Les Petits Bonheurs #17…

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From “Unravel Me” by Tahereh Mafi.

It has been such a long time since I have read “Unravel Me” by Tahereh Mafi, but with it being the summer of rereading some of my favorites, I am going to take the time to pick up Tahereh’s book. It was such a beautiful and amazing book, and Tahereh’s writing style really stuck out to my sister and I as being very unique from most of the other novels that were being published during that time. Seeing some of the quotes from Tahereh’s “Shatter Me” series made me want reread it, and since I have a book buying problem, I bought myself a copy. ;-D  I am so excited to pick back up the amazingly addictive book that is “Unravel Me” for a reread session!

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

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“Love and Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Summer in Tuscany, Italy would be an adventure of a lifetime to most people, but Lina is not one of them. The magic of Italy is lost on Lina because her visit to the beautiful country is only to fulfill her mother’s dying wish for her to get to know her father.

Nothing is ideal or appealing about her trip to Italy, but when Lina is given her mother’s old journal, she discovers what a magical time her mother had had in the romantic country. Reading through her mother’s journal leads Lina on a whirlwind adventure to uncovering the beauty, art, and secrets that her own mother experienced over a decade ago. Each entry of the journal takes her somewhere new, and soon Lina finds herself lost to the magic of the Italian countryside, despite the pain and sorrow that had painted her life for the last year. But as she follows the trail her mother left for in the journal, Lina finds out earth shattering truths about the woman whose every secret she thought she knew, and she wonders how her mother could have kept those kinds of secrets from her. As the mystery of her mother’s past in Italy unfolds, Lina discovers the true reason behind why her mother had loved Italy despite leaving it, and through uncovering her mother’s past, Lina might just find her way forward.

Have I ever told you that I’m a fiend when it comes to anything Italian? I find nearly everything about that country to be charming and interesting, so whenever an opportunity arises to read a book that takes place in the beautiful country, I am ready to dive right in! I have yet to experience a true Italian vacation, but for now reading about the stunning landscape and charming people and culture will have to do until I can experience it for myself.

I adored “Love and Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch because it felt like I got to visit Tuscany and like I had the opportunity to explore the stunning city of Florence. Jenna Evans Welch’s descriptions of the Italian countryside were amazing and made the story and region of Italy it took place in come alive, and this book felt like the closest alternative to an Italian summer to actually traveling there myself. Let’s just say it was magical imagining the beauty of the rolling hills and stunning landscape that Lina, the main character, got to wake up to each morning.

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Oh, yeah, and did I mention Florence yet? I might have swooned over the descriptive writing that Jenna used when telling her readers about the beautiful and historic city of Florence. Jenna Evans Welch painted such a stunningly clear Florence for me that I could see and feel the city all around me, and I loved how this book truly gave me the travel bug, especially when she described the Duomo.

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It felt like I got a tiny history and architecture lesson from reading “Love and Gelato,” which I absolutely adored, and after reading this book, I want to experience the city of Florence and all of Tuscany for myself!

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“Love and Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch is the best contemporary book that I have read for travel; it felt like I got a private tour of Italy while also reading a heartwarming story about a girl healing from loss and discovering who she is. Alright, enough about the amazing travel aspects of “Love and Gelato,” because there was so much more to Jenna’s book than just stunning scenery!

I have been on a YA contemporary reading craze lately. After having read quite a few heavy/serious fantasy novels, I felt this need to find as many sweet, summery reads as I could, and “Love and Gelato” was the first one that I got my hands on, thanks to my sister loaning her copy to me. Needless to say, I loved this book so much, from its beautiful descriptions, heartwarming story, and sweet summertime feeling, that I bought myself a copy!

YA contemporary is usually not my preferred genre, but some truly fantastic authors have persuaded me to give it a chance, and books within this the contemporary genre have slowly found their way onto my bookshelf. I love fairly serious and thought-provoking books or characters that are impacting and linger long after I have put them down, but sometimes I just need a little sweetness in life that gives me a safe escape from my troubles, and “Love and Gelato” was exactly that. This book was the perfectly light and heartwarming journey that a summer afternoon requires, but it was also more, and I feel like I am shorting Jenna Evans Welch by saying that it was just a fluffy summer read. “Love and Gelato” was sweetness itself, but it also had an unexpected depth to it at times that was the result of Jenna having her protagonist dealing with the loss of her mother. “Love and Gelato” made me feel happy and lighthearted with the beauty of the Italian countryside, but there were also moments when it made my heart ache and tears come to my eyes, especially during the last twenty or thirty pages. I really appreciated the ease in which Jenna Evans Welch pulled me into the story that she was telling, and by how she caused me as a reader to feel emotionally connect to her characters.

