After spending the last couple of weeks reading Historical Fiction, I felt like it was time for me to read something lighter. As I went through my to-read list, Love & Gelato‘s cover caught my eye. It had been on my list for the last few months, and after reading the synopsis, I thought it would be the perfect book to fit the mood I was in.
I have never finished an audiobook so quickly! From the minute I began listening to Love & Gelato, I felt myself teleport into the world that Jenny Evans Welch had created. Lina, the protagonist, became a person I knew rather than a fictional character who only lives within the pages of a book. As I listened to each word through my headphones, all the heaviness I had been feeling evaporated, and warmth filled my body. Honestly, I couldn’t stop smiling the entire day as I listened to the 8+ hours of this book, though there were moments I got frustrated at Lina for traipsing around Italy when the answers were probably sitting in her lap!
Unless you’ve already read Love & Gelato you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, so let me write you a brief summary about the unexpected journey Lina embarks on in the pages of this novel:
After losing her mother, Lina feels like her life would never be the same. However, her mother’s dying wish was for her to travel to Italy to meet the father for the first time, forcing her to leave the town she grew up in and travel to a country that was always close to her mother’s heart. Unsure about what to expect, and in a state of emotional darkness, all Lina wants to do was be home with her best friend, Addie. Not understanding why her mother wanted her to meet the man who had been absent her entire life; still, nothing could’ve prepared Lina for the truth that awaited her across the ocean.
Surrounded by the beauty of Florence, Italy, Lina’s world is turned upside down after receiving one of her mother’s old journals, relaying the time she studied in Italy after graduating high school. Lina’s mother made unforgettable memories during her time in Italy, though she returned home heartbroken and harboring a secret that she would take to the grave.
Wanting to feel close to her mom and fueled with a desire to learn the truth about her past, Lina follows in her mother’s footsteps to get the answers she’s looking for. With the help of her new and very handsome friend Ren, Lina sets out on an adventure that will open Pandora’s Box. The secrets she uncovers are life-changing, causing Lina to discover a whole new side of herself that she didn’t know existed. Will the truth be what she wants to hear, or will it only cause her to have more questions about her identity?
Love & Gelato is a heart-warming story about self-discovery and love that leaves you wanting more. The characters are relatable, and the story is one to remember. Quickly becoming a new favorite, I will most certainly be reading or listening to this book again! I loved every second of Love & Gelato, minus my small frustrations, and was so pleased to find this clean, romantic young adult novel. This book gave me a Kasie West (another fantastic YA author) feel, pulling me in with every word and not letting me go until the narrator informed me that I had reached the end.
If you’re a sucker of teen romance and relish a story that takes you to a foreign country, like Italy, then you are going to fall head over heels for Love & Gelato. The narrative was original; the writing was enchanting, and reading the novel felt like I’d taken my own vacation to Italy. Lina’s story will remain with me for a long time, and whenever I need a pick-me-up book, Love & Gelato is going to be the first place I go!
I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for some gelato, care to join me?
“Turns out there’s a reason they call it falling in love, because when it happens – really happens – that’s exactly how it feels. There’s no doing or trying, you just let go and hope that someone’s going to be there to catch you.”
― Love & Gelato