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Lina’s mother is dying. Her last wish was for Lina move to Florence and live with her father. The strange part is Lina never knew who her father was for 16 years. But moving to a foreign country can be awful. Lina just wants to go back to the United States until she’s giving her mother’s journal from when she stayed in Italy. Now in front of her are all the answers she wants and all the secrets kept for too long.
If you are looking for a quick, fluffy and cute YA story, this is your book. Perfect for a summer reading or a detox book, when you just want to chill and don’t be overwhelmed with emotions. It has enough drama, mystery, and unpredictability within the predictability. I mean, the book is predictable when it comes to the story of her mother but unpredictable when it comes to Lina’s life.
When I first read the synopsis, I didn’t believe her mother would have such big secret. I thought it would be something simple and with nothing to fuss about – don’t know why but for me Lina was going to over reacting. Although, it got me by surprise. I kept saying to myself it wasn’t like that, in the end, the author would invent a twist. Unfortunately, I predicted the worse and I couldn’t believe her mother was saving such secret.
Despite, some down notes – I’ll discuss in the spoilery section below – when I close the book I was smiling from ear to ear. In that moment I knew this was a book to reread, even if this review sounds bad. What can I say… I enjoyed this book so much that I find some little details that bothered me and needed to be different.
My favorite part was all the places Lina went. In that moment, I wished to buy the next plane ticket to Florence, so I can see with my own eyes every single place Lina and Hadley went. In the mean time, if I got back full of Love and Gelato I wouldn’t mind. I need to know if the gelato is that amazing and life changing. Also, who goes to Italy and don’t eat pizza?? I’m already dribbling just by picturing it. And don’t get me started in those amazing landscapes and buildings… *heavy breath* I love this book!
Heads Up the following text will contain SPOILERS! You have been warned!
My main problem was what Lina did with the journal. Why did Lina try to find X before making sure there wasn’t any clue in the journal? It seems logical to me to read the entire journal first and only later search for X. If Hadley never gave away who X was, it wouldn’t matter if Lina went find him before reading the journal. Even if she read it, she still wouldn’t know who he was. Also, I understand this way Lina had the guarantee from her mother that what she found out was true, and if she read her mother’s words, she probably wouldn’t go to Rome.
Another problem was Lina and Ren relationship. First off, the story takes place in five days, which I think is too short for them to fall so deeply in love for each other as they say. I know they are teenagers and tend to over react… But then all the beautiful little moments like in the bridge, the fireworks, and the fire balloons, at that girl’s party, could have been much more magical. I feel it’s missing more romance.
In the end, Lina just repeats the same steps as her mother. The fail with the perfect dress, the bad idea of going to Rome, the secret bakery, liking the wrong guy at the beginning, the romantic moment in the tower, and probably more. The story just repeated itself. I feel it’s cute because in a way Lina just gets closer to her mother but at the same time, I don’t know if I like it. When I first started reading, I was expecting for Lina to do the same thing as her mother but when the final result of Lina’s story is the same as her mother… I think is too much. The perfect dress thing could work out well that way I wouldn’t mind. But even the kiss in the tower is the same. Everything is the same. Again, cute when we think Lina has taken the same path as her mother.
Overall, I think is smart how Jenna repeated the story and we only realize it in the end. It’s like a huge Deja vú but since the circumstances are different for both characters, we don’t realize they are making the same mistakes/have the same misadventures. Let’s be honest… Lina’s trip to Rome was a really bad idea. It had everything to go wrong.
Side note: The acknowledge page was the best I ever read. It doesn’t make part of the story what so ever but tells so much about the author. Now I have my eyes on Jenna Welch and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.