A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping New York Times bestseller filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Kirkus Reviews called Love & Gelato “a sure bet for fans of romance fiction,” while VOYA said readers “will find it difficult to put this book down.” Readers are about to discover a new place, a new romance, and a new talent.
Synopsis from Amazon
In the book, we follow sixteen year old Lina, who is dealing with the passing of her single mother. However, her mom’s dying wish is for her to move to Italy and get to know her estranged father, Howard. I could understand Lina’s frustration about the prospect of moving all the way to to Italy, and leaving behind her friends and loved ones. Her mother just died, and now she has to say goodbye to the people she’s known for years.
At first, Lina took out her frustration and grief on Howard. Sure, he wasn’t around for years, but you could tell right away that it wasn’t his choice. Also, you could instantly tell that there was more to her mother and Howard’s story. As a main character, Lina frustrated me, because she seemed completely clueless about Italy. Actually, she just seemed clueless in general.
A big part of the story is that Lina is given her mother’s old journal, which helps her see who her mother was before she had Lina. We learned a lot about her late mom, since she was almost like a second main character. It was interesting to see Lina discover a new side of her, and find out about her secret college romance.
There weren’t many other characters, at least not ones we got to know. There is Howard, and his co-workers, Sonia as well as Ren, who is Lina’s love interest. Honestly, Lina and Ren’s romance wasn’t a major part of the story, since it focused more on her mom’s life, and Lina trying to piece together her mom’s past in Italy.
Actually, the story focused a lot more on her mother’s love life, which I found to be way more interesting. I want to note that there are a few minor characters, such as Ren’s friends, Lina’s mom’s college friends, plus her mothers stuck-up ex-boyfriend that all play small parts in the story.
The ending was nice, and wrapped things up well, but there was still a slight twist, albeit one that was very easy to figure out. Still, I liked that Lina started to trust Howard more, and realized that her mother wanted to share all her secrets with him as well. But, I did think the outcome of her and Ren’s romance was a little too intense for teenagers.
A con was that being in Italy wasn’t a huge part in the book. There were some moments showcasing different places in Italy, and a lot of talk about gelato, but, I wish the author described the beauty of the country more. I wanted to feel like I was in Italy, and the book didn’t do that for me.
Overall, the writing was fine, and the story was well done. It isn’t my favorite contemporary – especially since the plot was fairly slow moving. I wouldn’t read it again, but it wasn’t a disappointing read.
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Until The Next Chapter,