Published by Simon Pulse on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
“I made the wrong choice.”
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 love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
I really, really, really enjoyed this story. It was the perfect young adult contemporary and exactly what I needed at this time. It’s a story about a girl named Lina who moves to Italy to live with her father for the summer after her mom dies. She is given a journal that her mom wrote about the time she spent in Italy and Lina goes on a bunch of adventures and visits the same spots her mom did. Of course there are a bunch of secrets within that journal and it’s a roller coaster of a journey!
The relationship between Ren & Lina is simply adorable! They had an adorable meet-cute:
He nodded, then put his headphones back on.
Guess that was my cue.
“Great to meet you, mysterious Italian-American. Guess I’ll see you around.”
I blushed. Apparently Lorenzo had sonic hearing. “Nice to meet you, Lo-ren–” I tried to repeat his name but got stuck on the second syllable. He’d made this rolling sound with the R that my tongue refused to do.
“Sorry, I can’t say it right.”
“That’s okay. I go by ‘Ren’ anyway.” He grinned. “Or ‘mysterious Italian-American,’ that works too.”
Case in point…adorable! But their relationship is more than just adorable. They start off as being really good friends and they go on a bunch of adventures around Italy to help figure out where Lina came from and about her mother’s time spent in Italy. They had some rocky moments too. So, I really appreciated that they had a relatable kind of relationship. I really loved their relationship and I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing more of them two!
The relationship between Lina and her father, Howard, is sweet and I definitely shed a few tears at the end of the book when they were talking because it was just so damn sweet. It made me wish that my father was still around so I could have a better relationship with him. They have genuine respect for each other and truly care for one another even without having known each other for very long. And I love that he’s actually present within the story!
If you’re in the mood for a journey across Florence, Italy, or if you want an adorable romance, or the adventure of dealing with grief and how to move on and move forward with what life hands you, then I think you should give Love & Gelato a try. Not only will it give you some feels, but it provides a great experience and it will definitely make you want to visit Italy and have some real Italian pizza and lots of gelato! (This preggo wants lots of both! 🙂 )