Fluffy contemporary at its finest and I’m here for it!
Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Romance
“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.
My rating: 5/5
This is one of the most adorable books I have ever got my hands on! Every page screams ‘CUTENESS ALERT’. Sure, there are some bothering aspects to it, but you can’t help but smile from all the sweetness, from the characters to the setting.
Let’s start with Lina, the protagonist. Given her situation, she’s a pretty normal teenager. You can feel how much she loves her mother and understand why she is so fierceful when it comes to her wish to understand her mother’s world. However, Lina is also annoying and not so smart at times. I hated how she jumped to conclusions, scenarios and decisions before finishing the diary, the key to her questions, fact that she was aware of. Furthermore, I just can’t get over how stubborn she was in the beginning of the novel, unwilling to give Howard (the father) a chance, even though he was nothing but kind to her, and how she complained about Italy, despite falling in love with it. Ugh, teenagers! I must admit that this behaviour made her more veridical, though…
Speaking of love. The romantic relationship here was enjoyable. Not too much drama, but also not so simple. I liked how Lina approached the subject, with an easy heart and not overthinking it so much that it would have become the centre of the story. It came naturally and I welcomed it with a well-deserved hug!
The side characters were pleasant as well. Ren is a cinnamon bun and Howard is the kind of character that every book needs-or the kind of father that every girl deserves. He was understanding towards Lina and seeing him try his best to make her comfortable was oh, so touching! I appreciated the moments of GIRL POWER as well, although I wouldn’t say they were extraordinarily original.
The writing was beautiful, filled with enough intelligent metaphors to be poetic, but not to seem melodramatic. Moreover, it made Italy stand out and the setting was fairytalelike. The way gelato is talked about will make you want to jump into a train and head to Florence to steal every bit of ice cream you find. It’s such a shame that I had to settle for Tumblr pics! Apart from that, you feel like you are part of the landscapes and live the magic Lina is surrounded by.
The pace of the action is fit and every scene is essential to the story. Although some of them might look like they’re there only to prolong the story, I think that everything helps with the development of Lina and in the end she truly feels more mature.
In the end, I have to say that I love this book! It is not perfect, but that is what makes it so lovely. The overall world is authentic and relatable and there’s such a pure vibe to the story. Totally a summer read, but perfect to keep you warm during winter!
You may be slow to warm up, but once you do, you light up the whole room.