Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch Review

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.

Book: Love & Olives
Written by: Jenna Evans Welch
Reviewed by: Angie Amezcua

My wish to live out my best Donna Sheridan (Mamma Mia) life has only continued to be fueled by Olive Varanakis. Welch was able to transport me to Santorini for a beautiful coming of age story where a teenager is given the opportunity to rekindle her relationship with her father, who stepped out of the family picture when she was 8 years old. Olive convinced herself that her father left her to seek out the lost city of Atlantis. Since then Olive ran away from her own feelings by hiding behind a new persona she created in order for her to “survive”. The story did get a bit repetitive towards the middle of the story as Olive continuously avoided any sort of confrontation with her father about why he left however, the payoff at the end is extremely heartwarming and even had me shedding a tear or two.

One of my favorite aspects about the book was the beautiful pictures Welch painted of every view on the island. 2020 has not been an easy year, with my personal view constantly being my household it was such a thrill to get lost on the beautiful island of Santorini with Olive. Another one of my favorite aspects is the way each chapter began, in the prologue it’s mentioned that Olive wrote a list of 26 things her dad left and each chapter begins with one of the items along with a description of why it’s so important. Of course I can’t forget to mention the slow burn romance Olive finds herself caught up in, which is my favorite aspect of the entire story. Overall Love & Olives is one of the coming of age stories that YA readers can cling onto and refuse to let go.

You can purchase Love & Olives at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Maggie Herbst/Echo Photography

Jenna Evans Welch was the kind of insatiable child reader who had no choice but to grow up to become a writer. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato, Love & Luck, and Love & Olives. When she isn’t writing girl abroad stories, Jenna can be found chasing her children or making elaborate messes in the kitchen. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and two young children. Visit her online at JennaEvansWelch.com.



Post a Comment