We’ve been at the pool more than usual this week with swim lessons and it’s so fun to see my girl learning to swim. She is so brave.
Today I’m excited to share a review of Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. I have heard about this book from several friends on their blogs and on Instagram. Can I just say that Bookstagram is dangerous because it makes me want to own all the beautiful books in the world? Book budgets are hard to stick to! Anyways, this book looked so cute so I added it to my TBR. I was so excited when it came in at my library. This book was so sweet and fun!
I use more spoilers than usual in this review. If you haven’t read this book yet, wait until you do before you read on 🙂
- I love love love the Italian setting of this book! This is one of my favorite book settings that I’ve read in a while. It highlights everything exotic and awe-inspiring about Italy. I want to go back to Italy one day!
- I love the details in this novel. Details like The Dress, Ren’s gingerbread house, the cemetery at sunrise, the pictures Lina’s mother took, what Howard made for dinner at midnight. The details make this novel relatable and impossible not to love.
- I’ve already gotten on the waitlist for Welch’s next book Love and Luck at library. I’m excited to read it, especially because it’s set in Ireland.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is a beautiful story of love, loss, family. and redemption. Goodreads summarizes, “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 all sorts of reasons, but when they stay its for the same two things . . . .Love and gelato.”
“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 and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
The Italian setting is a dream. I have only been to Rome, but I would love to see more of Italy. This book made me want to explore and expect everything that Florence has. What a beautiful city! I love the scenes when Lina explores the city with Ren or Howard. The moments she spends at the Cathedral and at Ponte Vecchio are highlights of the book. Her first experience eating pizza is perfect. Her obsession with gelato after her first taste is my favorite. Exploring the city with Lina felt like I experiencing it for myself. Welch writes about the city with gorgeous description and flair. I could almost taste the gelato.
I enjoyed the plot of this novel. It’s fast paced and has a lot of fun twists. That makes it a quick read because you can’t help but keep turning the pages to see what happens. This novel isn’t just about love or loss. It’s about overcoming. Lina’s journey to the truth about her mom is heartbreaking and heartwarming. The journal entries are a fun way to piece together the mom’s story. I often wanted Lina to read more of the journal to get more details to piece together the mysteries of the past. Welch balances the two story lines (Lina’s story and her mom’s story) well and they connect for a great ending. The climax is surprising and intense and emotional. Just as a good climax should be. I was surprised by how it all comes together, and I love when a novel surprises me.
The love stories in this novel are sweet and a bit melancholy. There are many tender moments that made me sigh and smile. I admired the way Lina overcomes her grief and finds joy in her life again. I loved Ren and how good he is to Lina. I loved Howard for his reliable and sincere love. It takes the love interests a while to find each other, and even longer to sort out all the misunderstandings. Not everything works out perfectly. SPOILER: I was disappointed in her mom’s decision to leave behind love. It’s so sad!! I can understand why she did it. But I disagree with it. At the same time, that bit of not perfect happily ever after made the book even better for me.
This is just a sweet novel. It would be a fun beach read romance. And I love that it’s a clean romance. It’s definitely a YA novel. My teenage self would have been obsessed with this book for months. Can’t wait to read more from Jenna Evans Welch!
What are some of your favorite book settings?
And what are some of your favorite beach reads?