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Love & Gelato

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“I made the wrong choice.”

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 she 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 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.

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 3, 2016

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About the author

Jenna Evans Welch

6 books4,959 followers
Jenna Evans Welch was the kind of insatiable child reader who had no choice but to grow up to become a writer. She is the New York Times Bestselling author of LOVE & GELATO and the upcoming LOVE & LUCK. When she isn’t writing girl abroad stories, Jenna can be found chasing her children or making elaborate messes in the kitchen. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two young children.

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5 stars
47,209 (35%)
4 stars
53,944 (40%)
3 stars
25,619 (19%)
2 stars
4,761 (3%)
1 star
1,164 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 18,340 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
September 2, 2019
‘people come to italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay, its for the same two things - love and getalo.’

some personal news: im moving to italy at the end of the week and i would be lying if i said this book didnt influence that decision.

im off to find my own ren to love, eat my entire body weight in gelato, and live my best dolce vita. <3


sugar and spice and everything nice - that is what this book is made of. and now i have a toothache from the sticky sweetness of this story, which is exactly what you would expect from a title like ‘love and gelato.’

this book checks so many boxes for me, i dont even know where to begin. so let me share my list:

- coming of age story (love the connection between lina and her mothers journal). check.
- set abroad (ughh. how romantic is italy!? sigh). check.
- swoon-worthy crush (pls marry me, ren, i luv u). check.
- fun adventures, amazing characters, and heartfelt message. check, check, check!

im in awe at how something so light and fluffy can deliver such a deep and meaningful story. everything about this is positively wonderful and absolutely lovely. this gave me heart flutters and butterflies and all the warm fuzzy feels imaginable. its definitely going to the top of my favourite contemporaries of all time - its the ultimate feel book book!

5 stars
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,607 reviews10.8k followers
September 17, 2023

I have officially drowned in sugar.

This super cute YA Contemporary was everything I was looking for.

Funny, witty, romantic and delicious, I loved every moment of experiencing Italy with adorable protagonist, Lena.

The found family elements were extremely well done. I appreciated the love and friendships so, so much.

My only disappointment is that I waited so long to read it.

Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,082 followers
May 6, 2021
“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.”

The story narrated in this book is one of friendship, family, and first love. The characters enhanced the concept at the core of this book and the dynamic between each of them was written very well.

Lina, after facing the trauma of losing her mother, flies to Italy for the summer in order to fulfill her mother’s last wish. Her mother also seemed to arrange for her to live with Howard, her mother’s friend from her days in college. After her mother passes, her grandmother informs her that her mother left out the minute detail that Howard also happens to be her father.
Now in Italy, she finds out that Howard, who refuses to refer to as her dad, lives in a graveyard. Not the ideal place for a girl who just lost her mother. Struggling with her mother’s death and trying to accept that Howard is her father, she tries to cope with her situation for the summer.

As the story progresses, the author takes us through Italy in the protagonist’s attempt to understand her mother’s year in college. After Lina’s arrival in Florence, she is handed her mother’s old journal, one she has never seen before, which she has never seen before, which is weird because her mother is extremely open about her journals and is well known for her entertaining writing. In an attempt to see Florence through her mother’s eyes, she makes her way through the town with the guidance of the journal. And she has come to realise that her mother’s college years were unlike anything she imagined.

A romance the seemed to have ended badly, a proclamation that could change everything, and the story of a vibrant woman making her way through life, her mother may have secrets of her own. The journal allows her to finally understand the piece of her mother’s life she has never known about, and maybe even why she never knew her father.

Maybe that was just part of the Italian experience. Come to Italy. Fall in love. Watch everything blow up in your face.

Since her mother’s journal is inserted into the book, we follow not one but to women making their way through Florence and finding love. Watching her cope with her mother’s death and come to peace with her life as it is now is amazing. We watch her open herself to the possibility of a life in Florence and makes a friend through a very unusual set of circumstances.

Now that I have finished reading this book, the title seems to the most endearing thing about it because a story with such depth can only be described by Love and Gelato, and anything else wouldn’t seem right. The characters were amazing, the description of the city was perfect, the relationship between the characters and the city was written lovingly and overall there is nothing I would change about this book.

