Love & Gelato: Book Review.
Even among readers, the way we appreciate a book differs from one to another. For me, it has been always about the way a book makes me feel. Some words just pierce right through my heart, tickle my emotions and take me across the sea to a whole new universe that I couldn’t have imagined before. And that, is exactly what this book has done to me. As part of my Summer Reading Challenge, I decided to start it with the 17th challenge aka Buccellati: A book set in Italy, the place where I currently I’m thriving to be. So here’s a review about this read.
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsh:
Plot: The story revolves around Carolina, a sixteen-year old who had just tragically lost her mother to cancer. Not only is Lina unable to move on after that, but she finds herself tied to a promise that she had made to her mother on her death bed: she had to fly to Italy to meet a father she had only known about few months ago and spend the whole summer with him. And as if being in an unusual city with a “stranger” wasn’t weird enough, now she has to be faced with the fact that she’ll spend the rest of the vacation living in a cemetery with only her mother’s journal to guide her around. As Lina starts reading the journal, she begins to unravel some of the secrets that had been kept from her about the life her mother had led in Italy.
Writing: The writing in this book is divided in two sections, one is where Lina is telling us the story and what happens during her trip to Italy, and one where we read straight off her mother’s journal. The diary pages made the storytelling of this book quite interesting and added a lot to the whole reading experience. As Lina was discovering the City of Florence, she’d go back by night to her room and reads few pages of the journal, where she’d find out how her mother had felt about that restaurant she had just been eating at, or about bridge she had just came back from. She’d also get new ideas about places to go sightseeing next or food she wished to taste.. Just like that, through getting to learn about this beautiful city, Lina was getting to know more about her mother and vise-versa. The writing style gave justice to the traveling experience as a whole, the descriptions were so vivid that I found myself too eager to be at certain places of Italy as I was reading. In fact, I had already made up my mind, I’m going there someday. I mean, I can even say things like Stronzo right now!
Characters: ” I made the wrong choice”, It had been with this phrase that the whole story had begun, and that was also the phrase that had marked the interactions between the character in this book. Since all the relationships are freshly made, how to deal with them requires a lot of effort in decision-making. I loved the mother/daughter relationship Lina had with her mother, even though we only had to guess it from the way she talked about her after her death. The interaction Lina had with her “father” was quite heartwarming too, it made me tear quite a lot especially by the end of the book. There was a lot of awkwardness between them at the beginning, but then I loved how smooth things started to get. As for the way Lina had approached others, and here I’m talking about the new friends she was making, I have to admit she surprised me quite a lot. At first, we could all agree that she gave the impression that she didn’t want to get attached to anyone and anything during her trip, but then she’s suddenly getting out of her comfort zone, attending parties, dancing and throwing herself in a pool for fun! Point made, this protagonist had some balls, and she knew exactly how to fit in. I won’t talk much about love interest here, as not to spoil you in anyway, but allow me to say this, it tastes like gelato, to be more precise stracciatella flavored (Don’t ask me how that tastes, I’m dying to find that out myself). My only regret, is that even though we got to take a glimpse of “the circle” of friends Ren had, we still couldn’t clearly see how close they were even though from the surface, they looked as if they had known each other for so long, it didn’t feel exactly right for me.
Overall, this was such a fun read, I had literally visited Florence through this book and I loved it every place I’d seen (more like read). I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and absolutely recommend it if you’re up for a not quite so literal trip to one of the most beautiful places you’d ever read about. Actually, I had recently learned that people went to Italy for many reasons but only stayed for two: Love and Gelato. And honestly, gelato sounds enough for a reason for me… Let me know if you read this book or plan to, I hope you enjoyed reading the review! So long shines the dust…