Jenna Evans Welch has done it again. I absolutely loved my time spent reading Love & Olives.
This brought back the tone, humor, heart and gut-punching familial relationships of Love & Gelato. I’m so happy.
Liv Varanakis is surprised when she receives a postcard from her father asking her to travel to Greece to stay with him. He needs her help with a mystery project; something involving the lost city of Atlantis.
Honestly, Liv has been trying to forget her Dad. She has had little, to no, contact with him since he left when she was only 8-years old.
He returned to his native-country, Greece, and her and her mom were forced to make ends meet without him. It wasn’t always easy, but her mom has since remarried and she even has a half-brother now, who she adores.
She has to go though. Her Mom is making her go. It’ll be fine. Even though she has to miss her boyfriend’s Senior Trip; it’ll be fine.
Arriving on the beautiful island of Santorini, Liv’s nerves begin to get the best of her. She has no idea what to expect. Will she and her Dad even get along?
Things get off to a bit of a rocky start when a strange boy shows up in her Dad’s place to pick her up from the airport. Should she even trust this person?
He claims his name is Theo and that he works for her father. It’s like something out of a movie. She’s pretty sure she shouldn’t just go with him. She’s seen, Taken.
This story is an absolute delight. The Reader gets to follow along as Liv and her father try to repair their broken relationship. She gets to live in his book shop, with Theo, and their relationship blossoms as well.
Central to the story is the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis and the documentary film her father is making on the subject. Liv, an artist, is put in charge filming, a task she excels at.
The story is told through Liv’s perspective and it is full of humor. She has such a sarcastic, honest view of the events; it’s hilarious to read.
I loved the interactions between characters and how Welch incorporated some heavier topics throughout. Liv really grows over the course of the story. Watching her relationship with her father change, as she learns more about him, and about herself, was really lovely.
I have read some reviews where people commented on the length of the story; that it is too long. It is long, over 500-pages for a YA Contemporary, but looking back on it, I cannot think of one scene that I would have removed.
For me, every detail was needed in order to become as attached to Liv and her story as I did. Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I actually think this story is my favorite out of the three. Liv is my favorite protagonist, combined with the Atlantis lore and the documentary aspect, makes this a near perfect book for me.
As one of my favorite BookTubers always says, 10 out of 10, recommend! Let Greece sweep you away!