Book Review: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Rating: ★★★

Spoiler-Free Review

When I first started to read Love and Gelato and realized it was set in Italy, I’ve got to admit, I was a bit hesitant to continue reading.

It reminded me a lot of Kisses and Croissants, which, while not a bad book, made me begin to realize that I didn’t love cheesy romance novels set in Europe. Still, I continued to read it because I typically like to finish books before judging them, and let me tell you–I completely binge read the rest of the book.

This book is about Lina, an American seventeen-year-old girl who’s sent off to Italy following her mother’s death to live with her father, who she never really knew about. She befriends Ren, who lives nearby, through whom she meets many of her other classmates, and as you can probably guess by the title, romance ensues. Amidst getting used to this foreign country, she also learns about the mysterious months her mother had spent in Italy many years ago before Lina was born.

This was honestly such a feel-good read. The characters were rather straight forward–though definitely touching–and the plot was pretty simple, but the development of the relationships (whether between family, friends, or otherwise) added a level of depth and charm to the book. Also, I feel like the romance was pretty predictable and even a bit convenient at times, but that didn’t make it any less cute. 🙂

What I loved most about this book, though, was its element of mystery. Throughout the story, Lina’s trying to learn about who her mother was, what had happened when she’d lived in Italy, and most importantly, why her mother chose to return to the States and leave behind her blissful days in Italy. If I’m being honest, I loved reading about this mysterious history more than I did Lina’s storyline, and I’m pretty sure I even shed a few tears for the former. I don’t know if that technically makes the main plot line “bad,” so I guess make of this what you will?

All in all, if you’re looking for a book to binge read (even as a slow reader!) and you don’t mind cheesy YA romances, this is definitely a book to keep on your radar. Personally, it wasn’t my favorite romance novel ever, but it was still worth the read and I’d definitely consider picking up Love and Luck and Love and Olives one day.

This is a new chapter. My life. And I’m going to run at it with arms outstretched. Anything else would be a waste.

Evans Welch, Love and Gelato

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