Parents' Guide to

Love & Gelato

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teen grapples with grief and first love in charming romance.

Love & Gelato Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 17+
It’s light and funny. I’m not really into romance novels but I liked this one a lot.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Great Book!

This was honestly one of the best books I have ever read, and I don't really like to read books. This book is easy to read, I could just flow through it. The book is mildly romantic, has very little smoking and drinking, and has one scene where the main character is sexually harassed but it is resolved. The only swear words are in Italian so you should be fine. Overall, this is an amazing book with a great storyline as well.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (32):

This light, fun, fast-paced romance is a charmer. While still processing her grief over her mother's death, Lina Emerson is sent to Italy to live with an old friend of her mother's for the summer. In her first few weeks in Tuscany, she learns a lot about herself, her mother, and love. Author Jenna Evans Welch has a good ear for teen dialogue, and it's easy to fall into Lina's relationships and feelings. When Lina is handed her mother's journal from her time as a student in Florence, the story picks up. The reader gets to know Lina's mom's backstory as Lina herself is learning it. It tugs at the heart watching her slowly feel the depth of her sadness over her mom's death.

The mystery over who Lina's real father is is well written and adds a suspenseful element to the book. Lina's romantic struggles are cute and not too intense or heavy. In fact, the characters and romantic relationships could have had more depth and explanation. It's hard to believe that so much can happen to a person in a couple of weeks, but sometimes it's fun to suspend disbelief and go with it. Love & Gelato is a good choice for teens who like escapist romance but not the super-sexual stuff. Tuscany, and Florence in particular, provide a beautiful landscape for the action.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate