REVIEW: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

by - 3:41 PM

“Lina, think. You’re alone in a foreign country, a certifiable giant has just stepped forward as your father, and your new home could be the setting for a zombie apocalypse movie. Do something.”

Back of the book blurb:

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.

A message in a bottle:

Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 390
ISBN: 9781481432542

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

(I’ll explain the name change at the very end…)

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is a novel that will keep you on your toes while simultaneously make you fall in love with its characters and setting. I am such a fangirl for this book, it’s actually ridiculous.

I fell in love right from the beginning of Love & Gelato but when its mentioned that the protagonist, Lina, and her best friend, Addie had wrecked into a fire hydrant while jamming out to old school Britney Spears, I knew this book would just absolutely destroy me. And it did.

Basically, Lina’s mother has recently passed away and finds out that her father has been living in Italy her entire life and Lina’s mother makes Lina promise that she’ll at least spend the summer with him. Lina reluctantly agrees. What happens during that summer will change her entire outlook on life and her life itself.

“I went into town early this morning and your dad asked me to pick these up for you. He said your room was missing flowers and that violets were your mother’s favorite.”

            Love & Gelato explores many important issues, but one of my favorite’s that the novel is based around is grief and losing a parent. Welch handles these issues so elegantly and with such grace that there were a few parts in the novel that actually made me cry because I could literally feel what Lina was feeling and going through what she was going through. Welch is such a strong writer in that regard. Throughout Love & Gelato, I was overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling… because Welch was making me feel these things through her characters, her descriptions. You can absolutely tell how much Welch enjoyed Italy because the absolute love and adoration for the country is so evident in her words. And it was breathtaking.

“I promise I’m normally boring.”
“I doubt that.”

            Our protagonist, Lina, was exciting, so funny, and completely and utterly lovable. Her voice was so witty. And I love that no matter how hard she tried, Italy sucked her in and made her fall in love. Lina is a character you will root for until the end. And you will definitely come back to her time and time again when you need a good laugh or just to smile.

            I absolutely loved the journal entries. It was very reminiscent of Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes without, like, Lina’s mother writing the journal knowing what would happen. What I’m trying to say is that I love stories about foreign countries, foreign boys, and whimsical adventures, and getting our protagonists out of their comfort zone. The pace was fast and the adventure was thrilling. I also love how Lina’s mother, Hadley, and Lina sound so much alike at the same age. It’s actually precious.

“I know. I always thought it was weird that I live so close to a cemetery. And then I met someone who lives in a cemetery.”

            Oh, Ren. The half-Italian boy that Lina meets so soon is such an amazing addition to Love & Gelato. Ren is so sweet, caring, fun, and such a boy. The relationship that he and Lina have is authentic and sizzling with chemistry. I was rooting for them as soon as they met, even when Lina met the disturbingly handsome Thomas. And what’s better than falling in love in a foreign country that is so beautiful it hurts? I don’t think anything is better than that. Maybe gelato.

“You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay, it’s for the same two things.”
“Love and gelato.”

            Trust me, you want to pick up Love & Gelato because it’s a book that will make you feel good, make you want to fall in love, and definitely make you want some damn gelato. Jenna Evans Welch… thank you. This book captured my heart and hasn’t let it go.

Happy Reading!
The Wandereader

P.S. If you’re wondering why I had to change my domain name and such, there was a trademark on Cosmic Reads already and the owner contacted me about it… so I had to change it. LOL. Nothing too dramatic. But, yeah, I am now Wandereader!

You May Also Like