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Love & Gelato #3

Love & Olives

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Santorini felt like an island holding its breath. As if it were keeping in a secret...

Liv Varanakis doesn’t like to think about her father much, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight, leaving her with just a few painful memories of their shared love for the lost city of Atlantis. So when teenage Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father, who explains that National Geographic is supporting a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and asks if she will fly out to Greece and help—Liv is less than thrilled.

When she arrives in gorgeous Santorini, things are just as awkward as she'd imagined. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. Liv doesn’t want to get sucked back into her father's world. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo, her father’s charismatic so-called protégé, to witness her struggle.

Even so, she can't help but be charmed by everything Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the sun-drenched villages, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

506 pages, Hardcover

First published November 10, 2020

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About the author

Jenna Evans Welch

6 books4,941 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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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,263 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
February 20, 2021
I'll admit, I wasn't 100% on board with this one the whole way through. In the end it did come together, but it took awhile to get to that payoff, and I still had a few issues. I enjoyed it, but definitely my least favourite of the three. For starters, this is sooo long for a contemporary and in my opinion, it really doesn't need to be. Sure there is a lot of mystery built up around the Atlantis myth and discovering that, but I still felt like the story was a good 100 pages, at least, too long. I did love the Atlantis myth and all I learned about it while reading this, I thought it really brought the story together. The setting was magical. Greece is somewhere I'd love to go one day and this really transported me there. I had some issues with connecting to the story and the main character which I think is why it felt too long for me. There isn't really something I can pinpoint, but there was a little something missing that made it feel like trudging through at certain points. This, like the other books, dealt with more serious topics as well, anxiety and mental illness in this case, and that was something I enjoyed. I like that there's always a little bit of a more serious element. I did really enjoy the love interest as well, I thought he was super sweet. Ultimately I did enjoy reading this for the most part, but my expectations may have been higher having enjoyed the previous books so much and I felt the pacing was off and slow at points.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.4k followers
December 1, 2020
goodness me. is it getting misty in here or is it just my eyes?? lol.

i honestly did not expect this story to pack such an emotional punch. i already knew JW could delve into some deeper topics, but she tends to do it in a light, carefree way. while this did have that airy quality to it, especially surrounding the adventure to document finding atlantis and being in greece, there is a lot of heavy stuff going on in this. and it caught me off guard to see myself get so caught up in it.

i love, love, love how both liv and her dad are written. its really quite beautiful. and i really enjoyed how their relationship tied into the larger overall theme of searching for atlantis and how lost things can become found. its a really meaningful idea and one that is developed in a loving way.

i think this just might knock out 'love and gelato' as my favourite JW book!

5 stars
Profile Image for emma.
1,863 reviews54.2k followers
January 31, 2023
books are cool because i have precisely 0 whirlwind european vacations in my future, but this let me pretend.

also, this was cute and nice and insanely readable considering how long it was (and how, uh, unnecessary said length was)...

but mostly i wanna go to greece.

at least this vacation cost, like, $15.

bottom line: fun!

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
June 2, 2023
Jenna Evans Welch has done it again!! I absolutely adored being swept away to Greece with Love & Olives.

This novel brought back the tone, humor, heart and gut-punching familial relationships of Love & Gelato and I'm so happy about it after a mediocre experience with Love & Luck.

Liv Varanakis is surprised when she receives a postcard from her father asking her to travel to Greece to stay with him. He needs her help with a mystery project; something involving the lost city of Atlantis.

Honestly, Liv has been trying to forget her Dad. She has had little, to no, contact with him since he left when she was only 8-years old.

He returned to his native-country, Greece, and her and her mom were forced to make ends meet on their own. It wasn't always easy, but her mom has since remarried and Liv even has a half-brother now, who she adores.

She has to go though. Her Mom is making her. It'll be fine. Even though she has to miss her boyfriend's Senior Trip; it'll be fine.

Arriving on the beautiful island of Santorini, Liv's nerves begin to get the best of her. She has no idea what to expect. Will she and her Dad even get along?

Things get off to a bit of a rocky start when a strange boy shows up in her Dad's place to pick her up from the airport. Should she even trust this person?

He claims his name is Theo and that he works for her father. It's like something out of a movie. She's pretty sure she shouldn't just go with him. She's seen, Taken.

This story is an absolute delight. The Reader gets to follow along as Liv and her father try to repair their broken relationship. She gets to live in his book shop, with Theo, and their relationship blossoms as well.

Central to the story is the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis and the documentary film her father is making on the subject. Liv, an artist, is put in charge filming, a task she excels at.

