A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.
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 Lina 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 from Lina 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.
Lina is sent to Italy due to her mothers last request in order to get to know her father, Howard, who turns out is not her father at all.
While living in Italy for school, her mother was dating a teacher who she completely fell head over heels in love with but he wasn't returning the same kind of love.
after heartache and heartbreak and school being done, Hadley (Lina's mom) ends up with Howard. she eventually realizes that its been him all along and shes in love with him.
this comes months after heartache with Matteo.
their mutual friend Francesca comes back to Italy to visit with both Hadley and Howard and she lets her know that Matteo wanted to get in contact with her so she decides that she will in fact meet with him.
so she can tell him that she's pregnant.
she goes to Rome and she waits a couple of days.
the reason he wanted to meet with her was to tell her that he wanted to open up his own business and he basically wanted her to work for him because he knew just how valuable she was.
that's when she breaks the news and he goes ape shit on her.
so she leaves Italy.
she leaves Italy because she knew that if she stayed, even though Matteo wanted nothing to do with the baby, he could go after her and keep Lina because of Italian laws. (is that real?)
so she flees.
and even though she's in love with Howard, she doesn't tell him because she knows that he'd leave his dream job and leave it all just to be with her.
so now its up to Lina (with help from Ren) to figure out her mothers story.
along the way, you meet the rest of the friends (they go to a small school so everyone knows everyone and they get very excited when someone new comes along)
Originally, Lina was all about Thomas and Ren was all about Mimi (never make a dude wait 2 years. your shit ain't all that) but you KNEW, you just KNEW that somehow Lina and Ren were going to end up together. ahhh!!!!! the way she kissed him in Rome and the way she spilled her guts at the party. all of me was hoping it would happen and all of me was sad (but had accepted that it wasn't) and all of me times 100 more was so freaking happy that it did. eventually she talks it all out with Howard and he knew all along he wasn't her father but he still offers to have her stay if shed like to. so of course she does. and you want to know what i love about it all? that all this happened in like a span of a week. (so fake but so <3 <3 <3)
MY RAMBLINGS (just thoughts on the book itself)
i gotta say.
i freaking love instagram for all of the #bookstagrams that there are.
i found this book randomly and the cover caught my attention.
I'm at the point where if i see a book i like, i take a screenshot and i save it in to my newly created folder aptly named "books to read."
i headed to the library because they were open til 8 and i didn't want to head home and guys!, i scored. i got 3 books. all from my BTR pile.
I've said it before, I'm saying it now and i will definitely say it again, I'm a huge believer that a book will call you to read it when its meant to happen. of the 3 i got, this one was not on my high to read list but the one that i just had to read.
and i don't regret it.
ANYWAY (GETTING TO THE POINT)
i loved this book. its been a while (since i can remember) that I've devoured a book in 24 hours. i stayed up way past my bedtime and i read it during lunch, i was so hooked that i basically read it from lunch (230p) until i was off work (5p).
i absolutely LOVED this story.
as far-fetched as some of the plot may seem in the sense that a week, really?!, it absolutely sucked me in and i want to go to Italy like right now!!!! (that and i kept thinking of Carlee who is in Italy!) i fell in love with Lina and Howard because i feel like they weren't over the top. and Howard, ugh! he was just so lovable. even the side characters were fun! Marco and Elena and Mimi and Thomas and everyone else. i love how she was well know before she even arrived. (that scene when she first gets to Elena's house! <3) I'm 100% in love with this book. i loved it so much I'm not even mad i don't own a physical copy. ...but its on my to buy liat. cant wait to dive in to the next two books i got. hopefully i tear in to them just as quick. and so, i leave you with this:
"turns out there's a reason they call it falling in love, because when it happens ---really happens---- that's exactly how it feels. there's no doing or trying, you just let go and hope that someones going to be there to catch you."