Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch | Book Review

Carolina, or better known as Lina, just lost her mom to cancer. Her mother’s last wish was for Lina to go to Italy and stay with Howard, a man her mother knew a long time ago. At first, Lina would rather be anywhere than in Italy. That is until she receives a journal from her mother with the story of her mother’s own personal journey in Italy 17 years ago. Lina and Ren, a boy who has happily agreed to show Lina around Italy, go on an adventure with this journal to uncover her mother’s hidden secrets. Lina is in for more than just a summer vacation in Italy. This journey is about to change her life.

I feel like I say this with every book I review, but this book was sooo good. I have had this book on my bookshelf for well over a year, and I only just now picked it up. Lina has just lost her mom and has been forced into a new country. Personally, Lina handled the situation a lot better than I ever could. The way this book was written was also so amazing. It is in first person so as Lina is reading through this journal and unlocking all of these secrets, you are too. You are experiencing everything - the emotions, the secrets, and the heartaches along side Lina. Just the way the story was told is probably one of my favorite aspects of this book.

All of the characters had wild personalities, so there was never a dull moment. They never do get themselves into trouble, but they are not looking to fit in with everyone else. I loved Lina and Ren. They each had their own flaws and insecurities, but that is what made them feel more human. Ren really tries helps Lina try to figure out all of the mysteries the journal held. And the chemistry between these two characters is obvious. There were some cheesy moments, but those moments really made the book great.

There was only two things I didn’t like about this book, Mimi and the ending. I know Mimi is the villain (or one of the villains) in the story so you’re not really supposed to like her, but I really really really did not like her. She was very manipulative and thought very highly of herself. She also had some jealousy and anger issues. Now, the ending of the book. I got to the last 50 pages and thought there was so much that needed to be answer and possibly not enough pages left. I wish this book would never have ended because of how great, but I especially wished for one last chapter. I get that the ending held a happy ending, but it was mostly a resolution to a fight between Lina and Ren. I wish there had been an extra chapter or an epilogue to explain what happens next for everyone rather than leaving us with our own imaginations to figure that part out. How are you going to just leave me with them saying I love you and making up and not tell me anything that happens afterwards? Especially when their fight lasted a good 80 pages. Still, I cannot be too mad because I did really like these characters and they deserved their happy ending.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a YA contemporary or a romantic, and adventure packed, summer read. This book really was such a fun journey. And, by the end of this book, I was ready to explore new places and get out of my comfort zone a bit.