The story is told through Liv's perspective and it is full of humor. She has such a sarcastic, honest view of the events; it's hilarious to read.

I loved the interactions between characters and how Welch incorporated some heavier topics throughout. Liv really grows over the course of the story. Watching her relationship with her father change, as she learns more about him, and about herself, was really lovely.

I have read some reviews where people commented on the length of the story; that it is too long. It is long, over 500-pages for a YA Contemporary, but looking back on it, I cannot think of one scene that I would have removed.

For me, every detail was needed in order to become as attached to Liv and her story as I did. Personally, I wouldn't change a thing.

Ultimately, I am so glad I picked this up. I didn't have the greatest experience with Love & Luck, but I knew what Welch was capable of because of Love & Gelato.

I actually think this story is my favorite out of the three. Liv is my favorite protagonist, combined with the Atlantis lore and the documentary aspect, makes this a near perfect book for me.

As one of my favorite BookTubers always says, 10 out of 10, recommend! Let Greece sweep you away!

Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
634 reviews562 followers
May 26, 2021
Actual rating: 2,5

Love and Olives is the third book in the series, but it can be read as standalone, because books are companions, and not continuations.

The story follows Liv who spends 10 days in Greece with her father who abounded her and her mother when she was 8, and didn't call or visit for 9 years.

Starting this book my expectations weren't too high, but.I expected at least 3 or 4 starts (in my mind) worth book.
It was a pick that we read in a reading group I am a part of, and I am sad to say that I am not the only one who was disappointed. In fact, non of us liked it like we wanted to.

My main problem was Liv's father and nothing he could do would make it okay in my eyes, nothing would be a good reason why he didn't call or keep in touch.
While he was my main issue, his reasons were the only thing that kept me turning those pages, because I still wanted to know.
In the end, I will just say that he could have still called at least from time to time.

To me, the best part of the story were facts surrounding Atlantis, that made me feel like I was getting something out of the story, that I've learned something.

The love interest, if we can even call him that, was annoying and too much into other's business. He also didn't respect Liv's decisions and acted like he knew what was better for her.

I also had a problem with everyone in the book treating one employee like he was slow and not taking him seriously. I feel like the author wrote him to make us laugh, but I didn't click with that humour.

My main problem lays with Liv, how her father from the very first time she stepped to Greece used her for her talent and free labor, and she didn't even realized it, and went with it.
And then again, he wasn't around. He basically gave her the job to film documentary and still wasn't there to make connection.

Since this book was set in Greece, and Liv was stuck with Theo, I wish we got to see more scenes with two teenagers having fun time exploring Greece, instead of working all the time.
Like, Liv was there for the first time. One would assume she would want to see the place she visited, had some fun. She is teenager after all.

I could go all day with what I had problem with or think could be better, finishing with the fact that the author thanked herself in the acknowledgment, but I think I said enough and just want to read another book instead of talking about this one.
Profile Image for Charmel.
183 reviews424 followers
July 16, 2021
After Ms. Jenna Evans Welch brought us to Italy and Ireland, she's bringing us to GREECE! 🥳

“But it's a good rule, Kalamata. Enjoy the moment, then carry the memories with you as a souvenir. It's my life mantra.”

So, Olive "Liv" Varanakis received a postcard from her father who's in Greece, it's about a documentary for his theory on the lost city of Atlantis. Whether she liked it or not, she was going to Santorini and meet his dad who left her when she was a kid.

She then arrived in the beautiful country, reunited with her father, met new people, including his father's assistant, Theo, and most importantly, she discovered… a lot. Well at first, things went badly and akward but as she spent her days, she was growing on the place.

"I thought we'd lost each other. But sometimes, lost things could be found"

This book was really long and slow. Everything in the middle of the book was forgettable. The only thing memorable here was the ending.

I absolutely and a hundred percent-ly loved the atmosphere and setting. Santorini, Greece is just so 🤩 and don't forget its beaches!

The main character, Liv, for some point was a bit irritating. Her dad was so sweet and she was like, not acknowledging his efforts, but sometimes I get what she's feeling. I also hate his manipulative, selfish ex-boyfriend and I was pissed off when she didn't break up with him earlier. But thankfully, her development at the end was brilliant.

Theo was infuriatingly good-looking and funny. He's loyal, understanding, yet sometimes annoying and no doubt, he's the best character here.

Liv's father, Nico Varanakis was such a nice dad and a hardworking man.
Maybe I'd forget the whole plot but not the characters 😉

The family aspect was pure, the romance of Theo and Liv was cute and adorbs. I was glad for how the panic attacks were interpreted and how the mental health rep was added. Lastly, things had worked out in the end and I was just squealing for the happy ending!

