Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch is a heartwarming and complex contemporary that has quickly become one of my favourites. Set in Greece, where the main characters are working on a documentary about Atlantis, this one will make readers both laugh and cry. I loved the complexity of each of the characters, and the theories of Atlantis throughout the story are explored in impressive detail. Fans of Love & Gelato will not be disappointed in this latest instalment.Title: Love & Olives
Series: Love & Gelato #3
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Also by this author: Love & Gelato
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Santorini felt like an island holding its breath. As if it were keeping in a secret...
Liv Varanakis doesn’t like to think about her father much, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight, leaving her with just a few painful memories of their shared love for the lost city of Atlantis. So when teenage Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father, who explains that National Geographic is supporting a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and asks if she will fly out to Greece and help—Liv is less than thrilled.
When she arrives in gorgeous Santorini, things are just as awkward as she'd imagined. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. Liv doesn’t want to get sucked back into her father's world. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo, her father’s charismatic so-called protégé, to witness her struggle.
Even so, she can't help but be charmed by everything Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the sun-drenched villages, 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.
Review: Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch
When Liv receives a postcard from her father inviting her to Greece to help him with his documentary, she is hesitant to reconnect with him. She is still dealing with the pain of her father leaving her years ago, and, at first, she doesn’t buy the wild theories of Atlantis at the centre of his work. However, as the summer progresses and Liv takes a more active role in the documentary, she slowly starts to get to know her father and comes to love Santorini and its welcoming community.
❀ Well-Written Characters
The characters in this book are so well-written, and I loved every single one. Liv is a relatable protagonist, and I really felt for her as she tries to find herself and searches for the reason why her dad left. She was so close with him when she was young, and they bonded over an interest in Atlantis. Now, however, Liv finds it difficult to trust him again. The two have such a complex relationship, and Liv’s slow process of reconnecting with her father is realistic, and may or may not have brought tears to my eyes.
❀ Atlantis is an Exciting Aspect
There is so much I love about this book, but I was especially blown away by how well-researched it is. Much of the story is dedicated to Liv’s father’s documentary about Atlantis, and I was so impressed to see multiple theories about it discussed in detail. I could feel the author’s own enthusiasm for the subject come through in her writing, and it made me even more excited to continue reading. What I especially enjoyed, however, is the way Atlantis is tied to Liv’s relationship with her dad and its development, which made for a moving reading experience.
❀ Entertaining and Emotional
Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch is an entertaining and unexpectedly emotional read that is perfect for the end of summer. I loved the Greece setting, and the characters are each complex. I was especially impressed by the depth of the Atlantis theories throughout the book, which left me wanting to know more. Of all three books in the series, this one has become my new favourite.