LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch | Book Chat with Kenzie

*insert commercial guy's voice here* Are you looking for a poolside read? Something that is cute and pure? Something with a #aestheticallypleasing cover that makes you want to moosh your face up against it? WELL HAVE NO FEAR!

I got you covered. ;)

I got Love & Gelato a little while ago and I didn't know much about it but recently, I had been seeing it around on the interweb so I decided to finally read it! I'm glad I did because it was the perfect summer read.

It's a really cute story that takes place in Italy with a lot of city-exploring, gelato, and Italian style pizza. I really loved the vivid description of Italy, it made me feel like I was lying in bed and watching a romcom on Netflix, but... there really should have been more gelato and pizza discussions. LIKE COME ON. 

The Plot

The beginning of the book was a little meh for me because I had just finished Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, which was very meh for me and the plot seemed almost similar to it. Once I was able to fully get into the story, I was thankful it wasn't that typical cliche ugh my mom died and my dad is annoying and i hate this school and everyone in it. (I'm sorry, those stories just bother me so much because they're like every teenage movie I've seen when I was younger.)

But this one had a little bit of an exciting romantic sort-of-riddle to it. The main concept is that Lina goes to Italy to stay with her father, whom she has never met, after her mom dies and tries to piece together why her parents had broken up by reading through her mom's journal entries.

The Characters

Her father, Howard, is like a gentle giant. HE IS SO SWEET AND CARING TOWARDS LINA. And I like that Lina actually likes him, too!

Lina definitely grew on me. I was kinda worried that she was going to be that girl wHO HATES THIS PLACE AND WANTS TO GET OUT ASAP.  And she was in the beginning... But then she meets Ren!

Ren was my FAVORITE part of the book. My biggest complaint was that there weren't enough cuTE AND FUNNY SCENES BETWEEN THEM. *pounds fists against keyboard* I. wanted. more. Ren.

What I loved most about Ren:
- He speaks Italian
- He's terrified of Howard (you'll know why)
- He plays soccer 
- He's like this little ball of PURE HAPPINESS AND I LOVE THAT. I don't understand why people feel the need to make boys broody to express how masculine they are. I like happy boys.

And I loved his relationship with Lina. They started off as great friends and their personalities just CLICK. It was perfect! I just wish that the story focused on them a bit more rather than her mother's past... I mean, don't get me wrong, I love how her mother's past ties in with the rest of the story but IT FELT LIKE SOMETHING WAS MISSING. Maybe not missing but I felt like it could have been better in a way?

there's this adorable little gelato place near where i live and sometimes i bike there to get spaghetti sundaes (yes, you heard me) or my second favorite, strawberry gelato.

The Writing 

SPEAKING OF LINA'S MOTHER. Her journal entries sounded too much like Lina. Plus, they also seemed to modern, if that makes sense? She mentions cell phones and Nutella a lot and I know they probably existed in that time but it still felt too contemporary. They're about her mother being in college, which was probably in the 90s so I think there should have been more reference or clarity on that. 

Another thing that bothered me was how the events in the story haPPENED WITHIN THE COURSE OF FIVE FREAKING DAYS. Well, I think it was more like a week? Which is so not realistic in my opinion. o-o I think all the events should have happened within a course of a month whilst building up Lina's friendship/relationship with Ren.


Plot: 6.5/10 

Characters: 8/10

Writing style: 6/10

Creativity: 7/10

Pace: 5/10

Cover: 10/10

Conclusion: cute cute cute

The ending, however, makes me want to rethink my rating from 3 stars to 4... IT. WAS. SO. DARN. CUTE. 

I wouldn't say this is the greatest book I've read beCAUSE I PREDICTED PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING OOPS but it surely feels like something you'd watch on Netflix with the summer breeze coming through your window. I recommend it if you are looking for something quick and easy to read that also has some cute and lightheartedness to it. 


What are some cute summer reads you've enjoyed? DOES ANY OF THEM REMIND YOU OF A NETFLIX MOVIE BECAUSE SAME. Do you feel like some of them could have been... better? DO YOU LIKE MY BOOKISH CHATS? Please let me know! I'd hate to bore you. 

xx Kenzie

Caution warning: there's not much to warn because this book was pretty pure for the most part, aside from mild language (not much), some drinking, and a short scene where the main character is sexually harassed. I don't think the scene was necessary. But, perhaps, if you've read the book, you can give me your input on it? I'd love to chat!  

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12 happy thoughts

  1. Reading the same story in a different book might have been part of the reason I stopped reading YA ROM- COMS. I WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Is it too much to ask? :P This photo shot has me wanting to get ice cream or gelato!!

    1. I used to never have that complaint but I've been gradually witnessing a bit of a pattern happening within the YA community- especially with fantasy reads. o-o But that won't stop me from reading all le books. Mark my word! (/o-o)/ And hehe, I'm glad my photos could give you a craving. ;)

      Thank you so much for reading, lovely!

      xx Kenzie

  2. Aw this is such a cute and perfect summer read, like you said! I'll have to put it on my list for next summer when I'm in a contemporary mood again!

    1. YES! I think you'll really enjoy it. I loved the setting so much and I loved that the characters were different... *COUGH* Ren *COUGH*. I feel like summer is the time to read contemporary books. This summer, that was all I read. Usually I read fantasy during this time since #noschool and they are usually more time-consuming reads. However, lately fantasy has been reminding me of fall time so I think I'll start reading those books once fall comes around. :)

      Thank you so much for reading, Hannah!

      xx Kenzie

  3. I read this book a bit ago because I had to for Name That Book and I loved it!! It was such a fun cute read!

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

    1. Ohhh, what is "Name That Book"? It sounds super interesting. ;) I'm happy you enjoyed the book as much as I did. :)

      Thank you so much for reading, Nabila!

      xx Kenzie

  4. Okay! Sounds like a nice enough book! ;D
    Also, I"m the 200th follower! :D Isn't that cool?!

    1. When I read your comment on my phone, I instantly screenshotted it and put it on my Instagram story because I was just THAT excited. So please, allow me to properly thank you and welcome you to my cheesy little book-loving paradise.


      Thank you for deciding to pop in and make me squeal super loud. <3

      xx Kenzie

  5. I've been eyeing this book for a while, and it looks super cute!! I might have to save it for next year though, when I might be taking a trip to Italy. ;) Loved the review!

    1. EEEEP now that seems like a perfect time to read it! Thank you so much for reading, dear! <3

      xx Kenzie

  6. EEEE THIS LOOKS SO CUTE and your photos are the bomb 😍😍😍 I want to read this now!! AND OMG YES SAME HAHA I hate that trope of the Miserable Girl At New School Who Hates Everyone Except The Broody Guy™ 😂


    rock on,

    1. AHHHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH, ABBIE! 😘✨ (I just realized that I have emojis on my laptop and I never use them???) But YES! I think you'd really enjoy it. I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO IS TIRED OF THAT TROPE.

      I SECOND THAT. Thank you so much for reading!

      xx Kenzie


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xx Kenzie