Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Narrated by Lisa Flanagan
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.
“Labels aren't big enough for people. And once you try to categorize someone, you stop looking for who they actually are.”
I loved Love & Luck! I was worried it wouldn't be as good as Love & Gelato, but they were both amazing! They're easily two of my favorite reads this year.

Love & Gelato focused on friendship and family, a new home in a different country, and an unexpected romance. Love & Luck was mostly about family and forgiveness. I really liked that the story focused on Addie and her relationship with her brother Ian. They've both been keeping secrets from each other and the rest of their family, which resulted in their friendship becoming strained. Addie and her siblings are really close, so it was hard for her to lie to them and keep her problems to herself. Honestly, I really enjoyed all of the family interactions -- so realistic!

The Ireland setting was fantastic, and I really enjoyed the excerpts from the guidebook (Ireland for the Heartbroken) Addie was reading. It really added another layer to the story, and I thought the author was hilarious!

“Do you know what I love most about humans, pet? It’s our utter dogged stupidity. When it comes to love we never learn. Ever. Even when we know the risks. Even when it makes much more sense to relocate to individualized climate-controlled caves, where our hearts have at least a fighting chance at remaining intact. We know the risks of opening our hearts up. And yet we keep doing it anyway. We keep falling in love and having babies and buying shoes that look incredible but feel like death. We keep adopting puppies and making friends and buying white sofas that we know we’re going to drop a slice of pizza facedown on. We just keep doing it. Is it ignorance? Amnesia? Or is it something else? Something braver?”

Addie is surrounded by three brothers, and she knows how to fight back. She'll happily tackle one of her brothers when they do something ridiculous (which is often). She also isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and loves working on cars. Addie wasn't concerned with appearances, and it was refreshing to read about someone that liked themselves. She may not have liked the decisions she made, but she was still confident and knew herself.

An unexpected road trip through Ireland? Yes, please! Addie travels with Ian and his friend Rowan on an epic journey. She's constantly fixing Rowan's car, Clover, so they can get from one place to the next. I laughed at how clueless the boys were, and Addie's quick remedies for fixing truly terrible mechanical problems. Duct tape does not fix everything...

Rowan was adorable! I loved how he inserted himself into conversations just to keep Addie and Ian from fighting. He's dealing with his own problems, but chooses to focus on their trip instead of dwelling on something he cannot change. After awhile, Rowan starts sharing pieces of his story as they travel, and he and Addie do the guidebook homework together. It was nice to see Addie and Ian put aside their issues so they could work together and help Rowan. Additionally, Rowan and Ian would do something nice to help Addie, and Addie and Rowan did a lot to make Ian's dreams come true. They were such a great team!

There are so many wonderful things I could say about this book (the audio was amazing for one thing), and I adored Addie and her family. They fought (physically and verbally), kept secrets, spilled secrets, laughed, and loved unconditionally. It was an authentic experience that I really enjoyed. Also, their mom was awesome! She could be intense and scary, but she obviously loved her children and would do anything for them.

I highly recommend both Love & Luck and Love & Gelato! It was a wonderful adventure that I doubt I will ever forget! (The characters overlap, but both books can be read on their own.)


  1. wow one of your fave of the year? Now I want it!!!!

    1. Have you read Love & Gelato? They're both amazing! <3

  2. Sounds good and if it's one of your favorites this year then it must be good.

    1. It was definitely good! Jenna Evans Welch is a new auto-buy author for me. :)

  3. I am a fan of the "Love &" books. I hope Welch writes more. I sort of would love to see Addie get her romance book or even Ian.

    1. I would love for her other brothers to get books, too! I think a book from Rowan's perspective would be lovely! Maybe when he comes to visit Addie over the holidays??

  4. I haven't read either of these but I think I need to!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

  5. Addie sounds awesome. I love that she has 4 brothers who keep her tough haha, and a road trip through Ireland? That's something I need to do someday! I'm so glad this turned out good, I need to read it (loved Love & Gelato).

    1. I'm really glad you mentioned four brothers, because that was an error on my part! She has three brothers, so four siblings total. My mistake! I've fixed it now, so thank you!! :)

      Addie was an amazing character! She has a wonderful family, an amazing best friend, and a lot to look forward to in life. I hope there's an Addie and Rowan story in the future.

      Ohh… a road trip through Ireland would be sensational! I don't think I'd kiss the Blarney stone (probably spelled incorrectly, hah), because there is way too much saliva on that thing -- ugh.

  6. This one has kinda been on my radar ever since I saw Sam (We Live & Breathe Books) rave about it. Addie sounds like such a refreshing YA protagonist. One who isn’t riddled with insecurities. Hooray for that! Yes, there are many who deal with insecurities and that should be represented, but it often feels like *every* girl in YA is a bundle of self-doubt and self-loathing and insecurities. Surely there are (mostly) well-adjusted girls out there, too? *stepping off soapbox* Rowan sounds like such a sweetheart!

    1. Yes! I know Sam is a fan! We were just talking about wanting more "Love &" books. Have you read Love & Gelato? I thought I remembered you mentioning it on your blog a few weeks ago.

      Addie was a marvelous character! She feels bad about a decision she made, and she's worried about the consequences, but she's not insecure. She knows she's good at sports, but isn't perfect in her classes. She has a very realistic perception of herself.

      Yes, those insecurities should be addressed in books, because there are people that deal with them. However, I feel like most main characters these days want to change something about themselves, or have unrealistic expectations of what they are supposed to be. Do you remember a few years ago when all the YA books had single or no parents involved? I get that some families are dysfunctional or missing important people, but there are also families that have two parents.

      Rowan! <3 <3 <3

    2. No, I’ve never read anything by Welch. I read less and less YA and the years go by so that means I’m choosier about what I pick up. Katie McGarry is is given - I read everything she writes. And JLA, of course. Otherwise, I’m super particular about the YA books I choose. I only have so much reading time and I’d usually rather spend it on adult romance books. :)

      Oh yeah, I definitely remember the spate of absentee parents and/or dysfunctional parents in YA. I swear, it was everywhere. And I’m sure for some that is their reality. But it wasn’t mine! Me, and most of my friends, had two parents at home. Somehow that quit being represented for a while.

    3. Well, I highly recommend both Love & Gelato and Love & Luck! Yes, both books are YA and the characters are still in high school, but both stories take place outside of school and really focus on the individuals. They didn't feel like YA reads to me, but more like NA. It's still not adult romance, which I've also been preferring lately, but Welch is an amazing author. I highly recommend both of her books.

      Katie McGarry writes really impactful books. I'm really looking forward to her newest! I did the cover reveal a few months ago, and it sounds amazing. JLA for life!


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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless