Published by Walker Books on June 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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The dying wish of 16-year-old Lina's mother was for her daughter to live in Tuscany and get to know her father, whom Lina has never met.
"Howard is the best man I've ever known," her mother says, "he'll keep you safe." Why did her mother wait so long to tell her about him? Lina has a happy life in Seattle and doesn't want to leave. Shortly after she arrives at Howard's home, Lina meets Sonya, who gives Lina a diary that belonged to Lina's mother, the one she had kept while she was a photography student in Florence. While Lina is living her life and exploring Tuscany with her handsome neighbour, Ren, she follows in the footsteps of her mother and gets to know her as never before. She also finds out the truth about her father. Mostly she finds out about herself.
Italy, Gelato and Love? Yes please. Love & Gelato delivers on this with and more. The descriptions, setting and every this book was so idyllic.
We start with Lina’s mother passing away and Lina moving to Italy to go and live with her father. I cannot amaze a more difficult and sad situation. Leaving behind everyone you have ever known and loved.
But her mum wants Lina to fall in love with Florence as much as she did. So she sends Lina her diary from when she was at the Art School in Florence studying Photography. From this Lina discovers the secrets of Florence and falls in love with the city at same pace as her mother.
There is also a huge a twist in the story, one that I was not expecting. However once I guessed the twist it was quite obvious. And frustratingly it took a a while for the reveal to be spelt out and stated. I don’t mind a clueless character but please do not drag it out. This would have been a five star read if this section of the book had been short and sweet.
The setting is gorgeous and I loved Lina, Ren, Howard and the rest of the cast. The story was heart-warming and emphasised the importance of family and being true to your heart. Love & Gelato shows that family can be found in the most unlikely of places. This was a fun, contemporary YA, that is a perfect summer read.