Love & Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch
“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.
Love & Gelato was a very fun, fast read. First off, I absolutely loved the setting! Discovering a taste of Italy through the novel really added to the culture and structure, and I’m so glad that it took place there! I also liked how the author primarily focused on the good in Lina’s life, but there was also the dark undertone that set the mood and pace of the story. In addition, I thought that the journal entries from Lina’s mother’s diary was a very nice touch. We follow Lina’s mother adventure in Italy, in addition to the one our main character is having present-day. However, I did have two problems with the story, the first being the fact that our characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. I really enjoy having a character who seems real, and with this story I didn’t have that feeling with either our main character or love interest. The other setback from five stars was the fact that sometimes the writing seemed a little average, but then other occasions it was very meaningful! I absolutely loved the passages that had this depth to them.
Overall, Love & Gelato was a very enjoyable read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a fun contemporary with ad bit of a darker mood. I gave it 3/5 stars.