Title: Love and Luck
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Love and Luck was the Match pick for one of the book clubs I attend, Young Adult for Adults. I was very excited when I heard: I’d loved Welch’s debut novel, Love and Gelato. Love and Luck picks up where that left off, with Lina’s best friend, Addison, now in the spotlight. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it nearly as much as I enjoyed Love and Gelato. There were a lot of inconsistencies that I wish had been addressed in the book. Regardless, it was a light, enjoyable read, and I felt it was a really good pick for March!
Addison is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s ostentatious, ridiculous destination wedding. She’s counting down the days until she can get to Italy and finally see her best friend, Lina. Never mind that she’s running from a dangerous, embarrassing secret, or that her family is always in her business. Or that her very future is at stake, or that her brother and closest friend, Ian, hates her now. When she finds an old guidebook in her hotel, she begins to wonder if her heartache will end. But things quickly go wrong when Ian tries to ditch her for an unknown, charming Irish stranger named Rowan. Soon drawn into a reluctant cross-country trip across Ireland, Addie begins to discover that despite all the heartache in her life, she’s pretty lucky as well, and a fresh start may be awaiting her once she returns home to the States.
I liked this book, but it wasn’t nearly as good as Love and Gelato. There were a lot of inconsistences that bothered me. Addie’s family wasn’t very well fleshed out; I found a lot of it lacking and I was left with a lot of questions about them. I was also left wondering about Addie’s relationship with Lina; there were a lot of loose ends that I felt really needed to be addressed. The big buildup to the life-changing event for Addie kind of felt like a letdown; I was expecting something more, or worse? Regardless, I really enjoyed it. I loved the voice of the author of the guidebook at the beginning of each chapter; it made the pacing and transitioning really smooth and easy to follow. The lush, green setting of Ireland stole my heart and had me wishing for a long vacation. I liked Addie, fierce and funny and loving, and I also enjoyed her brother Ian, the perfect foil for her. Quiet, brooding, and secretive, I really liked him, and his weird, quirky sense of humor. But the person who really stole my heart in this book was Rowan. I really liked him. He was sweet, funny, and charming, with a hurting side that he kept hidden very well. I also very much enjoyed the ending. This book was a good attempt, but I was hoping for the magic and spirit of Love and Gelato. I liked it, but it wasn’t spectacular. The bottom line: Though I didn’t like Love and Luck as much as Love and Gelato, I really liked it nonetheless. Next on deck: Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena!