Title- Love and Gelato
Author- Jenna Evans Welch
Series- the sequel is called Love and Luck and the third is Love and Olives
Genre- YA contemporary romance
POV- first person, past tense
Trope- coming of age, family drama
Steam level- 0/5 (clean)
Cover– Unclear for the genre. I guessed romance but not YA romance, so I was expecting them to be older.
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 Lina 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 Lina 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 mor
First chapter- So this is one of those YA books that is specifically meant for YA, especially the voice of the 15/16 year old daughter who has never met her father and now has to go live with him in Italy. Usually books that feel this young I can’t get through but I’m already intrigued enough with the strange cemetery house, why she never met her father, & the cliffhanger of her plotting to run away.
Character Development- Lina leans above love and how to live with pain
Best part- Ren’s character
What I would change- Page 292- that proclamation was a bit of a sudden stretch (which is why this is a good example of a younger YA novel)
Setting- Italy- perfection (Page 81- I love reading about settings that I have visited before.)
Prose- average, they flowed smoothly and nothing stood out as problematic
Character goals/motivations- Her goals change, which shows great character development. First she wants to return to the States, then she wants to explore Florence, then she wants to get this guy’s attention, then she wants to find out the mystery in her mother’s journal from the past.
Theme- hhhmmm, let me think I feel like it should hit me straight in the face, but it may be too cheesy like “let yourself fall in love,” or “your choices have consequences” or “no regrets.”
Vivid sensory descriptions- yes, Italy!
Dialogue- a strength of this novel. I love their teen jokes, very appropriate
Diversity- some Italians, some Americans
Ethics/morals- Professor X getting fired for messing around with his student. Mom not informing Lina about her past in person. The guy who “attacked” Lina at the bar was kind of like “oh it’s fine that happens all the time.”
Conflict/tension/obstacles- I don’t think she struggled enough with the mystery, but figuring out what happened was interesting. Her obstacles was self inflicted by waiting to read the rest to find the answers.
Ending- tied in a pretty bow and reader is satisfied
Pacing- extremely fast/easy read
Thoughts while reading-
Page 40- so … what ….now we’re questioning who her father is?
Page 63- omg I love Ren’s character
Page 73- this author does a fabulous job of making the characters extremely unique and stand out. They will definitely be memorable and not blend into other YA contemporary personalities
Page 130- not much is happening. High school party scenes are kind of overdone and I don’t card much about all the people she’s meeting. Plus, there’s a lot of mundane activities in general now and she doesn’t have a goal she’s trying to achieve. What is her purpose? What is she moving towards?
Page 354- usually I think this part is annoying buts it’s adorable!
Quote– “I life without love is a year without summer.”