Lina was a likeable contemporary protagonist, and my heart hurt for her and the loss that she was dealing with because of her mother’s passing. The way that Jenna Evans Welch wrote this book and her main character made me enjoy Lina’s journey, and I liked the fact that Lina did not pull the universe-is-against-me card; I don’t personally like the fact that she was traipsing around a foreign all alone for a few days without any knowledge of the language or culture, but I never got annoyed with Lina, either. I got why she did not want to be in Italy, and Jenna Evans Welch handled the situation of loss well within her contemporary novel.

There was, unfortunately, insta-love between Lina and a young man who she meets in Italy, and that was truly the only thing that I rolled my eyes at while reading “Love and Gelato.” That and the fact that Lina did not know what gelato was.

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Fortunately, though, the insta-love and the severely lacking knowledge of delicious food did not ruin the story of “Love and Gelato “for me. Lina’s journey was cute and heartwarming, if a little quick for my taste, and I just wish that this book had taken place over a longer period of time, because personal growth comes with time. Lina’s story was sweet, but it only took a few days in Italy for her to discover who she was and to come to the point where she could begin to heal from the loss of her mother. It was still a great and heartwarming coming of age story, but I just wish it hadn’t happened so fast for this book’s protagonist, especially since I wanted to see Lina get to know Howard more.

Howard, Lina’s long-lost father and the reason she came to Italy, was such a good, charming, and endearing character. I wish that there had more of him because he brought so much to this book. Jenna Evans Welch did such an amazing job writing Howard, and his character honestly brought tears to my eyes while reading the end of this book. Lots of tears. Multiple times.

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Howard’s story was so interesting as well as sad, and I loved how much he cared for Lina and wanted to get to know her. I’ve definitely come to the point in my life where I fall for the adult characters and am on their side instead of the rebellious teenager’s. And let me tell you, the other side looks pretty good. 😉

Overall, “Love and Gelato” was a sweet, heartwarming summer read. I enjoyed reading Jenna’s amazing descriptions of Tuscany and learning about the city of Florence, and I hope to someday have a stamp in my passport that says,”Italy,” on it. Welch’s writing style in “Love and Gelato” was easy to read while being extremely impacting, and I enjoyed the whole experience of reading this book, from its characters to its stunning setting. If you want to read a good story or just catch the travel bug, you have to read “Love and Gelato”!

Please Ignore My Previous Post!

*Sighs* I have nightmares about blog posts accidentally being published before I edit them, and today was the day when said nightmare came true.

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So if you don’t mind, please just delete the latest post from my blog in your inbox (preferably before you read it), and then I will eventually edit and post it once I have finished writing it. Thanks, everyone, and I apologize for whatever gibberish might be present in that review!

Say Hello To Summer Book Releases: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

I love this post, and I can’t wait to read “Wanderlost”!

The Petite Book Blogger

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Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to be announcing the fourth author in our line up, Ms. Jen Malone!!!! I’m so excited for you to get to know more about her fantastic book Wanderlost in this postcard tour through Europe (yes, it’s as adorable as it sounds). But before I begin I just want to clear up the reason why SHTSBR was postponed last week. You see the thing is, that my dog somehow disconnected and broke my computer and I had to have it sent away to be fixed. Yes, I know that this sounds absurd or like that ridiculous excuse “the dog ate my homework” but…my dog did actually break my computer. Okay, so that’s enough rambling. Here’s more information about the Wanderlost.

P.S. To learn more about Say Hello To Summer Book Releases clickhere

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Les Petits Bonheurs #16…

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So, it is officially summer! It has been summer for about two weeks now, but with a busy schedule it has taken me a bit of time to absorb the fact that I no longer have to study most of my days away. I have a fair amount of free-time now that I am starting to settle down into my new routine, which makes me hopeful that I can finish some of my long-in-coming reviews of books that I read in March, April, and May. *sighs* I am more than a little behind, but I am excited that I will eventually get caught up, even if I am wee bit behind other bloggers.

This summer has definitely inspired me to revise my reviewing process since I’m not the fastest writer/editor, so we’ll see what comes of that, and I’m very excited to start checking things off of my reading list! Before my summer commenced, I had this strange desire to just reread all of the books on my shelf that I love and to give ones that I did not particularly care for a second chance, despite the fact that there are quite a few new books that I should get caught up on. So, my summer reading list is actually a blast to the past/nostalgia list, with quite a few contemporary novels on it, which is not usually my preferred genre. This summer just seems like the right time to drown in fluffy contemporary novels and some of the greatest hits that I own.

All that being said, I am honestly not sure how many new reviews I will be doing this summer. I think that I might rewrite some of my old reviews if my perspective changes toward the books after their next reading, but I am still hoping to write a few new reviews in addition to having a couple of random posts that are befitting of the summer season. I honestly don’t know what’s coming down the blogger road, but I’m kind of excited that it’s unplanned, and I hope you don’t mind the off-roading experience that’s up ahead.