Love and Gelato is a book I wanted to read after reading the synopsis and thinking that sounds cute. Lina is a girl who loses her mom but honors her mothers dying wish that she go to Italy and spend the summer with her father, who she's never met. She doesn't want to be there and can't wait for the summer to be over- but her father turns out to not be so bad, and she's also given a journal that belonged to her mother. The journal of course has her mothers recollections of her time in Italy, including her falling in love with Howard. Lina can only assume her mother left her the journal so she could, in a sense, relive her mother's journey- and in the process find out about her own beginnings.
I liked Lina and thought she was terrific- she's realistic and funny and I could feel for her as she made sense of her mothers emerging story and her conflicted feelings towards Howard. He's a pretty good character too, there's a lot of ambiguity as to what he knows (turns out her mothers relationship was more complicated than it would seem) and I loved seeing the relationship between him and Lina develop. There's also Ren, the boy she meets while out running, and the two of them strike up an immediate friendship. I really liked their banter and the way they were when they were together- there's clearly something more than friendship going on there, but it's complicated by the fact that he has someone else and so, potentially, does Lina when she meets this guy who asks her out.
I want to stress though this is not your usual love triangle. Rather it's not a love triangle at all- or at least I didn't see it that way. It's more like that realistic feeling when you really like someone and really have a connection, but for whatever reason you're not together and there are other relationships involved. It's spoilery really to say more, so I'll just leave it by saying it all works. I loved the relationships in this book, they worked for me and it felt different than most YA relationships.
The other thing I need to mention is this book is about Italy, as well. Howard lives in Florence and the book is full of references to real places, piazzas and secret bakeries and gelato, and the author clearly knows the area. There's two things I liked about this book- the relationships and the setting. It was fun to experience Tuscany in a vicarious way and everything from details about the food, to little things about everyday life, just added to the ambience.
The only drawback for me here was a bit of a slow start. And that might just be me, because it doesn't really start slow per se- Lina's in Italy right off the bat- but it took me a few chapters to get into it. Once I did though I had a lot of fun. The other minor issue is the journal- it's probably not spoilery to say the journal holds lots of secrets, and in order to pace the story Lina reads it bits at a time. I think I would have read the whole thing and gotten the whole story, why drag it out? But it works because the story is worth the wait, and maybe it's realistic the way Lina felt like she could only take the story in pieces at a time. I don't know- regardless this was a very good read, and a feel good one at that.
That cover is ridiculously delicious, YUM! I am so curious about your description of the love triangle -- I think it makes it sound like a realistic love triangle, which rarely happens these days!ReplyDelete
The cover for this one keeps catching my eye but I couldn't decide if I actually wanted to read it or not. Your review has swayed me though and I think I'm going to give it a shot. I usually shy away from books that deal with love triangles because I never find them convincing, but the way you've described this one, it sounds like a triangle I could go along with. Great review!ReplyDelete
I love the cover of this one. Minimalistic and adorable. This isn't the usual type of YA book I would pick up but I really am going to have to try it.ReplyDelete
This one looks so cute. Definitely one I'm looking forward to someday reading. I got it earlier this year, so it's on my shelf. Now I just need to read it. Glad you enjoyed.ReplyDelete
Is it weird that your reason for picking this up is the same reason I've stayed away? Lol. Though, I could probably use a little fluff read after what I just finished reading.ReplyDelete
I just looove the title and the cover of this one so much, it's adorable!ReplyDelete
I agree with you completely! I did enjoy the relationships in this one, and ITALY. I mean, let's be real, I came for Italy, and wasn't disappointed. I do agree with your assessment on the not-a-love-triangle too. Because it really wasn't. More of a... love complication. I liked Howard, and I liked Ren too. I also agree- I would have NEVER been able to put the damn journal down. EVER. So while I do agree that it made sense like, so the plot could move at a certain speed, yeah, totally unrealistic that she'd be like "yeah, I'll just finish later". Great review, glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
Love and Gelato sounds like a great relationship book -- and I love the title. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Just the Italian setting makes me want to read this! Swoon! You do make an excellent case for the characters and the relationships too. I know what you mean: it wasn't a typical triangle, just complicated relationships that really do happen in real life! Awesome review^^ReplyDelete
I've had this book on my TBR for way too long. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Hopefully I can get to it soon!ReplyDelete
This does sound good. If I see it on ebook special, I will pick it up. Thanks for tne review. :)ReplyDelete