This was a sweet ride around Santorini, 3.5 stars


I am very very very satisfied with the ending and ah yes, Santorini is a must see place 🥺

this deserves an extra 0.5 star for the ending, so 3.5 ✨
review to come!
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,180 reviews30.5k followers
December 29, 2020
Have you read Love & Gelato or Love & Luck? Both have been comfort, easy reads for me, and I was so happy to see there’s an additional one, this time set in Santorini, Greece.

Love & Olives also touches on mental health and abandonment, and I appreciated the way the author delicately addressed those topics. All three of these books are standalones, but you’ll notice some commonalities between them.

I hope Jenna Evans Welch will add more stories to the line-up because I can’t get enough. The characters are precious, and the books are so very huggable.

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for abigailscupoftea.
154 reviews1,922 followers
January 11, 2021
This story was a magical, one-way ticket to Santorini, Greece. I felt the heat of the sun and the chill of the waves. I saw the beautiful buildings and the breathtaking sunsets. I was charmed by the bookstore and by Theo. I laughed, I unexpectedly cried, and I finished the book smiling from ear to ear. I had the time of my life searching for Atlantis with Olive and her father. 🌊✨
Profile Image for Maroua Zaatour (Mirou).
178 reviews89 followers
January 9, 2022
4.5 ⭐

This book kept me up at night. I had to fight sleep until 5 AM with tears and smiles before I could succumb to it.

I said this before, I like books that ignite the need to travel in me, and Jenna Evans Welch did this to me before with her Love & Gelato and did it again with this very one. Now I really really really want to go to Santorini ASAP and visit all the places described in this book! 😍

If you know any good books that would ignite this desire of traveling, I'd be delighted to have your recommendations 😊
Profile Image for amily :).
102 reviews23 followers
Want to read
December 3, 2019
Profile Image for Nikki S.
1,484 reviews64 followers
December 27, 2020
**EST 11/08/2019**

How did I not know this was a thing?! I LOVED the other two! And this one is in Greece?! Cool!


This one was good, but it wasn't my favorite. That title still belongs to Love & Luck. Real review to come.

**EDIT 12/27/20**

You can find more of my reviews here at my blog: Take Me Away...

When I saw this was coming out, I immediately added it to my TBR. I LOVED the first 2 in this companion series, and I just knew I was going to love this one too. I mean why wouldn’t I? It’s set in Greece!

Liv hasn’t heard from her father in years. And then all of a sudden she gets a postcard from her father asking for her help in Santorini. She doesn’t want to go, but her mom makes her and she then finds herself on the plane. When she gets there, things are as awkward as one might think. She’s not ready to forgive her dad, but she’s there anyway to help with his outlandish ideas. But as it turns out, her dad has asked her to come to Greece for so much more than she expected.

The best thing about this was of course the setting. Just like with the others, they’re all set in places I’ve never been but really want to go to. The descriptions in this had me looking up pictures of things like the Red Beach, the White Beach, the beautiful turquoise water, and just all of it. I really felt like I was there. Welch definitely has a way with making the setting come alive. I do wish she had incorporated more Greek food into it. (Like the gelato in the first one.) But all in all I did feel like I was in Greece for a bit.

As for the characters, I liked Liv, but she was a bit indecisive and that bothered me a bit. I know most teens are like that, but with her it was extreme. She wanted her dad to say what he’d done, but she didn’t want to. It was like she didn’t know what she wanted. I thought it was a way of protecting herself, but sometimes I felt she was protecting herself against something that wasn’t as obvious as she thought. Especially when everyone was trying to tell her so and she just didn’t want to hear or know it. I guess a better word to describe her is stubborn.

I did think that Welch did a great job in describing the mental illness in this book. The episodes were described accurately and made me think of my sister who suffers from the same illness. I was glad that they finally gave that person the limelight and let them tell their story. As a matter of fact, that was what made the story for me. That made the story arc so much more meaningful.

The plot itself was a bit repetitive tho. I felt like she was flinching away from her dad, flirting but not flirting with the love interest and thinking she knew everything throughout the whole book until the end. I wanted to see more growth in her I guess. More growth would have meant a better advancement of the plot in my opinion.

The romance was a slow burn and for the most part was non-existent. It wasn’t really a contemporary romance, it was more like a contemporary that had a romance element to it. I think that was my downfall. I went into it thinking I would get a love story romp through Greece like I got with the first two. But as I read this, I knew that just wasn’t what this story was about. And that’s ok. I just wanted to give readers a heads up if they’re thinking like I was.

