Title: Love and Gelato
Author: Genna Evans Welch
Genre: YA contemporary
“I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I fell unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it. I heard so much about this book, and I totally should have gotten to it earlier! Just thinking about the story makes me swoon.
 The plot.
Lina has moved to Italy (temporarily, for all that she hopes) after her mom dies to live with a father she didn’t know for 16 years. She plans to, somehow, move back to her city and live with her best friend. NOT Italy. Then she’s handed her mother’s journal from when she was in Italy way long back. Soon, she’s uncovering everything she never knew about her mother’s past, while also following her footsteps through the city. While she does this, she’s joined by Ren, who is only a friend in the beginning.
She not only learns about her mother, the story is also about her and Ren, her falling in love with Italy and moving on. It felt like the whole novel was a journey to understanding what the heck happened so long back.
Howard is Lina’s father, and I absolutely ADORED him. He’s gigantic, tall, hella scary when he wants to be and a total softie at heart. He’s the caretaker of a memorial graveyard i.e. he’s a history junkie.
The tourism I got through this book. OH MAH GAWD. All I could think about was that I’m definitely visiting Italy, and maybe try to live there. The beautiful places, attractions, their history, THE PEOPLE, the FOOD (I shall get to this next). I love pretty cities with history.
…lots of booths set up with souvenier stuff, like T-shirts printed with funny sayings: I AM ITALIAN, THEREFORE I CANNOT KEEP CALM. I’M NOT YELLING, I’M ITALIAN. And my personal favourite: YOU BET YOUR MEATBALLS I’M ITALIAN.
 Pizza and Gelato
What else do you need in life? NOTHING, I SAY. I could LIVE on Pizza and Gelato. Especially after reading the description of Gelato and how it’s NOTHING compared to normal ice-cream. I WANT GELATO NOW.
So.. Italian Gelato. Take the deliciousness of a regular ice-cream cone, times it by a million, then sprinkle it with crushed-up unicorn horns.
 All Lina’s friends in Italy
The group Ren introduces her to are perfect. They’re crazy, fun, supportive, inviting and just the perfect bunch to be friends with.The first thing I thought was that if I had to trade my group of friends, I’d totally want them.
 Everyone lives in weird places
Almost all of the kids in the group live in weird homes. Mansions, gingerbread house (like in Hansel and Gretel), in the middle of a memorial graveyard etc. It was portrayed as so normal.
 The romance
What I typed in my notes app after the end, word-to-word:
My heart went on a roller coaster ride. It still aches. I. FELT. EVERYTHING.
MY HEART. IT’S GONNA EXPLODE. OMG. OMG. OMG.
I had choir music in my head after the end. CHOIR. GOING AAA. LIKE I SAW HEAVEN.
Safe to say I loved it.
 The journal
When we read Lina’s mom’s diary when she does, it’s almost like another novel. I got sucked into that as well. To be honest, I got more absorbed into this than Lina’s story, but pfft. Tiny semantics. I loved both anyway.
Do I really have to say it again? I LOVED IT. Cutesy story, fluffy romance, great characters. Totally recommend it. Read it NOW. Don’t be a raw apple like me and pick it up later when ripe. I don’t make sense. But then, I never do when talking about things I love.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you visited Italy? Or did you get so tempted you could run away to Italy immediately while reading it (if you have)?