I’m undeniably, inexplicably, explicitly in love with this book and I wish everyone who likes contemporary books would read this precious gem of a story because reading this book is, right now, one of the best experiences of my life.
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,242 followers
December 10, 2021

I'm usually not this hysterical but my heart has been shattered, my eyes are warm with tears and I don't even have half the idea of what I'm typing because I can't see properly (I even shelved it as "Indian mythology" so you probably get the idea) but this is totally me trying to weave words into a coherent sentence. I don't think I will be able to do justice to this book but I have to let out everything before my nerves get the better of me. So here goes nothing.

Seventeen y/o Lina loses her mom to pancreatic cancer. But she has to fulfill her mom's dying wish that she spend a summer(and maybe longer) in Tuscany. Lina travels halfway around the world to stay with her father Howard, who is the caretaker of a cemetery just outside Florence. But as she is given an old journal of her mother's, she gets to know things about her mother she had no clue about before and must deal with the grief and heartbreak threatening to consume her. As Lina has her own romantic life to endure, with her mother's journal as a cautionary tale, she is faced with a decision to make, and it could very well be a life-changing one.

To say that this book found its way to the very core of my heart would be a huge betrayal to Six Of Crows, Simon vs The Homosapiens agenda, Eliza and her Monsters and ACOTAR trilogy (my all-time favourites). But it definitely does make me question every other book I've rated five stars, because it's certainly not fair to this book.

This book is wonderfully enamoured with hope, love and every other cute, light-hearted feeling one can come up with. But most importantly, it is a tale about strength and healing, about enduring despite everything that life throws your way. To realise that there is dusk, but also dawn. That no matter how many heartbreaks or failures you endure, no matter how many of those moments-that-will-blow-your-composure exist or how many times you're thrown off balance, they'll soon evaporate and things will move in a better direction. All that's needed is to hold on and never let go, because enduring isn't something that's in-built, it's something you do.
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"

This book to me is exactly how Jenna Evans Welchdescribes Florence.
"Florence is exactly how I thought it would be and nothing like it at all. It is absolutely magical and yet it's gritty too. I've never been anyplace I want to capture so much."

I want to visit Italy more than ever with Ren and Howard as my tourist guides for the same two reasons:

Love and Gelato
Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
172 reviews17.4k followers
June 9, 2022
Such a cute and summary romance!! And I loveddd that it takes place in Italy. Such a fun setting!! I also loved that there is so much plot outside of the romance as well. The main character discovering more about her mom’s story and her relationship with Howard was so sweet!!
Profile Image for aly ☆彡 (hiatus).
346 reviews1,176 followers
December 27, 2022
(This review will contain major spoiler)

"When we're together, we make one whole Italian"

I hate to be the outliers but I think there were just too many good reviews about this book that I can't help to be disappointed with the turn of events. Bear in mind that I do take note that this is YA, which having inchoate characters is probably expected but there will always be a silver lining.

This book starts well and it was so easy to read.
Let me just list a few things I enjoy at the beginning:

1. Lina meets her "potential classmate"
This part was so adorable because everyone was so welcoming and it was heartwarming to see. They were just so excited to have a new face joining them that their antics humour me; especially Marcus and his "Lina is my biology partner"

2. Howard and "intimidating" Ren
I just find these exchanges to be so funny due to the misunderstanding Howard first had towards Ren; resulting in Ren to be unyielding and keeps calling Howard "Sir" cause boy is trying hard not to piss in his pants. Love this dynamic between the two!

3. Italy & Gelato
I have never been to Florence but the place sounds heavenly. It makes me wants to explore all the places Lina and Ren went to. Not to say, the gelato seems so delectable. It didn't help that we're on a lockdown and I can't find myself some gelato to fulfil the craving. Although I believe it would still not be as good as the one Lina tried. Can someone just please get me a stracciatella?

But then, as the story goes, I find some things infuriating.

1. Why can't you finish the journal first, Lina?
First of all, I don't understand how she can feel "drowsy" when she's at a suspenseful part of the journal. You're pages away. But fine, I understand. Howard may take two hours to finish the journal but not all of us a Howard. Sometimes we are a Lina who may take a week to finish one journal and I am totally fine with that. What's not is:

Why would she go as far as asking Ren to bring her to FAAF just so she could find out who "X" is?