This book was very different from the others, but it’s still only my second favorite. I wish it had some small changes, but I still enjoyed it as is. I hope this isn’t the last one in this series. I would love to see her characters go to more places. Hopefully we’ll see them going places like Brazil, Japan, France, etc.
Profile Image for Bryce Rocks My Socks.
388 reviews610 followers
September 22, 2022
If this book were a…
Colour: cobalt blue
Time of day: sunset
Fruit: lemon
Crystal: turquoise howlite
Flower: fuchsia bougainvillea
Element: water
City: Santorini
Profile Image for Sheena.
613 reviews276 followers
April 6, 2021
A contemporary romance novel has no business being over 500 pages - this was WAY too long. I thought this was still cute and there was still some things that annoyed me about this one but this was way better than Love & Luck however, nether of them could come close to Love & Gelato. I loved that one so much and the rest of the series was pretty disappointing in comparison. I do love the setting of this one, I'm ready to go to Greece now.
Profile Image for mari ❁.
79 reviews30 followers
March 4, 2022
This was such a light, comforting read!
The writing was absolutely amazing, i felt like i was literally in Greece while reading about the descriptions of the locations in this book.
Liv was a great, relatable and funny protagonist, and her romance with Theo was really well developed and cute.
The only reason why i lowered it to 4 stars was because i felt that this book could’ve definitely been shorter, and i felt like it was a little slow at the middle, but overall it was a great read! Recommend it to all the Mamma Mia lovers!
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
308 reviews1,449 followers
Want to read
September 17, 2020
I loved Love & Gelato so much, and I've been meaning to read Love & Luck, but I'm so excited for this one! I just really need to know if Theo is Greek too, or if he's from a different country. If he's Greek imma be pissed. A Greek naming their son Theo is like a Canadian naming their son Uncle.
Profile Image for nαомι αndιno.
175 reviews57 followers
April 25, 2021
What was lost in now found.

Buddy read with Nashita .

This entire series in such a cute, fun and easy read. Love & Olives is set in Santorini, Greece. Liv (Olive) goes to Santorini for ten days to see her father for the first time in 9 years. I love how Jenna Welch has the ability to transport us to the locations of her novels, and, in this particular book, tackles serious issues such as abandonment and mental health.

The romance, as always, isn’t the main plot, but it is still amazing and I fell in love with Theo (also how he calls Liv "Kalamata" is so adorable). I could write for ages about my love for Theo but it’s better if you just read for yourself.

I found Nico’s (Liv’s father) obsession with Atlantis really cute and the ending made me tear up. The other characters were also all very lovable (except Dex) and I loved seeing Liv grow so much in just 10 days.

I hope more books are added to this series.
Profile Image for Lindsay (pawsomereads).
775 reviews416 followers
October 8, 2020
As if I didn’t already want to visit Santorini badly enough, this book made me want to go even more! Love & Olives transports and immerses you into the breathtaking shores of the island. This was the perfect setting for a story about finding yourself and finding your family.
Olive is swept away to Santorini after receiving a postcard from her estranged father asking for her help with a new project.
This was definitely an emotional read. Its biggest plot line was an extremely meaningful one about loss, family and forgiveness. I felt for both Olive and her dad throughout their journey. I really liked the inclusion of mental illness rep. I wish that it had been brought to light earlier in the book to open up more discussions on the topic between the characters.
I wasn’t crazy about the romance aspect of this book. Olive has a boyfriend back home for the majority of the time she’s in Santorini having a flirtation-ship with Theo, the son of her dad’s friend. Thankfully, the strong storylines of adventure and learning to understand those who have hurt you in the past made up for this.
The ending was so cute, I actually teared up a little bit. It was sweet, genuine and sincere and I felt like it wrapped up the story perfectly.
Love & Olives also features an incredible, dreamy bookstore that I wish I could visit in person! The bookstore painted such a picturesque setting and all readers will get lost in the rows of books and the story this book tells.
Thank you to netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Nash (all too unwell).
324 reviews879 followers
June 10, 2021
Buddy read with Naomi who like me wants to visit Greece very badly 💖

“Kalamata, no one knows what they're doing. It's called life.”

4.5 stars, but Imma give it 5 stars because why not? It was that good!

This book was really cute, like rest of the series! The best part of this book was the characters whom I adored very much.
I loved Liv. We see her struggle with her life and her own personality. She is strong and I love dreading abt her soo much<3
Theo. I have no words to express how perfect he is. He's so cute and I love him ahhh
He helps Liv throughout her journey and helps her become a better person, which is soo cute!
I could keep on talking abt him. But Ill stop myself.

