally, finally, finally, I did! The cover for the book is absolutely gorgeous (so simple but so cute), and the synopsis sounded incredible! I am a huge fan of contemporary romance, and since I don’t travel very much, I am obsessed with travel stories, so this sounded like the perfect fit for me!
Unfortunately, while I did enjoy the book quite a lot as a whole and it was a really fun story, it wasn’t all I had hoped it would be.
My largest issue was the plot buildup. The plot itself was fantastic, but I don’t think that it was written as well as it should have been. The book began with a great mystery aspect, and I was super intrigued to figure out what had happened to Lin’s mother while she was in Italy. However, as the story progressed, the answers that Lina was searching for all became pretty obvious to me. All of what I believe were supposed to be plot twists were very clear and not plot-twisty at all. It was irritating to see so many answers right in her face, and yet she was so clueless. What would have been a fun mystery that would be full of surprises that I would discover with Lina turned into me figuring everything out much too early and having to wait for Lina catch up with me.
In addition, I don’t understand why Lina read the journal so slowly. At first, it made sense that she was grieving and it was difficult for her to read it, but as the story went on, she realized that everything she thought was true was completely false. However, instead of rushing to get through the journal and find out the truth about her family and uncover the secrets that had been kept for her (as any normal person would do), she would put the journal away and just make assumptions. If it were me, I would have read through that journal as soon as I had my hands on it. How could you bear to know that what you had been told about your family was all a lie and not do anything to find out the truth? It just doesn’t make sense!
But I will say, I did love reading Lina’s mother’s journal and hearing about her time I in Italy. It was such a heartbreaking story, but her mother’s writing style was really fun!
I would also like to note that he writing of the book seemed a tiny bit juvenile for me, so I definitely feel like it’s a great contemporary romance for younger readers who are just entering the YA genre. I think that if the writing was a little more mature, it would have been more enjoyable.
I also didn’t really find the romance to be that strong. It felt much more like attraction than it did love. I could see a little chemistry between them, but their relationship jumped from friendship to lovers way to quickly for me and it felt a little unrealistic.
What I did love about the book, however, was the travel aspect!
I am Italian, but I have never been to Italy, even though I really want to go. While I not-to-patiently wait for that time to come, it was incredible to see Florence through Lina’s eyes and learn more about the country and my heritage! Lina visited a ton of really interesting places that were descried wonderfully, and make me want to visit the city even more! Everything sounded so beautiful!
There was also a lot of food in this book, which I really appreciated, because what can I say, I love to eat! Between the fresh bowls of pasta, the gelato, and the freshly baked pastries, including cannolies, one of my personal favorites, I was starving. It seriously gave me some major cravings for delicious food.
Although this book did have it’s flaws, it was still very enjoyable and I will be picking up her next book Love and Luck when it comes out next year. The synopsis sounds really interesting, I love travel books, and Ireland is a place that I know very little about, so I am excited to travel there with Addie and learn more about it! Plus, this was the author’s debut novel, so I am sure that her writing and plot building will improve as she continues to write books.
Have any of you read Love & Gelato?
What did you think of the plot buildup? Did you find it to be too predictable as well?
Is it on your TBR? What about Jenna Evans Welch’s next release Love and Luck?
Are any of you participating in the Fall Bookish Bingo? What about the Reading Challenge?
Let me know in the comments down below!
As always, thank you so much for joining me today! I hope you have an awesome weekend, and see you again soon!
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