"Because my mom had this whole life I don't know about, and I want to know what was so great about X that she couldn't get over him and had to break Howard's heart"

Lina, all you have to do is finish the damn journal and see where you can go from there. Go find X or talk to Howard but no! I have to make things complicated. Ren even said so! But Lina thinks:

"Ren, please! I think it's what my mom wanted me to do. And I can't face Howard like this. I can't.

Lina... you don't even know what happened to your mom in the past, what makes you think you know what your mom wants. You've proved to do nothing but have all these false assumptions after another.

2. I find some things half-baked (read: mainly Lina)
This part doesn't bother me but why go as far as having to buy a new phone for Lina just so she can start contacting her other friends in Italy. What she needs is i) her old phone ii) a new sim card. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Why does it the hard way? (p/s: but do tell me if there are just some things I am not aware of how the connection works in Italy).

Then, I find it absurd how she immediately assumed that "X" is Howard the first time she reads the journal. Because while Lina thinks that way, I catch that this "X" was supposed to be a different person, or you know: give him the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to conclusions.

And later as she reads the journal (which she has not yet finished), she wholeheartedly believes her theory (which was not right) and went from "I wanna leave Italy, Howard is nice but I don't wanna talk to him" to "Pity him, was it too much to ask for my mom to love him"

Me reading this part:

I'm sorry if I was being petty over trivial things but even these parts still annoyed me to no end.

3. "I was so in love, it hurts" Are you really in love??
I am not going to start the "they're not really in love" course like this is some Romeo and Juliet crap. But I stand with what I say.

Firstly, to Ren: How do you have a crush on someone for two years and finally succeed to be their boyfriend to immediately break things off just because you met someone new? How do you love Lina so fast (someone you meet five days ago) than the girl you have a crush on for two damn years?

Cut me all the "you didn't choose who to love, your heart did" because then it will make me believe that Ren feelings for Mimi were superficial. I understand if he feels more connected towards Lina but Ren made it so easy. Attracted to a new girl, break things off with my current girlfriend. I can't even... This would probably have to do with the fact that I've been seeing people who love this book couldn't stop gushing about Ren but I'd say he is good for nothing.

And To Lina: If you're so in love with Ren, "it hurts". Tell me three things you love about him will ya? I wanted to feel connected with the romance between the two but it was hard when
i) There was no indication of what Lina feels or thinks about Ren until the very last part. She is attracted to Thomas for the first half of the book.
ii) There was no developing feelings process during their friendship either. Not until she suddenly kissed Ren and realized, "Oh damn, I love him."

I just think she's confusing her feelings with "love" because Ren was there for her from the start and she doesn't have to fake herself as she did with everyone else. She doesn't love Ren, she just loves how his presence brings comfort and was in a vulnerable moment when feeling so. Even during the time they kissed because girl was just crying and decided "I'm gonna kiss him even tho I know he has a girlfriend". So no, you can't blame me if I refused to believe they are in love. At least not at the same time they think they are in love.

4. Survival of the fittest or not, you don't take other people's partners. Not in this century, woman.
Do I blame Mimi if she dislikes Lina? No. No, I don't because I would feel the same. I am in a relationship and I get to know my boyfriend is spending his time with the new girl in town, where he even refused to pick up my call because he is with her. To add salt to wound, he even lied to me about it? How does that suppose to make me feel? Blessed?

Even when Ren has broken up with Mimi that night at the club, you don't know that do you, Lina?
So why, after things drifted apart because Lina accidentally kissed Ren, she decided she needs to get "The Dress" so things will work. Oh wait, don't get it wrong. I don't want to be a snatcher though, just to make sure Ren will talk to me again.

Okay, but do you need "The Dress"?
It doesn't help when Howard said:
"You look beautiful. I don't care what Ren's girlfriend looks like. She doesn't stand a chance"

Sir, you don't get to say...
I don't know. I just don't like this whole ordeal with someone else's boyfriend. At least, if men ain't sh*t we women respected each other, don't we?

