Published by Simon Pulse on November 10, 2020
Series: Love & Gelato #3
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a Mamma Mia–inspired tale about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.
Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.
But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.
And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.
Love & Olives is the third book in the young adult contemporary romance series called Love & Gelato by author Jenna Evans Welch. Each of the books in the Love & Gelato series can be read as standalones, and I think they are the perfect books for anyone looking for a cute romance and who is currently experiencing wanderlust. (Which I think is all of us these days!) Love & Olives is the first book in this series that I have had the pleasure of reading, so I can attest to the fact that it really does work as a standalone. However; I loved this book so much that I am currently kicking myself for not reading the other books in the Love & Gelato series. I need to grab copies of books 1 and 2 immediately so I can dive into those stories as well! Love & Olives transported me to the beautiful county of Greece. I was super excited to see that this story takes place in Santorini Greece, because that is on my bucket list of places to visit, and though I am not traveling anywhere these days, this book transported me while I was reading it. I could smell the sea breeze and practically taste all of the yummy food that was referenced in the book. I loved Jenna Evans Welch’s writing- she made everything come to life while I was reading. This book was fantastic!
In Love & Olives, we meet our main character Liv as she travels to Greece to try and reconnect with her father than left when she was little. I loved that her and her dad reconnected over their shared interest in the city of Atlantis, because I also find that to be a fascinating subject, so I was super pumped to see that as such a main feature of the story. Watching Liv experience Greece, dig into Atlantis research, and have a bit of summer romance was all so perfect. There are lots of issues and emotions to be dealt with between Liv and her father, and also things that Liv needs to sort out about herself. I loved seeing her come into her own and decide what type of person she wants to be. It was really satisfying to see her decide that she doesn’t want to pretend to be someone she isn’t anymore.
This is a book that will leave your heart full, give you all kinds of warm fuzzies and put a huge perma-smile on your face. It is equal parts heartwarming for the family aspect of the story as it is for Liv’s journey of self-discovery, with a splash of romance. And speaking of romance. I have major swoons going on for Theo. Though he can be a bit full of himself, I thought he was the perfect compliment to Liv. Theo works with her father on his quest to find the lost city of Atlantis, which means lots of time with Liv once she gets there. The romance undercurrent is there, but it felt secondary to the overall development of iv and her father’s relationship. I loved all of it!
Bottom line: If you are a fan of stories that are full of heart, and that will transport you to a different place for a while, Love & Olives is the perfect book for you to check out. It was a ton of fun, and completely adorable. I loved this book hardcore, and I am super excited to pick up the first two books so I can fall in love all over again!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020
- Romanceopoly 2020