title: Love and Gelato
author: Jenna Evans Welch
category/genre: YA contemporary romance
LOVE AND GELATO is perfect for fans of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and MAMMA MIA. Jenna Evans Welch takes readers on a journey about discovering one’s family and true love while exploring the gems of Italy!
I was in such a reading slump before I picked up this book on a whim. LOVE AND GELATO has been on my TBR for the longest time, so I decided to finally read it. I instantly fell in love with the mystery of Lina’s father that intertwined perfectly with romance. Jenna sprinkled journal entries throughout the book that kept the intrigue growing. So many times I screamed at the book to let me keep reading Lina’s mom’s journal before returning to Lina’s story. The journal entries truly brought to life Lina’s mom’s journey through Italy, and those entries brought my rating up to a five-star rating. I fell in love with both characters simultaneously.
Lina’s final love interest became quite obvious as soon as the second “love triangle” character was introduced. As Lina’s mom’s journal developed, the ending became quite clear. I still love how the romance was messy, though. Nothing was easily accepted as “Oh my gosh, I’m so in love with you! Of course we would date.” No, the romance was handled really well for allowing each character to have their space to acknowledge their feelings before discussing them with each other. I found the romance to be really respectable for Lina as well as her mother. I found it interesting how Lina’s mother explained truly being in love towards the end of the book. I hope to one day have a love similar to this book. Crazy? Perhaps.
I do wish the characters had more depth to them. I love a good flawed character, but most of these characters felt one-dimensional. The easy characters helped me fly through this book, but the book needed to be more character-driven than plot-driven. I am pumped Addie gets a book in the sequel LOVE AND LUCK, but I needed more from Ren and Thomas and Howard. Basically the men needed more depth for me to truly fall in love with them.
Also, the timeline seemed insane to me. While I’ve never experienced jet lag, I could not imagine being able to solve the entire mystery of who my father is within five days after landing in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. I kept moving the timeline throughout the entire summer in my mind before timeline tags happened saying it was only a night or morning since an event occurred. I think extending the plot to occur over an entire summer would have made more sense.
Overall, I am excited to read the rest of the series. Basically, I’ll be traveling this quarantined summer through Jenna Evans Welch’s books.
What’s your favorite travel book? Do you have any places you would love to travel to in the next decade? Let me know in the comments!