And trust me, I am the most absent-minded person when I read contemporary romance because I would usually just enjoy the book and be done with it. I am NEVER the critical person or nitpicking as I did with this book — which means, this book is just not that good as everyone made it to be.

If you enjoy this, I respected the community but it ain't me. I find the whole conflict of Hadley, Howard and Matteo to be heartbreaking but it can also be avoided if they do this thing called: communication .

Overall, great start, weak finish. I could handle some dreadful plot but I can't stand dreadful characters. The only likeable character in this book is Howard and maybe Sonia. The rest? Ugh, spare me.

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
721 reviews1,120 followers
July 8, 2019
3.5 ⭐️

This was cute. It was 100% what I expected, but ever so slightly better. Carolina AKA Lina has been sent to live in Florence with her father after the death of her mother, a father she has never met or even heard of, until now. So naturally she wants to leave as soon as possible, she misses her friends, her school and everything she knows from back in the USA.
When she arrives she is given a diary that her mother kept during her time studying in Florence. Lina thinks it will help her be close to her mother and to learn more about how her relationship between Howard and her mum came about.
As Lina works through the diary she realises her mum’s love life was a lot more complicated than she first thought. What happened to cause her mum to flee Italy so suddenly while pregnant? Meanwhile Lina has romantic troubles of her own with boy-next-door Ren.
Very cheesy, the teen romance was as over the top as you’d expect, but it was cute. I needed something light and summery and this is exactly what I got.
Profile Image for Sab.
17 reviews6 followers
May 4, 2018
This is not something I usually do. I don't write reviews. But I really have to get something out of my chest: I am SO TIRED of American authors writing books about Italy/Italian people without even bothering to double-check what the hell they are talking about.
So the main character is Lina (really? Is it supposed to be a popular Italian name?). Her mother dies of cancer and she has to move to Italy to live with her estranged father. So she arrives to her father's house (that is in the middle of cemetery ?? okay) and that's when it starts getting reaaaally annoying.
She meets Sonia, her dad's assistant (or something like that), and OF COURSE Sonia is a "tall, gazelle-like woman with coffee-colored skin and rows of gold bracelets on each arm. Gorgeous." OF COURSE. I mean. Italians are all tall, beautiful gazelle-like people with coffee-colored skin. Even those who live in Tuscany (which is center-northern Italy, fyi). That's why I'm as pale as a ghost.
Anyway. They sit to have dinner (the table OF COURSE was “set with a red-checkered cloth”), lasagna and garlic bread (come on guys, garlic bread is so an American thing) and her father informs her that she can't FaceTime her best friend because "Italy isn’t exactly on the cutting edge of technology” (I mean REALLY? You do realize that it's 2017 in Italy as well?). And then he offers her wine because "Italy doesn’t have a drinking age" which is SO untrue I MEAN WHAT HELL? Get your facts straight.
That's when I decided to DNF the book. At, like, page 25. If I could give "Love & Gelato" 0 stars I honestly would.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
November 2, 2016
DNF @ 10%

I will be displaying my emotions through Ron Swanson gifs.

Love and Gelato was a book I desperately wanted to love. I mean, the set up was perfect. Italy, love and gelato (which I've never actually had but it sounds good). Italy is a destination I have always wanted to travel, and how could you not with all the culture present in the cities.

However, as I began to read this book I knew it wasn't going to be a finish for me. Why? Well, the writing just jumped straight into the plot without any other pretenses or introductions, straight to the fact a house was in a cemetery. Then, we have one of the protagonists, Lina, first line:

"It's a cemetery." My voice was like weak tea.


What? What in the name of all things holy and blessed does this mean? Is weak tea really the metaphor you choose to use? I knew this book, and I would have a problem here almost instantly. I can handle crazy metaphors sometimes, but this was a no and was at the very beginning of the book, so it could only go downhill. For me, it did.

Not only did my hatred for Lina become cemented in the first 100 pages of the 900 page eBook but I was subjected to countless more strange and "quirky" people. However, Lina was just rude. I understand her mum had died six months previously, and it seemed like that was leading up to be an excuse featuring through the rest of the book, but she was rude. She was unwilling to give her recently discovered father a chance. I don't understand why because she isn't even sure if he knew about her existence.


