Hey, everyone! Today, I’ll be reviewing the book Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Now, when I first picked up this book, I thought it had an interesting concept: a girl in Florence, Italy being led by her late mother’s journal in order to connect with her. Maybe that was my downfall, since the book was not what I thought it would be. It could also have been the timeframe within the book, which was less than a week, which affected my reading. Anyways, the point is that I did not enjoy the story as much as I thought it would.
My dislike started with the beginning of the novel, in which nothing really happened to Lina, our protagonist, in Florence. While nothing interesting occurred within the first few chapters, it did not stop me from reading Love & Gelato. Plenty of books have started off at a slow pace, so I gave the book a chance. Once I did, I realized that Lina’s point of view was not as interesting as her mother’s untold story. Even though Lina’s story has a happier ending, I actually liked the sadder story of her mother. In comparison to her mother’s story, Lina’s narrative seems uneventful.
Then there’s the timeframe and how it impacted the book as a whole. I feel as if the time within the book is shorter than it should be, given the amount of development within the story. Instead of the events unfolding within months, at least, they unfold within days. It does not make sense for Lina’s relationships with others to develop so quickly, especially in regards to her love interest. Nowadays, narratives tend to move away from instalove, seeing as readers are usually more satisfied with developed relationships. Fitting so much development into a small timeframe resulted in a formulaic story that does not possess much realness to it. Having more time represented within the book would have benefited the story being told.
Another problem with Love & Gelato was its ending. Unlike the middle of the book, the ending was stretched out more than it should have been, adding unnecessary plot to the book. After the metastory, I was ready for Love & Gelato to be resolved, but it was not. If the main goal of the book was for Lina to learn more about her mother, didn’t it already accomplish that? The Acknowledgment pages couldn’t come soon enough!
There were some great parts though, like the metastory of Lina’s mother as well as the setting of the city. I love reading books about Italy, especially when the author goes into detail about the surroundings and its history. The folk stories about Italy were really enjoyable, whether they were in the mother’s time or her daughter’s. Overall, this book was okay to read but I wouldn’t recommend it to people.
Well, that’s all I have to say about Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Have you read Love & Gelato? And if so, what did you think of it? Any thoughts or questions you might have about this book are welcome in the Comments Section below. Thank you for reading, everybody!