Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 3,2016
Summary: 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 from Lina 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: A perfect summer contemporary with so much heart, adventure & mystery that keeps you turning the page
Going into this novel, essentially blind, w/ only a basic idea of the premise (Italy, Lina meets Ren, Summer) I was very happy I read this!
What surprised me was the relationship between Ren/Lina!
Because not only did I come to love Lina’s narrative, but it was also fun being in her POV to uncover the mystery of who her mother was!
As for plot, I loved how it intertwined Lina’s mothers past w the present story through a journal!
Not only does Lina uncover more about her mother than she ever knew, but she comes to know more about who her biological father was & how her mother’s past led to Lina to where she is now!
I’ve never been to Italy & have ALWAYS wanted to go, but from the writing-style/ descriptions I truly felt I was there!
The characters all felt so real and I truly felt I was there w/ Lina on her adventure!!
I loved Ren& Lina’s friendship! + I loved the scene when they first met ❤ ❤ While it was obvious there would be a relationship, it progressed very slowly and really took time to develop!
As for setting, when she first gets to Italy I could picture everything in my mind! (The gelato, buildings, food, sights, etc.) The author does a wonderful job at capturing the atmosphere of Italy!
When I came to learn who Lina’s father was, I was surprised! But it was great to see Lina/Ren discover it & track him down! I was heartbroken for Lina when he was shown to be such an awful person!
But it was wonderful to see even though Howard, who is revealed to be the long-time crush of Lina’s Mother, he tried his best from when he is first introduced to make Lina feel at home/welcome!
By the end, Lina comes to learn all the secrets her mother kept, but comes to understand why & slowly but surely she can move on!
I loved how Ren/Lina came together in the end after their short falling out! (She mentions staying in Italy, so maybe there could be potential for a sequel?? If so I would love to read more from Lina’s POV about her adventures in Italy!!) ❤ ❤
Overall this book, while it had its heartbreaking moments, Lina as a narrator made this story such a treat!
Reading from her POV was not only hilarious at times but also heartwarming and it was wonderful to join her on her adventures in Italy!
A deep contemporary with wonderful characters & just enough mystery and romance to put a smile on your face!