“Labels aren’t big enough for people. And once you try to categorise someone, you stop looking for who they actually are.” – Love and Luck, Jenna Evans Welch
Hello my lovelies! Today, I’m reviewing Love and Luck, the second book by Jenna Evans Welch. This is a companion novel to 2016’s Love and Gelato, though it makes total sense as a standalone so don’t worry if you haven’t read that one!
What the book was about
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once-inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.
So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.
And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.
That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.
What I thought of it
This was another lovely read from Jenna Evans Welch! I don’t often connect with contemporaries but there is just something about this series that I really like. I really hope she continues this series; she’s now written books set in Italy and Ireland, and I’d love to see her take on other places!
I loved the guidebook spin in this one; I thought it was very original and I really liked the tone of these sections. As someone who has tried many self-help books in the past, I really appreciated the non-patronising way in which Welch wrote these sections and loved the homework she set for Addie. And the Irish slang was right up my street (though there wasn’t so much of it that other readers would struggle with it).
The book made me giggle a number of times, which is just what I was needing after a string of disappointing reads. Yes, the storyline is fairly unbelievable but if you just go with it, it’s a fun ride.
I really liked Addie as a character and, of course, Rowan was an adorable little peach. I half expected Welch to go down the insta-love route with these two but I was delighted with what she actually did instead! It was also great to get a little cameo from Lina and Ren from the first book – but again, I will reiterate that this one will still make total sense if you haven’t read Love and Gelato!
This book also has some really lovely messages at its heart. It emphasises the importance of being ‘you’ and not letting other people put you into a box. The sibling relationships were fantastically portrayed and I loved the whole angle of building each other up and supporting our strengths.
This was another book that was chosen by my online book club and it was another success! I definitely recommend this one for contemporary fans or anyone who loves Ireland 🙂
What are some of your favourite contemporaries? Can you recommend me some that I might like? And if you’ve read this series, where would you like to see Welch take us next?!