Friday YA: Love and Olives (Love and Gelato #3) by Jenna Evans Welch

Liv’s father left she and her mother to go back to Greece and search for the lost city of Atlantis. I know, it sounds crazy, right? Well, Live thinks so too. She’s so embarrassed by it that she hardly ever mentions him to her boyfriend. She has dropped the O-L and E from her name and re-invented herself as smooth and chic when underneath she’s rather a geek like her father. When she starts receiving post cards from him out of the blue it’s totally upsetting and she shoves them away physically and emotionally until her mother makes her accept an invitation by her father to visit him in Greece. A father that she hasn’t seen or spoken to in eight years. This unplanned vacation interrupts her plans for the summer and she starts off the trip resentful but she soon discovers life is a journey and sometimes the unexpected trip is the greatest journey of them all.

I have read all of the books in the Love & Gelato series and enjoyed the first two Love & Gelato and Love & Luck. I can say with all seriousness that Love & Olive is by far my favorite of this series. That the teen finding herself trope that this author has stuck with was fine tuned and wonderful making Olive and her father’s reunion an emotional and eye opening book. Her love interest Theo was pretty unexpectedly wonderful too.

First and foremost, yes, there is a great deal of hunting for the lost city of Atlantis. A tale that Olive and her father bonded over in her youth and something that Liv is totally cringing about now. BUT she still remembers all of those facts about this city and she finds herself being drawn into that story again. Her father brought her out to Greece to work on a project with him for National Geographic and as Olive and Theo run around following clues and getting b-roll she can’t help but think her father may be slightly delusional but well, maybe he’s onto something.

The majority of this story takes place on Santorini, and that island and setting are a character unto itself. The white buildings with painted blue roofs, the churches, the blue waters of the ocean surrounding it. In my mind it wasn’t such a bad place to be stuck for 10 days, especially with a father who so obviously loves her and with a charming, cute Greek boy. I think Olive starts to think the same thing. Of course, there is a bit of emotional trauma that rocks the boat, some sour searching Olive must do, but in the end with hard work Olive’s world turns out alright.

You do not have to read any of the previous books in this series before reading this novel, AT ALL. So if you are looking for a quick, fun vacation read please download, purchase the paperback, or borrow it from a friend. This one is charming, fun, and has an emotional kick that will surprise you. In this bloggers opinion Love & Olives is a five star read. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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Friday YA: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

I bought this novel in the summer of 2017 to read on my trip to Italy. I thought it would be so much fun to read a novel that takes place in the country I was visiting. Needless to say, I never got around to reading it. I was eating too much gelato and enjoying the vistas, not reading. Last weekend I was in the mood for a lighthearted YA and took a look at my kindle and had that aha! moment. So, I started Love and Gelato, a year later, but it was worth the wait.

Love and Gelato sounds like a lighthearted Italian romance but this novel had a lot of hidden depth and emotional trauma. Our heroine, Lina, deals with her mother dying of cancer and finding out who her father is within the same few months. Her mother’s dying wish was for her to go to Italy and see the country she fell in love with and give her father a chance to get to know her. When she arrives, she is given her mother’s journal to read and starts to understand her love of Italy through her mother’s young eyes, visiting her favorite places with her new friend Ren. Some of the surprises that are in store for her are life changing and heart warming.

I love Jenna Evans Welch’s easy going style. Her novels are totally PG and are usually more about friendship and family than romance and this novel is no different. Ren, as the love interest, is totally charming and adorable but their’s is a love story that grows through a strong friendship and of course, lots of gelato. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Love and Gelato

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Friday YA: Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Addie and her brother Ian, only 15 months apart, have always been best siblings. You know, best friends except for the fact they are brother and sister, however currently Ian is super pissed at Addie. She has done something and he wants her to tell their mother before she finds out from someone else. Addie refuses. In Ireland for a wedding, Addie and her brother Ian continue this argument and fall down the side of a cliff. At a wedding. Her mother is at her wits end wanting to see the relationship between her two kids repaired, so she ships them off to Italy to visit with Addie’s friend Lina. Ian has other plans, and Addie, not wanting to be left behind is an unwanted visitor on a road trip around Ireland, hosted by Ian’s online friend Rowan.

Secrets between siblings, especially close ones, never turn out well. Addie’s secret had to do with a summer romance gone wrong which will be embarrassing to face, but Ian’s secret is a life altering change. When Addie finds out why they are traveling around Ireland she realizes that this brother that she loves so much has a secret life, and that she may not have known him as well as she thought.

Rowan, as the Irish lad who owns the car they are traveling in, also has his own little bit of personal drama. When Addie finds a travel guide for a broken heart in their hotel, Rowan decides that his heart could use a little mending as well. The two of them bond over their heartbreaks, and he also helps her see who Ian really is. Love & Luck wasn’t a very intriguing or even very dramatic story, but it’s message about family and loving someone for who they are and not who you think they are was well played.

Addie was your typical teen who doesn’t want to face up to her mistakes, but she grows up a lot by the end of the book. Rowan was a sweet guy, the perfect foil for Ian and Addie’s sibling antics. The romance between the two of them was only hinted at as the plot was about growing up and facing the consequences of your actions. Ian was my favorite character by far. He was the big surprise of the book, and in my mind should’ve been the main protagonist. His journey was the more interesting of  the two and a big lesson in not judging a book by it’s cover.

If you are looking for a light, easy to read YA contemporary novel, this is a solid hit and would be a great vacation read, especially if you have a trip planned to Ireland. I actually bought Love & Gelato last year because I had a trip planned to Italy, where it is set, but never got around to reading it. Now that I’ve tested the waters with this author (and those characters showed up in this book) I may move it onto my summer vacation reading list this year instead! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Love & Luck

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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