There is nothing better than the perfect ice cream cone on a hot summer day. There is also nothing more perfect than a sweet summer read to take you to exotic places like Italy which is exactly what Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch did for me. This book is a YA book but really a must read for adults as well. It is a beautifully written love story wrapped in blanket of soul searching and coming of age. Welch makes a wonderful debut with this book.
Love and Gelato centers around Lina (Caroline). After losing her mother she is sent off to Tuscany, Italy to stay with her father Howard- her mother’s last wish. Howard manages a cemetery in Italy, not the job that Lina thought her absentee father would have. He is excited she is here and does everything to get her settled as she is anxious to go home. After receiving a journal that her mother once owned, Lina starts to uncover things about her mother’s past she never knew. As Lina starts to learn more about her Mom she also meets a young man, Ren who befriends her and introduces her to his circle of friends. Lina starts to adjust to the Italian life and really confides and trusts Ren as does he. The journal leads Lina and Ren on an adventure through the streets of Italy. What Lina thought she knew about her past starts to unfold. She starts to see everything is not what it seems and that Italy is the heart of the world where you can really find true love.
For this being Welch’s first novel I was shocked. The writing and plot was superb. I can’t say enough good things about this book. The story was relatable for any age as it deals with coming of age, young love, death and friendships- something we have all been through. The characters were so unique yet their relationships were woven together so seamlessly. Lina is the girl that you will root for until the end and come to love. Grab your passport and take this trip to Italy- you literally will feel transported. Love and Gelato is the perfect refreshing, sweet treat for your next trip to the beach!
*Thanks to Simon Teen for sending a review copy to Bliss, Beauty and Books