"Aggressively normal."


Is a sentence I never want to hear again because what?

Oh, we also get to introduced to Lina's totally tacky awesome best friend, who is like so idiotic funny.

“Why are you being so quiet? Is Gravedigger there?”
“I’m in my bedroom, but I get the feeling that sound travels in this house. I don’t know if he can hear me or not.”
“Great. So you can’t even speak freely. We’d better come up with a code word so I know if you’re okay. Say ‘bluebird’ if you’re being held hostage.”


Like Ron's burger, this completely missed the mark for me.

Oh, and lets not forget that Addie and Lina are both very judgmental creative:

“Addie and I had once won a costume contest dressed as Tacky Tourists. These two could have been our inspiration.”


I can't even add onto that. I understand there is a "tacky tourist" look, but honestly, if I went travelling I would probably be a tacky tourist myself and guess what? That is fine.

Now, one last quote before I conclude this review. The quote that made me decide this was not for me in any way:

“Howard still had steam curling out of his nostrils.”


I understand some people may think I didn't give this book a fair go, considering I decided to DNF at 10%, but honestly, I couldn't subject myself to this. I couldn't put myself through head banging sentences and characters who are meant to be funny and different but are simply rude. It's possible this story is super cute, but I won't be sticking around to find out.

Honestly, what this book felt like was a jumble of words that shouldn't have slipped past an editor, in my opinion.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
March 30, 2019
"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."

Lina is only in Italy because of a promise she made to her mother on her deathbed.

She isn't moved by the country's beauty—she's having too difficult a time dealing with the fact that she's going to be living WITH HER FATHER (about whom she never knew anything), much less living in a house in the midst of a famous cemetery, because he is the caretaker.

Why didn't her mother ever tell her anything about her father? What could have happened 16 years ago that would have been so bad that she not only fled Italy, but she never returned, and never made contact with the man again? All Lina wants is answers, and what she knows she doesn't want is to spend time getting to know Howard, umm, her father, or settle in—she's ready to head back to the U.S. and move back in with her best friend, Addie.

But little by little, Italy's charm starts to wear her down, and so does Ren, the handsome Italian-American boy who lives not too far away. And when Lina gets her hands on her mother's journal from the time she spent in Italy, she's determined to find everything she can about why her mother kept so much a secret from her, and why she left this magical place and a man she was supposedly in love with.

"Maybe that was just part of the Italian experience. Come to Italy. Fall in love. Watch everything blow up in your face. You could probably read about it on travel websites."

The deeper she gets into her mother's journal, the more confusing things become. It looks like her mother was an expert at keeping secrets, and if they're revealed, they could be painful for some. So with Ren as her sidekick, she embarks on a journey to trace her mother's steps and figure out the path her love story took—no matter what the consequences. And along the way she understands just how her mother fell in love with such a beautiful country, and how complicated the line between love and friendship can become.

Having just read a fairly emotional book, I was looking for something lighter and fun. Love & Gelato totally hit the spot—it was sweet, well-written, and I fell totally in love with it. It was a YA novel that certainly didn't feel like one, and yet the characters spoke like teenagers, not like sarcastic comedians.

Jenna Evans Welch's prose made this novel sparkle like the Italian countryside, and her imagery was tremendously evocative. There really isn't anything surprising in this novel—not even the "surprise" that Lina discovers—but that doesn't matter. Love & Gelato has so much charm, heart, and romance at its core that I flew through the book, and now I'm sad that it's all over.

If you're feeling like you need a change of pace from brooding thrillers or family dysfunction, Love & Gelato may be just what il medico ordered! I know I'll be reading Welch's new book when it's released in May.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
June 9, 2022
cute!! it gave ✨mama mia✨ nothing too special & I lowkey was more interested in her mom’s story than hers, but cute. howard was the best part of this entire book.

