Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Like the other books in the Love & Gelato series this is about an American girl finding herself in another country with a light romance mixed in. I just want to way since no one has mentioned it. This can be read as a 100% stand alone story, I didn’t notice any characters from the other books in the series and if I missed them there wasn’t enough of a tie in to spoil any of the other stories.
Liv’s dad left when she was young and all she had left was the memories and a box full of 26 things that she had. Pieces of her father that she kept close in spite of changing everything she was to distance herself from the young Olive that lost him.
Then the post cards started coming from various places in Greece with cheery phrases like nothing had happened ending with one that brought her to the beautiful country itself in the search of The Lost City of Atlantis, the myth that her father had been chasing his entire life and the thing she had convinced herself that he left her for.
This was very much in the vein of Love & Gelato, a very hard hitting story about a different kind of grief and longing for someone that disappeared from your life and the part of you that goes along with them. Just like the original book in the series, the love story in sweet and slow burn, taking a back seat to Liv finding herself surrounded by her father’s dreams and the beautiful city of his childhood.
Definite trigger warnings for mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder and highly accurate descriptions of panic attacks that gave me second hand anxiety.
I’m not really the type to like these more hard hitting contemporaries and I need to really be in the mood to read it, but I was more drawn in by the very well researched Atlantis subplot and the romance. Everything else was very thoughtfully written, especially the talk of mental illness, but like I said I didn’t really feel it. I wasn’t in the mood and it did end up triggering my own anxiety.
Still, I’m not going to hold that against the book because it was engaging, very well researched and sweet at the end of the day. Jenna Evans Welch has a way of holding your hand through the difficult bits with her writing. I was very much eased into it which made it easier to read.