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Love & Gelato Paperback – May 2, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Carolina, who prefers Lina, is learning how to cope with her mother's death from pancreatic cancer in a new city and country—Florence, Italy. Thanks to a journal left behind from her mother, Lina embarks on an adventure to discover how choices impact love, friendships, and hope. The novel is fast-paced, with plenty of grin-inducing moments. Readers might be frustrated by Lina's occasional inattentiveness to her new environment, but the writing has charm and contains generous sprinkles of Italian commands and phrases. Lina's capacity for and understanding of love transform beautifully over the course of the novel; the book is not solely about her personal romance but also other characters' interwoven love stories. VERDICT A good addition for teens with wanderlust.—Briana Moore, School Library Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Lina’s capacity for and understanding of love transform beautifullyover the course of the novel; the book is not solely about her personal romance but also other characters’ interwoven love stories. A good addition for teens with wanderlust." (School Library Journal)
"Lina narrates in a breezy style, her mother's journal entries interwoven to provide revelations at carefully paced intervals.Seasoned with luscious descriptions of Renaissance architecture and Italianfood, a sure bet for fans of romance fiction and armchair travel." (Kirkus)
"Readers will be caught up in this story of romance, family, and what it really means to be loved." (Booklist Online)
"The reader will find it difficult to put this book down." (VOYA starred review) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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Indeed, if I could sum up the whole book in just one word, it would be “cute.” But then I would have to clarify that by saying that it is so because of its appeal to teenagers (especially girls), its pacing, and its wonderful voice. The dialogue sounded consistently authentic and humorous. There are rejoinders like this on almost every page:
“Odette grimaced. ‘I’m spending the summer pretending to be somewhere other than Italy.
Ren grinned. “How’s that working out for you? You know, with your Italian husband and children?”
I absolutely loved the humor in this book, as expressed in conversations like that and in Lina’s and her friend’s actions.
And, of course, the romance was fun. If you’re an adult looking to read about a serious, in-depth, marriage-inducing love, you won’t find it in this book, nor should you expect it, except for a smattering in her mother’s backstory. But it was still a joy to “watch” the blossoming of romantic feelings between Lina and a certain male character. The bumps and detours they experienced as their relationship developed made for a good plot.
So, if you have a teenage daughter, get this book for her right now. Keep in mind that there is a little bit of alcohol use, and various references to Lina’s illegitimacy. It does skim over the fact that Lina never knew her father while growing up with her mother, and never really questioned her father’s absence, but that may have been because of her afore-mentioned grief. Even if you’re not a teenager yourself, but are looking for a light summer read, you should read this. Enjoy it in the vein that it was written, with “love” and “gelato” used together in the title, almost as if they’re interchangeable. Because, when you’re young, sometimes they are.
(see full review at[...])
The book is about Carolina “Lina” a girl in high school who loses her mother way too soon to cancer and is shipped off to live with someone who she told is her dad (who she has never met) in Italy. Lina is thrown off as soon as she gets to Italy when she discovers that her father’s house is actually located on a cemetery, an old World War II Memorial site. Soon after she gets there she receives an old journal of her mom and starts learning more secrets about her than she ever expected to.
She starts off on a journey around Italy discovering places that her mom wrote about, trying to figure out the secrets of her mother’s past and why she would’ve left her this journal. She meets a bunch of new friends along the way and even falls in love – and not just with gelato. Lina is typical teenager, somewhat selfish and reserved, who at first falls for the hottest guy in the room, yet ends up falling in love with her ‘best friend’, the boy she met by chance the day after she moved to Italy. The love story part was a bit cliche, but I am a sap and got sucked into it, I wanted it to be a happy ending and for a while I didn’t think that was going to happen, but – deep breath – it did, and they ended up together in the end.
As for the part about her mother, that was like a little mystery in enough itself. To discover that the man she went to live with wasn’t actually her father, but instead one of her mom’s closest friends that she thought she could trust her daughter to, that part of the story was really interesting.
What I also thought was unique about the book was that it really went into the culture and history of Italy, where Lina was following in her mother’s footsteps and just learning about places I would’ve never known about otherwise. I found myself googling some of the spots that she visited just to see what they looked like for myself.
Anyways – I will stop there.