Hello beautiful! Today I’m finally getting around to reviewing a book I’ve read and reread at least five times: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. I’m not sure I can accurately express all my feelings about this story, but I’m sure going to try. I’ll be reviewing the second book soon as well in celebration of the third book’s release in November.
Without further ado, here’s my review!
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
First up is Lina, our wonderful protagonist. At the very beginning of the book, we learn that her mother has recently died and she now has to travel to Italy to live with her father, who she has never met. I thought Lina’s grieving process felt very realistic, as well as her emotional state throughout the book. Even as she begins to heal, she is still very raw, and that ache for her mother is always there. Her character is relatable and funny, and I loved watching her grow over the course of the book. She grows closer to her mother even after she is gone and comes to realize that she can have a new life while still remaining connected to her family.
The cast of supporting characters is colorful and vibrant. They each have a distinct personality and play different roles in Lina’s development. I loved reading about their interactions. Most of the teenage characters attend a very small private school, and they all know one another well. Their relationships are very relatable for me specifically because I go to a tiny private school and everyone in my class is close. We’ve known each other forever, and I could see the similarities between our lives and the lives of the characters.
I loved that this story, while a romance, is about family first. The main plot is about Lina, her mom, and her history, not her romantic relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the romance too, but I liked the fact that it was balanced. The romance was cute, and imperfect, and fun. The two characters were there for one another and actually had interactions where they got to know each other. I find too many cases of insta-love in YA, so it was wonderful to read about two characters really learning about the other person and forming a friendship before starting to date.
There were no major plot holes, the pacing was even, and everything flowed really well. Nothing felt unbelievable or out of place.
The Italian setting was absolutely wonderful, and I loved the descriptions of Florence and the American cemetery. This book gave me wanderlust and a desperate need for some real Italian gelato.
I’m trying not to give spoilers, but it was good. So good. Everything was tied up neatly, and the ending was satisfying.
The writing is easy to read and follow. Some moments are very emotional and beautiful. It’s not fantastic, exceptionally great writing, but it’s fun and fits the tone of the story.
Teenage drinking, one instance of sexual harassment, mention of a woman getting pregnant outside of marriage. Nothing major or overly concerning.
Aesthetic and Colors
What’s this section, you may ask? I’m adding more to my book reviews! This is going to be my description of this book’s vibe and my recommendations for the best time/place to read it.
Love and Gelato is summery and light. I read it for the first time by the beach with my family. The story has a sunset-yellow and dark purple-blue vibe in my mind, like evening setting over the city. I recommend it as a fluffy read for lazy summer days or a pick-me-up when you’re down. It’s also a good book for travel.
Another new section! Yay!
You can’t read this book and not eat gelato. It’s a sin. Make sure you’re reading close to a gelato place or have a good recipe on hand, because you are going to be craving it the whole time.
I love this series with my whole heart, and give this book a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. It never fails to cheer me up but isn’t all rainbows and sunshine either. Oddly enough, the books seem to be following my own travel experiences. This one takes place in Italy (shockingly enough), which was one of the first overseas countries I visited, the second takes place in Ireland, the first country I visited, and the third, which comes out in November, is in Greece, which I visited in the same trip as Italy. It’s nostalgic for me to re-visit these places and memories with Welch’s books, and I can’t wait to read the new one 🙂
Have you read Love and Gelato? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Have an adventurous day 🙂