Book Review: Love&Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch


A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


first sentence

You’ve had bad days before, right?

my opinion

love-gelato-9781481432542_hrWho knows me for a longer time can tell that I am in love with Italy. And since last summer when I visited Venice with my friends I totally have been falling for it.

So, when I heard about Love&Gelato I knew I had to read it. Not only because it takes place in Italy but also because I was searching for a cute summer love story and this book seemed to make my summer-reading-dreams come true.

At first it was quite a slow read and I struggled a little bit with the story. When I finished my blog and had really nothing to do (which feels still weird and unreal!) I caught up with the story and read it within two days.

Love&Gelato really is a light summer read. To be honest I was not expecting something extraordinary or a story that will leave me speechless. Nevertheless, many situations, dialogues and feelings of the main character Lina touched me a lot.

Lina is a strong 16-year old girl who has to deal with the loss of her mother and who tries to get over the pain. When she arrives in Italy she is convinced about going back to the US as soon as possible.

I liked Lina. I liked that she loves to run and that she is, in my eyes, very open to the living in Italy and that she wasn’t rude to Howard. To be honest, I was afraid that she isn’t nice or wants to be at home all the time and doesn’t give Howard any chance. But she did. She wasn’t depressed or anything. She tried to make the best out of it which I enjoyed and adored a lot!

‘You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay, it’s for the same two things.’’
‘‘Love and gelato.’’

Howard was amazing! He is the nicest and tries his best to make Lina’s start in Italy as comfortable for her as possible. He is very generous and I knew since his first words  that he is good. That he wants the best for Lina.

When Lina meets Ren I was literally cheering inside! FINALLY! It’s always the same when you read a love-story book and just WAIT with keen attention until the potential shipping partner arrives. And yes, I loved Lorenzo. He is SO good to Lina. He tried to help her with everything, introduced her to his friends, showed her Florence, travelled with her to Rome and just was the friend she needed. He is a good guy.

I am in love with all characters, Love&Gelato contains. Like this I would give the book probably five out of five stars. A thing I didn’t enjoy all the way through the story was its content. In my eyes it was TOO obvious how the story will end and some situations seemed a little too unreal for me.

Another thing I loved about Love&Gelato was how the places of Florence were presented. It felt like you were really standing on the Piazza of Santa Maria in front of the Duomo. Howard and Ren also have told a lot of its history which I really enjoyed. I love learning about old times like this!

Something that made ME personally really, really happy was that a few sentences were written in Italian. I’ve studied Italian for five years now, even did my final exam in Italian and because of that it’s a relief for me understanding words and sentences even if they are simple. But don’t worry, you don’t have to speak Italian for reading the book!


All in all I would say that Love&Gelato is a perfect book for everyone who is looking for a cute, light, informational and well written summer story. You will laugh and cry with it and fall in love with Jenna Evans Welch’s perfectly created characters. Really, they amazed me!

Now, grab Love&Gelato and let Italy make you fall in love again and again and again!

my rating: 4/5 ★

Simon&Schuster ⎪ Hardcover: $17.99, Paperback: $10.99 ⎪ 400 pages ⎪ published in May 2016 ⎪ book cover

Tell me in the comments down below if you’ve read Love&Gelato and how you liked it. AND if you like the length of the review. 🙂

Have a great day!

xo Franziska