“know people come to italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay its for the same two things.. love & gelato” <3
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
July 25, 2017
BTAT 2017 book #2

Possibly even a 4.5/5 stars

The plot? Adorable and intriguing. The characters? Pretty great. The setting? INCREDIBLE. So much good stuff in this BOOK!
I loved the twists and the turns of the plot as well as the added element of Lina's mom's journal. And a book set in Italy just.....so good. So so good.
If you enjoy contemporary romances you'll for sure enjoy this book.
Profile Image for celine (celinereads).
68 reviews282 followers
February 18, 2017
hi can i give this book 10/5 stars because THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. i LOVE THE CHARACTERS AND STORY AND THE COVER AND EVERYTHING. ok. also, love & gelato is an extremely easy and quick read that's addicting and amazing and i'm in love!!
Profile Image for emma griffioen! .
269 reviews1,557 followers
October 4, 2023
love and gelato is an adorable young adult romance following lina after she moves to italy to live with her dad for the summer, shortly after her mother’s passing. her mom never told her about her dad, so with the help of one of her mom’s journals from her own time in italy, she pieces together her mom and dad’s love story from 17 years ago.

this book was adorable! the setting of the tuscany countryside and florence was so nice to read about especially because i’m in tuscany right now! i really loved lina and ren’s friendship and although it was technically instalove, since the book takes place over only a week or so, it didn’t feel that way. i really would have enjoyed this series at 13/14, it really reminds me of the vibes of 'the summer i turned pretty' series by jenny han. i’m excited to see where their love story goes in the next two books. 🤍

notes: just realized book 2 and 3 follow side characters! kind of disappointed i won't get more of lina & ren, but im really excited for addie's book!

i watched the movie a few nights ago and although it was cute i was disappointed in how much they changed! but it was fun to watch because i am currently in rome and they changed the setting to from florence to rome. 🇮🇹🥐

this is my book club’s september book! join us on instagram @ejgbookclub 🤍

⭐️ - 4 stars
tropes: friends to lovers, coming of age, summer romance
perfect for: fans of italy, ya, & gelato 🤭
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,839 followers
September 2, 2016
Awww! This was a really cute summer read.

I loved the whole Italian experience accompanied with lots of Italian history, gelato, and young love. Perfect!

This story had it's ups and downs, I enjoyed the mystery part and I loved the character growth, I still feel giddy.

4 stars!
Profile Image for The Girl Murdered by Her TBR.
390 reviews899 followers
January 19, 2018

This book was successful in getting rid of my sucky reading slump. After a month of force reading various books, this book performed its magic and voila! Reading slump gone. I never thought that a super cute young-adult contemporary romance is what I really need. This was the first contemporary book I've read this year and I absolutely adored it. The plot, characters, and setting were captivating.

The setting of the story is in Italy. Oh gosh, Italy... I really really want to go to Italy. I loved that the author wrote a vivid description about Italy. I learned a lot of Italian things thanks to this book. The food, the culture, the history, the people, and the places. I love it all.

The plot was simple yet gripping. It wasn't super complicated, which I figured was the best one for a person who's slumping. The pace of the story was set in a normal pace. It tackled about the importance of love, family, regrets, and hope.

I also loved the characters. I had some issues with Lina on the first part of the book, she was a little bit bratty and selfish but that was understandable because her whole life was turned upside down because of the big reveal from her mother and grandmother. I actually liked how persevering, brave and adventurous she is. Ren is so charming. He is an Italian-American boy who lives nearby. He helped Lina with revealing the truth about her mother's past life in Italy. I really loved the personality of Ren, he's just the chill, cheerful, and adorable guy who decided to show Lina how beautiful Italy is.

I really enjoyed this book. The writing style was very catchy and uncomplicated.
Profile Image for Charmel.
183 reviews425 followers
April 13, 2021
2nd read:

Italy is such a beautiful country! this book became another reason why I really wanted to go there.

i liked the little mystery here and i can't believe Lina's mom created journals and diaries to let other people read it, i could never.

and the characters. Lina was an interesting character. Ren was a cutie bean who lived in a gingerbread house. I stan Lina's best friend, Addie whom we get to know a lot in the second book. Howard would be a great father figure, who also lived in a strange place (memorial cemetery lol) and the mysterious X can rot in hell.



a proper review to come, maybe?

buddy read with my romcom buddies! hopefully i'll still love it :))


1st read:



Love and Luck
Love and Olives
200 reviews103 followers
June 25, 2022
I just realized that this is now a movie! That's so cool, I'd never thought this day would come.

