Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

Posted September 22, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding ItAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 4th 2010
Also by this author: Since You've Been Gone, Second Chance Summer, Save the Date, Take Me Home Tonight
Format: eBook (344 pages) • Source: Owned
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Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

I had high expectations for this one since I’m a huge fan of Morgan Matson. I still need to read quite a few of her books and honestly wondered if I’d ever actually read AMY & ROGER. I love books about road trips and people who go on them together falling for each other, so it was actually right up my alley. I think I was afraid I’d be disappointed somehow. Yet again, my excellent book club was there to rescue me and force me to read things.

Amy is dealing with the loss of her father when she embarks on a road trip with Roger, planned by her mom. They decide to take an ~epic detour~ to take care of business and sight see across the country. Her family has been in shambles since her dad died, with her mom moving to Connecticut (and making Amy move as well) and her brother in rehab in North Carolina. The story involves some really fun elements, like playlists, scrapbook pages, and other things they grabbed along the road. It was a nice touch for sure!

The serious and sad elements were woven nicely throughout the story, between flashbacks and Amy finally opening up a little bit. I loved the different places that they decided to adventure to! I haven’t been to many different states outside of New England so this made me really want to take a road trip somewhere. I liked Amy and Roger quite a bit, and definitely shipped them right off the bat. They were childhood friends but that part wasn’t really explored like I’d hoped. I also found it hard to connect with both of them because Amy was mostly quiet, sad, and introspective. They didn’t talk with each other as much as I wanted them to.

My biggest issue is how the ending felt pretty abrupt. There were a lot of good, necessary elements, but a lot of them felt rushed. I don’t want to spoil anything but I just couldn’t believe the book ended where it did. (This could also be because there was a preview at the end of the book that made me think I was 91% done instead of 100% done.)

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding ItLove & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 3rd 2016
Also by this author: Love & Luck, Love & Olives
Format: Audiobook (389 pages) • Source: Scribd
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“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

I don’t usually feature DNF reviews on my blog for various reasons, but I started working on this review forever ago and didn’t really want to delete it. Here are the many reasons I DNFed this book….

I had really high hopes for this one when it was first announced, but the excitement stalled a bit when subpar reviews kept rolling in from friends. I finally was in the mood to give it a try via audio when I was home earlier this month, and honestly… I was often tempted to DNF in the first half of the book. There were some pieces that kept me reading and others that made me want to throw my phone. The synopsis promised some secrets being revealed and the fact that her mom’s journal would get involved, so I decided to keep pushing. I waited for my physical copy to come in so I could pick up from there… but still had no desire to read it. I finally decided to just quit and maybe try again a long time from now.

Lina as a character was a M O R O N, especially relating to Italian things (like the language). A few examples that made me want to punch her…

  • She was surprised when her father, who has been living in Italy for around 20 years, could speak Italian fluently. Really?
  • The shower knobs were labeled “C” and “F” instead of the usual “H” and “C” that you see in the US. She kept trying to translate the C and F initials into English words like “freezing” or “cool” instead of somehow realizing that obviously they signified Italian words. Ya know, because she was IN ITALY and that’s what they happen to speak there. The house isn’t labeled for you, an English-speaker.
  • Lorenzo introduced himself and used the rolling R sound for his name. She tried to say it but couldn’t roll the R… and somehow wasn’t able to say the name in general. Lorenzo is a fucking name that people even have in the US. How could you not just say LORENZO instead of trying to say Lorrrrenzo. It was like her brain stopped processing it halfway through.
  • When she was talking to her friend on the phone, she pretended to not know how to say “ciao,” as if American people haven’t been using that word for years just because it’s the one Italian thing they know how to say. I don’t remember if she was actually pretending to not know or if she really didn’t… or if it was her friend… but I don’t care, the scene was stupid.

There were promises of journaly secrets and romance but I didn’t feel like sticking around.

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding ItFinding It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #3
Genres: New Adult
Published by Harper Collins on October 15th 2013
Also by this author: All Lined Up, All Broke Down, Losing It, All Played Out, Faking It, Roar
Format: eBook (311 pages) • Source: Scribd
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Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

I honestly figured I’d never finish this trilogy because of how up-and-down it was. I just didn’t think this last book would end up satisfying me, after I DNFed the first and was generally okay with the second one. I didn’t even realize this book involved international travel (one of my favorite things to read) until I randomly started reading it one night. I was in the mood for something quick and easy to read. FINDING IT was sort of both of those things, but it was definitely heavier than I expected at times.

Kelsey is traveling Europe post-graduation because she really has nothing else to do. Her rich family can foot the bill and she can enjoy delaying the inevitable of finding a job. When she meets Jackson and he refuses to hook up with her right away, she’s prepared to get what she wants somehow. She doesn’t expect him to take her on a whirlwind week-long European trip.

This definitely exceeded my expectations! There were lots of more serious elements, but it was balanced well against sexual tension and chemistry. I liked both of the characters (even though Kelsey took some warming up to in the beginning). There was the classic fight and miscommunication and running away before someone can explain themselves, but all of the drama was minimal. I appreciated that for sure, especially after the first two books. This one is definitely my favorite of the series and I’m really glad I decided to read it.

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