As if her mom dying wasn’t bad enough, now Lina has to spend her summer in Italy with her father whom she’s never met. Despite the beauty of the new country she’s in, all she wants is to get out. But when she’s given her mom’s old journal that she kept when she was in Italy, Lina learns more about her mother’s past than she ever dreamed. Along with her new friend, Ren, they embark on a journey that will reveal a secret that her mother kept from her for too long.
First of all, I loved this book! Secondly, I love this author!
Not only are we experiencing Lina’s time in Europe, but her mom’s as well – it’s a story within a story. The reader is really able to feel what Lina is feeling when it comes to wanting to know what happens next as she continues through the journal. Who is X? Why didn’t Howard make an effort to get to know Lina before her mother died? Questions that are all answered in due time, but they take Lina for a loop when she learns what the answers are.
I really enjoyed Lina’s best friend back home, Addie. She can be a little over the top, but her personality is one that I love because she’s not afraid to say what she’s thinking.
“‘On a scale of one to ten, how weird would it be if I printed out Thomas’s profile picture and had it framed?'” (Addie, Love & Gelato)
Seriously, where can I get an Addie of my own?
And Ren, what a doll! I love how awkward he is at times! Unlike Thomas, he’s not all about going out to the parties and you can see that he’s a very caring person right from the beginning. I love how quickly he and Lina click and even if there wasn’t an attraction between them, I’d love their friendship as it is. But I like that Lina’s romance isn’t what completely drives the story; it’s finding out her mom’s past romance and the secret she kept from Lina all these years.
Easily 5/5 stars! And bonus because I found out that the author, Jenna Evans Welch, is the daughter of Richard Paul Evans and I love the books I’ve read by him!
Also, there’s a spin-off/sequel to this book coming out next year that focuses on Lina’s best friend Addie, and I cannot wait for it!
Favorite book quote: “I was so happy to see him that it made me want to punch his lights out.”