"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."

According to the dictionary the following are the definitions of love and gelato
A feeling of intense affection
Gelato:- Italian or Italian style ice cream

While those definitions are true, the way each person experiences and perceives them differs. In the same way, while this book might hold true to a summary or plot, I believe the experience is different for each person, while remaining to be a beautiful journey for all.

My decision to read this book was quite sudden. I had no plans whatsoever of reading this book. It was there on my 'to read', but it was one of those books that I thought I won't ever really get around to reading. But I did end up reading it, and I'm glad I did because reading this, experiencing Italy through Lina's eyes was a wonderful experience. It was so mesmerizing that at times I would believe myself to be in Italy, visiting the beautiful places and meeting wonderful people. I got a taste of first love and gelato through this book, and damn, if it isn't the best thing I ever tasted.

Though love and gelato are a major part of this book it's also about finding yourself, your true family and friends and your mother's mysterious romances before you came into existence, while at the same time realizing that it's not necessary to always go by the book. There are times when you need to take the road not taken.

Now, if you'd please excuse me while I go pack my bags.

PS: Can someone please try to convince my parents to let me go to Italy and find my calling.

the sources of the images can be found by following the image addresses
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
November 15, 2016
This was pretty damn cute, you guys. All I want to do now is go to Italy and fall in love with some Nutella pastries. Insert gif of Emma Stone saying YUM here.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews626 followers
September 6, 2018
This is another one of those ‘cutie-sweetie’ type books with a memorable book cover....
one I’ve seen mentioned for years with warm-hearted reviews.
I grabbed a freebie library - overdrive ebook copy.
Quick enjoyable read.
Young Adult Coming-of-Age....
A taste of Italy ... Florence Rome...Tuscany...pizza ... gelato...
...a little historical mystery
...family feelings of displacement and confusion...to one of understanding...
military cemetery twist plot
...Readers immediately feel connection to the characters
...love is in the air..
...flirty & fluffy...
...will definitely ‘require’ a yummy gelato treat for readers!!!

Italy 🇮🇹....
Pizza 🍕....
Gelato 🍧....
Romance ❤️...

3.5 enjoyable - again - not earth shaking!
Profile Image for darmera.
30 reviews225 followers
May 15, 2021
I loved this - so cute and a perfect light summer read.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,188 reviews1,341 followers
February 25, 2020
Full Review on The Candid Cover

4.5 Stars

Love and Gelato is the perfect book to enjoy this summer. Set in Italy, this book is absolutely breathtaking. The fact that there are old journal entries in the story makes it so much more incredible. Trust me, after reading this book, you’ll be craving some gelato!

Love and Gelato has such an interesting concept! This book tells the story of Lina, a girl who moves to Italy after her mom dies. When she gets there, she is given an old journal of her mom’s and learns many secrets about her. I really enjoyed reading about Lina’s journey across Italy as she tries to solve the mystery of the journal. She gets herself into many sticky situations, but also makes some really amazing friends along the way. This book was the perfect thing to kick back with in the warm weather.

I absolutely adored the Italian setting in Love and Gelato. The way the shops and the landmarks are described is absolutely breathtaking, and I wish I could experience it all in real life! The Italian culture in the book really intrigued me, and I actually learned a few phrases while reading. I have wanted to visit Italy my whole life, and reading this book made me want to go even more!

The journaling aspects in Love and Gelato really drew me in. I love the idea of finding an old journal, and discovering that this book incorporated that got me really excited. I enjoyed how the journal entries were added gradually into the book—slowly, then all at once. As Lina warms up to the idea of learning more about her mom, she eventually reads more and more of it. Something about that made me love the story even more.

Love and Gelato tells the story of a girl who is given her mom’s old journal and is set in Italy. The journal entries that were slowly added into the book were very enjoyable to read! I would definitely recommend this book, as it is perfect for the summer season.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,210 reviews19.7k followers
December 14, 2017
Now I'm craving some authentic, Italian gelato and cute, Italian guy with it.
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