Monday, December 28, 2020

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

 Love & Olives
Author: Jenna Evan Welch
Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: November 10, 2020
Pages: 512
Source/format: e-ARC//Publisher
Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis (from

Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.
And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, 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.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a Mamma Mia–inspired tale about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.

M Y  T H O U G H T S 

Liv Varanakis lives with her mother and her stepfather in Seattle. Her father left her family when she was about eight and he currently lives in Santorini, Greece. Liv has always had a good relationship with her father and when she was younger, she would always be Indiana Olive uncovering the secrets of Atlantis with her dad. One day, a postcard with her name on it beckons her to Greece. She refuses to go but her mother convinces to reunite with her father for 10 days.

So during the summer before senior year, Liv travels to Greece. At first her father is no where to be found and she has to hop on a motorbike with Theo, her father's friend's son, in order to meet her father at Oia. Liv spends time in Greece to mull over what life means to her. Her boyfriend wants her to go to Stanford but she really wants to go to RISD to pursue art. Liv tries to forgive her father and to make up for lost time. I love how Theo nicknames Liv Kalamata. Even though Theo and Liv don't warm up to each other at the beginning, their relationship slowly blossoms. And the fact that Theo wants to be an adventure filmmaker, it definitely intrigues Liv. In Love and Olives, Liv breaks out of her shell and embraces who she is not only as a person but to really hone on her artistic skills and to make long lasting relationships. 

Jenna Evans Welch not only transports her readers to another beautiful European country but she is able to tell us a wonderful story. I love how Welch starts each chapter with one of the items that Liv's father left behind...from Big Red chewing gum to pages of Plato's Timaeus and Critias. Liv is able to reconnect with her father through a documentary they are filming about finding Atlantis for National Geographic. They both rekindle their daughter/father relationship over one of their favorite things they bond over. 

I highly suggest Love & Olives for readers who are consumed by wanderlust and those who want to be transported somewhere new. I also enjoyed reading other books by Welch such as Love & Gelato and Love & Luck