Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 3rd, 2016 by: Simon Pulse
Rating: 1/5 stars
Lina's mother's dying wish was for her daughter to travel to Tuscany and finally meet her father, a man who was only mysteriously recorded in her notebook all her life. Now Lina is being whisked away for the summer, to live with a man who should have been there when he wasn't. But when Lina is given the notebook her mother kept, she begins unravelling secrets she never knew, and discovering a part of Tuscany out of a fairytale. And when the charming Ren comes into her life, Lina steps into her own fairytale as well.
Say it with me, folks: garlic bread and meatballs are not Italian. If my Nona had gotten a hold of this book, it would annoy her and my dad's entire family at the stuff in this book that was supposed to portray Italian culture. I don't know what Tuscany this author went to, but it was not what anyone I know experienced.
I think the main thing that pissed me off in this book was just the lack of research that went into Italian culture. If you wanna write a book set in another country, at least make it authentic and not an American portrayal of what Italian is. Seriously, everytime these people had dinner it looked like a scene out of East Side Mario's. The red and white checkered tablecloth, the garlic bread, the spaghetti and meatballs, this is not how Italians eat!! It may be how Italian-Americans eat, but in Tuscany, it's a whole other story.
I also felt like the main character was extremely naive. I would imagine that her mother would at least tell her some things about Italian culture, but this girl goes in not even knowing what gelato or a pizza Margarita is. It was just the typical trope of a girl going into a new country acting like it's a completely different planet, when in reality, it's just common knowledge. Also, why did Lorenzo go by "Ren?" They couldn't even keep his Italian name in there.
It may seem like I'm being overly critical of this book, but it just annoys me when people don't get the culture right. There should be more research done into the traditions and customs of countries in YA books, because otherwise, you end up wasting your time like me. For more info, Cee made a great post on a similar issue in The Raven Cycle series, in regards to Welsh culture. I encourage you to read that post, because she obviously spoke a lot more eloquently than me: Why I'm Hesitant to Read the Raven Cycle
Have you read Love and Gelato? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess