Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
A heartwarming story crisscrossing over Ireland’s main tourist spots, Love & Luck is that book that you’ll want to curl up with in front of a fire.
Following Addie, the friend of Lina’s we were introduced to in Love & Gelato, we see her go to Ireland for her Aunt’s wedding. She’s suffering from heartbreak after things ended badly with her boyfriend, and as a result, her close bond with one of her brothers, Ian, is tarnished as they were on the same football team. Knowing she’s going to Italy to see Lina soon with Ian, she feels relieved, but all goes to hell when Ian bails before their plane leaves. Introduce Rowan, the Irish friend Ian’s befriended who he’s going on a musical odyssey with around Ireland, and Addie is left to tag along on this journey with them. With her handbook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, on hand, she travels with them around Ireland’s beautiful landscape in the hopes of healing her broken heart.
So I like Love & Gelato just that bit more as it was more ‘romancey’. This book focused more on a sibling bond which was nice with some romance aspects woven through. But I’m realising Jenna Evans Welch writes these great witty books so I’m going to put my hand up for whatever she gives us next.
Some points of interest for me:
– Addie’s internal monologue was so witty and I just loved reading it. Her reactions were everything and I liked how she was depicted: strong willed, ferocious and caring.
– I like the guidebook aspect in the book as it added an extra layer of information about Ireland. The history of some of Ireland’s spots was lovely to hear about and the lady narrating it was so endearing and funny.
– Ian and Addie’s relationship was an interesting plot focus. There’s different forms of love, and seeing a sibling bond play out with all its ups and downs was interesting. I liked how protective her brothers were of her, and how Ian always had her best intentions.
– Ian and Rowan’s friendship bewildered me for a minute. When we first met Rowan, Ian was sneaking off with him and I just remember thinking, “Are they together?” I just felt they had a secret and that them being together would be a plot point. But no, just friends as Rowan and Addie had something throughout the book.
– I liked how the book had this theme about not judging a book by its cover. Ian was meant to get into college through football but really just wanted to get into writing about music. Addie discovered more about herself through her journey and found she was way stronger than she thought. And then Rowan learning how to move on from his parents divorce. We see the characters as one sided but then they gain so much depth the more we read.
If you want that cute contemporary read to warm your heart, pick up Love & Luck. It balances important themes with the lightness of a contemporary and will make that travel bug in you come out!