I loved how the romance was the subplot and how it focuses more on the Father - Daughter relationship.
The last part, where we finally get to know everything was perfect. It made me soo sad but I loved it<3
The ending made me sad yet soo happy.💖
I didnt realize this book was 500 pgs long until I was halfway through the book! It was sos good, that I didnt notice the length of the book.

The Love & Other Detours series is one of the best contemporary books I have read. I loved it and I would recommend that everyone reads it!!

Reviews for rest of the series

Other books on this series

Love & Gelato :

Love & Luck :

Love & Olives :
Profile Image for Amanda Belcher.
350 reviews15 followers
July 9, 2020

I really enjoyed this installment of the Love and... series. The tension in this book was really well written and I thought some of the more serious themes like abandonment and mental health were handled with grace. I know lots of people have complicated relationships with their fathers and I think my own experiences informed how I read and felt about Liv and her father's relationship. There were times I just wanted to grab Liv by the shoulders (lovingly) and say "hear him out!" And I think it's those same experiences that made me feel very, profoundly sad about some things in this book. It's not really a tear-jerker kind of novel but I was affected by it to a degree that took me by surprise. Very well done. Side note: maybe it's the Mamma Mia lover in me but the whole time I was just like "yes, run away to Greece. Stay forever." because I mean, living in a bookshop overlooking the ocean in Santorini? That's literally a dream.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Simon and Schuster through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
Profile Image for Alissa J. Zavalianos.
Author 7 books263 followers
December 20, 2022
4.5 stars!

Oh my goodness. I read these 500 pages in what felt like less than 24 hours. I am floored.

This story isn’t just a love story between two teenagers, but it’s a love story between a father and his daughter, navigating their broken relationship through the tale of Atlantis.

This story broke me in the most beautiful way. I have the best dad—a fact I never want to take for granted. And this story made me cry over the pain, loss, and misunderstanding of what once was and what could have been for Olive and her father.

The overall pace of this story is slower, letting the scenic beauty of Santorini unfold over time. I loved the culture and all the mentions of Greek food; my husband is Greek so I loved reading about things that I’ve come to learn over the years.

Wow. Jenna, I am blown away. Please keep writing more stories.

A few minor curse words.
Clean romance.
Mental illness.
No violence.
Mention of a gay relationship, but nothing beyond that.
Profile Image for Roaringwave.
329 reviews59 followers
November 15, 2020
I think that of all of the books in this “series” this was my least favorite, which was disappointing because I was really looking forward to it.
I felt that the missing dad trope was repeated, although it was altered a bit.
Overall it was a fun enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
968 reviews57 followers
August 21, 2021
3,5 / 5
Kurgu, anlatım vs iyiydi de Olive keşke bu kadar iç ses ishali olmasaydı. Bu tarz bir kitap için sayfa sayısı çok fazlaydı 😑
Profile Image for Maditales.
580 reviews23.6k followers
November 8, 2022
This book was my favorite out of the entire series. The mystery to her father’s disappearance as well as the entire plot revolving around Atlantis was amazing.
Olive was a great main character. Her not knowing if she should follow her boyfriend to Stanford or if she should chase her own dreams was very realistic and a problem I could relate to.
Her father, Nico, was quite the character. I liked that he wanted to rebuilt his relationship with his daughter even after so many years and I loved how Atlantis was still his main interest that connected him to his daughter.
Theo was a great love interest. He was funny, loud, sarcastic and overall a very nice character to read about. I loved that they struggled in the beginning and had a fallout because yea, she did have a boyfriend at the time and still didn’t want to leave him.
I also love the name plot: Her wanting to be called Liv instead of Olive showed how her father took a piece with him when he left.

The ending was, in my opinion, were nice and rounded of the story in a great way. The secrets came out and she got her happily ever after with Theo even if it is long distance.
Profile Image for Christy.
481 reviews43 followers
August 13, 2021
*This review contains spoilers*

I loved Love and Gelato... as in my first book boyfriend (for contemporary because genres have genres and I don't want to make it seem like I haven't been a simp for all of my 23 years) was Ren. Love and Luck (Welch's book set in Ireland)... was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the Goddess that was L&G (Like that? I'm trying to create a cute little club name.) My overall feelings for the main character plummeted after learning what her secret was along with how dull and unconnected I felt towards the romance.

Unfortunatly this book suffered from the same issue. Not with the general tension between Olive and her father but with the romance. I didn't really feel the connection between Theo and her. That might have also been because of the fact that they're literally bunk buddies in this cute little book nook in Theo's mothers' bookstore. The close quarters meant that I wasn't anticipating when Theo would be around again or how their relationship would progress because they had jumped like 10 whole relationship steps in the span of 5 pages.

Also, the chemistry was... non-existent. Again that might have been because of how quickly things moved. And believe me, Theo did make some cute little comments towards Liv. But this guy seemed hella pushy to me. Not in a physical way but in the this-is-my-comfort-bubble-stay-out-of-my-bubble kind of way. He reminded me a lot of some of the film majors in my high school. He CONSTANTLY had a camera on Olive and her father. Which, hey. From an outside perspective that might seem kind of annoying but bearable. Let me give you a little context:

Olive gets off a plane ride that's probably like 20ish hours long to meet a father who abandoned her to go pursue his dream of Atlantis. She's sweaty, probably can smell herself, in need of a good sleep, her whole body aches because airplane chairs are the worst and Theo meets her. With his camera. Cool. Whatever. Slightly annoying but we can move past it.

Theo takes her to the meetup place where her father has thoughtfully put out a belated birthday spread with all of Olive's favorite things. Olive, tired, smelly, and probably closer to an emotional break than she's ever been in her life, finally sees the father who she's been talking about for the last five chapters, who she kind of lowkey hates and there's Theo...with his camera. Recording her as she begins to bawl her eyes out because she feels like her father is trying to buy her love back.

As someone who didn't know their father until I was 13 and who also feels like a troll after any flight...

Let me just say that meeting your father for the first time after years of feeling like some moldy bread that they decided to throw out, is probably the closest I've felt to wanting to kill someone else while also wanting to jump into the nearest body of water just so I wouldn't have to face the agony of having a civil conversation. So, yeah. This book might have brought up some childhood trauma. Sue me.

The whole camera thing continued too. It was lovely.

I settled instead for a heavy sigh, slumping down even further in my chair.
"You okay?" Theo asked, looking at me worriedly. "Because it would really be better for the film if you were okay."

That's day two of Olive's blossoming relationship. Ah, the romance.

But putting aside that mammoth (because I want to be fully transparent that I'm trash and I rarely come for anything besides the romance) I want to say that this book got the majority of my stars from setting and also the familial storyline. It's incredibly hard for outsiders to truly grasp how it feels to reconnect with a parent when you're a teenager. It's like a constant tug-of-war in your head. You want your father/mother to prove you right. You want them to be awful and have no good excuse. But in a weird, angry way you also love them. I think that Welch describes that ping pong of emotions really well.

Also, as always, she is amazing at finding places in different countries that everyone should want to go. Her way of describing settings, in particular, is simply awe-inspiring. It makes my little bookish heart ache.

The sun dropped slowly, elegantly, like a lady sinking into a curtsy, getting redder and denser as it sank, inch by inch, into the ocean.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,186 reviews1,338 followers
March 4, 2022
Full Review on The Candid Cover

4.5 Stars.

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch is a heartwarming and complex contemporary that has quickly become one of my favourites. Set in Greece, where the main characters are working on a documentary about Atlantis, this one will make readers both laugh and cry. I loved the complexity of each of the characters, and the theories of Atlantis throughout the story are explored in impressive detail. Fans of Love & Gelato will not be disappointed in this latest instalment.

When Liv receives a postcard from her father inviting her to Greece to help him with his documentary, she is hesitant to reconnect with him. She is still dealing with the pain of her father leaving her years ago, and, at first, she doesn’t buy the wild theories of Atlantis at the centre of his work. However, as the summer progresses and Liv takes a more active role in the documentary, she slowly starts to get to know her father and comes to love Santorini and its welcoming community.


The characters in this book are so well-written, and I loved every single one. Liv is a relatable protagonist, and I really felt for her as she tries to find herself and searches for the reason why her dad left. She was so close with him when she was young, and they bonded over an interest in Atlantis. Now, however, Liv finds it difficult to trust him again. The two have such a complex relationship, and Liv’s slow process of reconnecting with her father is realistic, and may or may not have brought tears to my eyes.


There is so much I love about this book, but I was especially blown away by how well-researched it is. Much of the story is dedicated to Liv’s father’s documentary about Atlantis, and I was so impressed to see multiple theories about it discussed in detail. I could feel the author’s own enthusiasm for the subject come through in her writing, and it made me even more excited to continue reading. What I especially enjoyed, however, is the way Atlantis is tied to Liv’s relationship with her dad and its development, which made for a moving reading experience.


Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch is an entertaining and unexpectedly emotional read that is perfect for the end of summer. I loved the Greece setting, and the characters are each complex. I was especially impressed by the depth of the Atlantis theories throughout the book, which left me wanting to know more. Of all three books in the series, this one has become my new favourite.
Profile Image for Holly.
161 reviews116 followers
February 12, 2021
Possibly a 2.5? I don't know.. we shall see how I feel after sitting on this for a while.

I will start off with what I liked.... I REALLY enjoyed the atmosphere and the different landmarks we got to explore and I found myself searching these places online and being able to fully picture how beautiful these places are! I also loved getting to know more about the lore of Atlantis and there were a lot of fun scientific facts thrown into this book which I always appreciate. This also really made me feel transported into summer which is what I NEED right now while being in the middle of a Polar vortex! The ending did make me feel emotional and I could see the outline of what was a beautiful story, however.....

What was the point of Olive having a boyfriend in this story? Or why was he prominent for so long because it really made me less inclined to root for any kind of relationship. Theo irked me in the beginning when he was inconsiderately shoving a camera in her face at horrible moments and there were a lot of things that were totally ignored until the very end of the book. It was hard for me to enjoy good and happy moments when I felt stressed out about all of the unfinished, ignored conversations that should have at least been somewhat touched on! I got bored at the halfway point and just wanted questions answered and this just seemed to drag on.

I'm at least happy I liked this one more than Love & Luck, but looks like Love & Gelato will continue to take the cake! I'm thinking this one might read much better for someone who has been enjoying many YA books right now! YA has unfortunately just not been meshing well with me recently and maybe that contributed to my feelings!
Profile Image for marina.
47 reviews28 followers
June 27, 2022
I actually liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I didn’t like the main character until the last like 50 pages, but the romance was super cute. It was pretty factual, but Jenna Evans Welch delivers it in an engaging way. Overall I learned a lot about Greece and now I feel like if I went there I’d be a pro. 🪱🪱🪱🪱.4/5 worms!!
Profile Image for HeyitsMony.
48 reviews102 followers
May 21, 2022
Представа си нямате колко много ми хареса книгата.
Историята се развива в Гърция, Санторини. Първата книга също беше много хубава, привързах се и към нея, но май малко-повече към тази. Грабна ме най-вече че в цялата книга се търси Атл��нтида. Аз много харесвам загадки и именно това ме привлече към историята.

Освен издирването на Атлантида, другата натрапчива тема беше за връзката между баща и дъщеря. Олив не е виждала баща си от девет години и получава писмо от него с молба тя да го посети в Гърция. Лив е обидена на баща си, защото той е напуснал нея и майка ѝ, за да търси Атлантида. Наблюдава се израстването на Лив и много въпроси намират своите отговори.

Книгата може да се чете, ако не сте чели “ Любов и джелато”, защото книгите не са свързани.

Една много красиво написана история с много добре изградени образи :)
Profile Image for Aarushi.
293 reviews79 followers
October 27, 2021
*4.5 stars

"I mean, was it perfect? No, I think everyone made a mistake. Was it seamless? Was it flawless? No. Nope, nope, nope. It wasn't any of those things. But it sure was entertaining."

This trilogy was like three siblings. The first book is the responsible one: they did everything they were supposed to do, and in a timely manner. The second book is the middle child, the overlooked one: very wild, but very loveable, even ends up doing what they're supposed to do. The third book: the absolutely chaotic. Did they do everything they were supposed to do? Probably not. But it sure was entertaining.

synopsis - We follow Olive, a girl who we can pretty much sum up as a girl with major daddy issues. She continually denies that she has daddy issues, but it's pretty apparent, even to people who can't even speak the same language that she can (english).

Olive's dad left her and her mom when Olive was 8, and went god knows where. Olive hasn't heard even a single time in nearly 10 years from her dad, except for random postcards that start appearing from him recently. Then her dad drops a bombshell: come to Greece (his hometown, Santorini), and film a documentary with him on finally finding Atlantis, a dream that her dad (and Olive, when she was younger) has always had.

So now Olive goes (reluctantly, may I add) to Santorini. There, she films this documentary, and finds out the truth of everything. It really tugged on my cold, dead heartstrings (seriously: you're talking to a girl who didn't even shed a tear at the Clockwork Princess epilogue (I will never find why people find that so sad), but decided to shed a single tear (one tear! one! it was also at like 12am) for Cassian's solstice present to Nesta in ACOSF (shameful, I know)).


Olive- I will be honest with you. My favorite protagonist out of the trilogy is probably Addie. Olive just seemed really annoying at times? But I didn't have any real issues with Olive in the book. She's nice. She's an artist. Like, an actual artist. All of her reasoning was valid reasoning. Feelings towards her are... nice. She's just that: nice.

Theo- he's cute. I mean, he's not the most original for a love interest. But I liked reading his moments with Olive. Like, he's not bad. He didn't annoy me. It's the same feeling I got with Olive

ON A SIDE NOTE: it irks me how no one makes fanart for contemporary books. I love fantasy and sci-fi books, don't get me wrong, but justice for contemporary book fanarts, because everyone neglects the fact that I'd like to be able to understand how these characters look 😩

I don't think I cared enough about any of the other characters to remember them <3. I liked Olive's dad, but I don't want to say anything about his character because he was just such a sweet man and I'd feel bad for saying not nice about him 💀

plot - I will be honest with y'all: the plot was kinda slow in the beginning. The plot, I would say, really isn't the memorable part of this trilogy in general. It's more character-focused. The book is kinda long for a contemporary novel, especially a one-off book about these characters like this.

I loved traveling around Greece with Olive, though, and the places were GORGEOUS. You can really tell that the author grew a lot in her environment-building. I want to go to Greece now more than ever. B

Back to the plot: it really picked up in the second half. The moments with Theo and Olive (THE SWIMMING POOL! on another completely unrelated side note: I just want a swimming pool moment between Grayson and Avery. If you know, you know 🤪)! The moments between Olive and her dad! Just Greece overall! Searching for Atlantis! SO FUN. I'm not even being sarcastic. The entire thing just seems very fun and I would love to go to Greece and roam around the country searching for Atlantis. Just sounds like a great time.

(even though the country is going through some natural disasters right now, so right now is probably not the best time to visit to make things worse)

writing style - Like I said: the descriptions of Greece are STUNNING. Just very well-written. I've already said this too, but the book is very long for a contemporary novel of this sort. I think a lot of it could have been cut down for sure, into a more shorter and to-the-point novel. I understand the build-up of the moments until the ending, though, so it makes sense. I think the writing has definitely evolved from Love & Gelato and Love & Luck. Though, I will mention how much long chapters irk me so much. Small chapters are much easier to get through, and the book doesn't feel like it's dragging.

romance - The romance was fun to read. Rivals to lovers was fun. But I think there was less rivals and more friends, instead. Of course, the last two books are much more friends-to-lovers, so the tropes in this book is a breath of fresh air from those. Theo and Olive definitely have the chemistry to pull off a romance, but the real highlight here were their moments together, just the two of them. They made me want to have a boyfriend more than anything, or at least some guy that's intersted in me the way Theo is interested in Olive. Those two are so cute. If I saw them in a TikTok video, let's just say that'll be a block from me 🤪😭(jk, but iykyk)

relationships - I actually don't have many connections between characters that I specifically wanted to talk about (I forgot to mention this above but I'm a Papoui and Theo's mom and Liv's mom and Liv's dad stan. also that one guy and his girlfriend who worked at the store! my favorite characters!).

Except, Olive and her father's journey and relationship. It was what made me most emotional and hit me the hardest. They were so genuine and heartfelt together, and it felt so realistic and real-ish to me out of everything. The entire buildup, and revelation of everything at the end made me equally so sad and happy at the same time. It really hit my cold dead heartstrings out of everything in this book, and that includes the romance and descriptions of Greece.


"I mean, was it perfect? No, I think everyone made a mistake. Was it seamless? Was it flawless? No. Nope, nope, nope. It wasn't any of those things. But it sure was entertaining."

^this beautiful, beautiful quote still applies just as much now as it did in the beginning of the review. The book was far from perfect. But it actually made me feel something??!!?? SHOCKING. Thus is the power of a great book. Usually, heavy contemporaries that don't appear as such irk me, but this book was just so heartfelt that I loved it. It's clear that the author worked very hard on this book.

I'm actually really sad this is the last book in the trilogy. PETITION FOR JENNA LYNCH EVANS TO WRITE A BOOK LIKE THIS IN EVERY COUNTRY OF EUROPE. I enjoyed the trilogy very much, and it was super entertaining to read. The perfect trilogy to take with you on a trip, or the perfect beach reads! It's very much you get what you expect- there'll be some sad moments, but the trilogy is a very fun and fluffy YA contemporary series (something pretty rare in YA, I'll tell you that).

One bad thing about summer finally coming to a close: YA Summery-beach reads are not very... socially appropriate to read (it's like reading Christmas books in the summer, but opposite. but anyone can read anything they want to, whenever they want, because I said so 😡).

One (actually two) good things about summer finally coming to a close: we've entered the era of fall mysteries and thrillers, dark academia, and halloween vibes only!
Second thing: it's sequel season: meaning that some of my most anticipated books of this year are coming/have already arrived 🥳!

4.5 stars!
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