Posted 20 hours ago

Love & Olives

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I felt like she was flinching away from her dad, flirting but not flirting with the love interest and thinking she knew everything throughout the whole book until the end. This time the setting is the Greek island of Santorini, where during the summer between her junior and senior year of high school, Liv goes to reunite with the father who abandonded her and her mother when she was 8. On the plus side, the side characters helped bring some life to the otherwise lackluster cast; I definitely could've used more of Bapou and his magical cakes, Geoffrey the Giant Canadian and his imaginary girlfriend, and even Liv's little brother who appeared for like two seconds. I get the part where the chapters represent the 26 things on Olive’s list but does this story really need 26 chapters?

That diving scene was absolutely intense and I hated the feeling of panic that came with reading Liv’s point of view.Both have been comfort, easy reads for me, and I was so happy to see there’s an additional one, this time set in Santorini, Greece.

When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is.I don't know what it is with Jenna Welch and her flair for the dramatic, but I wasn't a huge fan of soap opera-esque reveals (I spotted the (view spoiler) [secretly dying dad looking for closure (hide spoiler)] a mile away, but the (view spoiler) [secret mental illness (hide spoiler)] was a surprise. She’s sharp and I felt like she tried really hard to walk that balance between interfering when necessary and letting Liv make her own life choices. I think it’s a dangerous behavior to idealize because it romanticizes someone who ultimately isn’t respecting a point-blank refusal.

It wasn’t that big of a deal,” I said, doing my best to wave the whole statewide art competition thing off. Liv is struggling with her boyfriend, Dax, who is home for the summer and just a little controlling about her future. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.

Not only was Dax going to Stanford, but half his family had gone there too, and his older cousin Amelia worked in the admissions office. First of all, I love that Welch has a completely different setting for each of her books, and this one takes place in Greece! She’s got a great sense of style, she’s a talented artist, and she is surprisingly chill about solo international travel at such a young age. Liv Varanakis doesn’t like to think of her father much, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight, leaving her with just a few painful memories of their shared love for the lost city of Atlantis.

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