Book Review

Book Review: Love and Gelato

Remember when I said I’d review Tash Hearts Tolstoy first?

I lied!

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Love & Gelato
Written by Jenna Evans Welch
Published by Simon Pulse
Page count: 400
(Image from Amazon. As it was an eBook, I was unable to take a picture of my own (darn black & white Kindle).
Tea Pairing: This chocolate chip tea from Adagio goes perfectly with Lina’s love of stracciatella gelato. Best of all, Adagio’s having a honey sale this month! Get it while it lasts!

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So I found myself dog-sitting on Saturday night for my cousins and their literally perfect wigglebutt. I brought probably seven books with me (yes, for one night of dog-sitting, don’t judge me) and yet, for whatever reason, I abandoned my previous books and picked this one up instead.

It was raining (my favorite), my cousins’ house is stocked full of tea (by the way, beloved cousins, I stole your tea), I had a sleeping and snorting beagle asleep in my lap, and I had a book about Italy, gelato, romance, and family. Needless to say, it was a pretty perfect evening.

My perfect evening extended into a perfect weekend because I did not put this book down. As you can see above, it’s 400 pages. I finished it in a day and a half.

Love & Gelato follows teenager Lina as her entire life is uprooted to Florence, Italy. After her mother’s death from pancreatic cancer, the idea of leaving behind everything she’s known is unthinkable.

Add to this the idea of moving into a cemetery with her previously unknown father and things go from unthinkable to unbearable. With her best friend back in America and her mother gone, Lina feels isolated. Only through reading her mother’s journal does Lina discover who she truly is and where she comes from.

What is it about this book that I like?

Awesome Stuff:

  • I like how Italy was portrayed. Fun fact, I was reading another book about Italy (and I am so embarrassed about it, I won’t even leave a title) (*cough*HarlequinRomance*cough*) and the descriptors in the other book were dreadful. Great. You can say Buon Giorno. Fantastic. But in Love & Gelato, I got a far better sense of Italian scenery and ambiance. Not perfect, mind you. The Duomo is a beautiful structure in Florence and I could’ve used more detail but I found it suitable. I love any book that fascinates me enough to instigate a Google search.
  • There’s a moment where girls help girls. One girl had no reason to help the other and yet she did. I love that in literature, especially in YA literature. Girls compete; women help each other.
  • I like the theme of identity. By learning about her mother, she understood herself.
  • It’s a cozy read and when you’re sitting on a couch listening to rain and snuggling a snorting beagle, you need a cozy read.

What Could Be Better:

  • There’s still that theme of ‘girl vs. girl.’ In this generation (and every generation, actually), we need better. We need girls defending other girls instead of tearing each other down.
  • It’s a bit predictable. Not sure if it’s intentional but the reader figures out the twist after about 3 pages. The protagonist figures it out about 70% into the book (ah, Kindle percentages). So by the time she gets there, you’re practically screaming, “FINALLY.”
  • There were some inconsistencies. Why would [insert character name here] have a picture of [insert other character name here] hanging up if he/she felt that way? It doesn’t really make any sense. If he/she (can you tell I’m trying to avoid spoilers here?) was really that awful, so be it, but then that picture wouldn’t exist.

But all in all, this book truly was one of the best parts of my weekend. It’s very sweet, very cute, and very helpful to those coming to terms with loss. I recommend it highly.

I can 100% promise that my next review will be for Tash Hearts Tolstoy. I’ve got some feelings about that one, my friends.

What are you reading this weekend? The weather’s getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and it’s the perfect weather for reading.

(For those of you in the path of the hurricanes, please be safe and know we’re thinking of you. I’ve got a few donations coming your way. As someone who fought with Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, I understand a bit of what it’s like. My thoughts are with you.)

Read on, my friends!

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11 Anthologies All YA Lovers Need to Add To Their TBR Stack

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I think anthologies are so not loved enough. So many great stories can be found in anthologies.

I say this as a biased college graduate who still collects Norton Anthologies. They’re just so pretty.

Have you read any of the titles on Bustle’s list? Which is your favorite?

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Where do you read? After a long day at work, I spoiled myself and found a spot by the water at my favorite park. Naturally, I brought some reading material with me. Tolstoy’s not a bad model, am I right?

I’ve been MIA lately, actually, because of Tolstoy. I always promised myself I’d finally read War and Peace and with a trip to see The Great Comet on Broadway in late July, I devoted an entire month to making that happen.

I’m good when it comes to two things:

  1. Time limits. Give me a date when something needs to be finished and it’ll be finished.
  2. Doing things that people tell me I can’t. Which is pretty funny when you think about it. I’m as obedient as they come. But if you tell me that I’ll never finish War and Peace, well, guess what? Imma finish War and Peace.

So the takeaways of this? War and Peace is long. War and Peace is heavy — it actually took me some time to get used to walking again without the Russian tome sitting in my purse. The Great Comet is strange and magical and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and I recommend it. (The lighting, you guys. THE LIGHTING.) And quite happily for me, I’m back. I’ll be reading and reviewing hopefully a lot, starting with the above book.

Any book requests? Anything you’d like me to cover? Want some bookish recipes? Reach out and I’ll happily oblige.

I’ve missed you guys. Peace and love,

Lauren

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A Link from Bustle: I Re-Read My Favorite American Girl Book as an Adult

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I was more a Felicity girl myself but I have to agree about American Girl stories standing up to this day.

(I’m a little obsessed with American Girl still. I have the cookbooks. I have the spatula. I’m subscribed to their newsletter and rejoice every time I see a new one in my inbox. American Girl doesn’t just cater to children, it caters to the young people in the generation who met the girls first. And that’s wonderful.)

What  American Girl mementos do you have hanging around?

Books, featured, Reading, Uncategorized, Young Adult Literature

Review Time!: When Dimple Met Rishi

Ready for our first review? Strap on in!

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
published by SimonTeen (May 30, 2017)
384 pages

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When Dimple Met Rishi follows two very teenagers who are destined to meet.

Dimple, an aspiring web developer, has no time for anything but following her dreams. She’s solely focused on meeting her STEM icon and building up her resume for the brightest future imaginable.

Rishi, on the other hand, is a bit of a hopeless romantic. Fond of his cultural heritage and determined to please his parents, Rishi is a little too eager when his parents send him to a summer program with the promise that his promised bride will also be attending.

That promised bride just so happens to be Dimple who embraces Rishi by splashing him in the face with her iced coffee. Perhaps she would’ve been more open to the arrangement had her parents warned her. Can they learn to accept each other and maybe even love each other?

Continue reading “Review Time!: When Dimple Met Rishi”