After reading Love & Gelato, I was really excited to read about Addie and her adventures in Jenna Evans Welch’s follow-up, Love & Luck. This book takes place in Ireland, and although Addie assumes her trip will be brief, she ends up on a road trip that not only inspires her to explore some of Ireland’s most famous sites, but also a lingering heartache that has followed her all summer. 🍀❤️
Want to read a full synopsis? Click here! And I’ve tried to keep this review spoiler-free, but there may be a few small spoilers here and there. You’ve been warned… 😁
What I Liked:
- I think Addie’s story is relatable, even if you haven’t been in her exact situation. (I’m not going to talk about this very much since it would spoil an important reveal later in the book.) She’s a girl who feels like she made the wrong choices, and she carries that embarrassment and shame very close, fearful of letting anyone else in.
- While the guidebook narrator’s somewhat-simpering tone was occasionally irksome, I think it was a unique addition to this book. If you’ve read Love & Gelato, you’ll know that it contains excerpts from the main character, Lina’s, late mother, Hadley. The guidebook in Love & Luck serves a similar purpose, as it takes Addie on her own journey and forces her to confront and think about her heartbreak.
- I can never resist a good road trip story, especially one that takes place somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. And some of the travel-related hijinks were entertaining, albeit a little predictable at times. 🚘
- This book seems to attempt to make up for the clichéd “insta-love” of Love & Gelato. (Addie even, at times, seems a little jealous or resentful of Lina’s sudden transition from single girl to I’M-IN-LOVE girl.) I appreciated the emotional connection Addie made with Rowan more than anything else.
What I Disliked:
- I know I just said that Addie’s story is relatable, but I had a very difficult time warming up to her as a character. Her fights with her brother, Ian, went on and on and on, to the point where they were just obnoxious. 😑 Both of them spent way too much time being sulky and immature, and yes, I know they’re just teenagers, but COME ON. Doesn’t it get exhausting? I was only reading about it, and I felt exhausted!
- Something about this book just didn’t grab me in the same way that Love & Gelato did. 🙁 Maybe it was the constant fighting, or the clichéd set-up of, “Oh, Addie’s just going to one road trip stop with us, and that’s it! OH, NO, WAIT, SHE MISSED HER FLIGHT!” Some parts of this book felt more forced, and that made it hard for me to really become invested in the story.
- I’m not going to reveal Addie’s secret, but I will say that I was… disappointed with the way it was handled. The reader is led to believe that’s it’s a Big Deal, and it most definitely is. But then it’s handled quickly and over with, just like that. It felt like a lot of build-up for a too-easy conclusion. And again, they’re teenagers, I totally get it. But Ian’s initial behavior re: the secret incident pissed me off. Instead of focusing on what his sister is going through, he often makes it all about himself. Luckily, his tune changes as the book goes on, but those initial chapters did not make me care about him. 🙄 (There may have been moments where I wished that Rowan would just kick him out of the car and leave him behind…)
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Love & Gelato, but I think this is still a good, quick spring or summer read, especially if you’re into road trip stories and YA contemporary romance. (It’s also worth checking out if you want to see more of Lina and Ren post-Love & Gelato.)
Publication Date: May 8th
**Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.