Love and Gelato book review

Evalyne Simpson, Feature's editor

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Love and Gelato is a coming of age novel that tells the story of a 16 year old girl named Lina, as she navigates life in the Italian countryside. She moves to Tuscany to live with her father after her mother’s death. The strange part is, she has never met her father.

Lina’s mother left her a journal that holds secrets about her mysterious and interesting life. With the help of the journal, she uncovers secrets that change her life forever. Lina’s mother’s death lingers throughout the novel. She’s in gorgeous, picturesque, Tuscany, but she would’ve rather just stayed home. Most of all, she wants her Mom back. As the novel develops, and Lina meets new friends, particularly  Ren, a charming Italian teenager, she grows fond of Tuscany. She is told people come to Italy for love and gelato, but sometimes they discover much more.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Love and Gelato is the type of book you could finish in one day if you really wanted to. The story has so many twists and turns, which makes it impossible to put down. The writing is descriptive and authentic. The characters and the storyline are both well developed. The story is told through Lina’s perspective, which I really liked.

As the title would suggest, love is a theme throughout the novel. Once Lina meets Ren, the novel starts to pick up. Ren introduces her to other kids and forces her to explore Tuscany, even if she wishes she was back home in America. After all, Tuscany is the perfect place to fall in love. If you like romance or have a serious case of wanderlust, I would definitely recommend reading the book.

One of my favorite things about the book is its uniqueness. Sure, there are many teenage romance novels, but this Love and Gelato is different. The journal, her Mom’s secrets, and the interesting storyline set it apart from other coming of age novels. The only thing about the novel that I didn’t like was Lina’s short lived romance with a British exchange student. I feel like it wasn’t necessary to add that in and it didn’t really add anything to the story line. Other than that, Love and Gelato was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.