A New York Times bestseller
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Love & Gelato comes a heartwarming tale of a road trip through Ireland filled with love, adventure, and the true meaning behind the word family.
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding and hoping she can stop thinking about the one 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.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jenna Evans Welch was the kind of insatiable child reader who had no choice but to grow up to become a writer. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato and Love & Luck. When she isn’t writing girl abroad stories, Jenna can be found chasing her children or making elaborate messes in the kitchen. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and two young children. Visit her online at JennaEvansWelch.com.
Read an Excerpt
Love & Luck
“YOU WERE BRAWLING. DURING THE ceremony.” Whenever my mom was upset, her voice lowered three octaves and she pointed out things that everyone already knew.
I pulled my gaze away from the thousand shades of green rushing past my window, inhaling to keep myself calm. My dress was bunched up around me in a muddy tutu, and my eyes were swollen drum-tight. Not that I had any room to talk: Ian’s eye looked much worse. “Mom, the ceremony was over; we—”
“Wrong side, wrong side!” Archie yelled.
Mom swore, swerving the car over to the left and out of the way of an oncoming tractor while I dug my fingernails into the nearest human flesh, which happened to belong to my oldest brother, Walter.
“Addie, stop!” he yelped, pulling his arm away. “I thought we agreed you weren’t going to claw me to death anymore.”
“We almost just got into a head-on collision with an oversize piece of farm equipment. It’s not like I can control what I do,” I snapped, shoving him a few inches to the left. I’d spent the last seventy-two hours crammed between my two largest brothers in every variation of transportation we encountered, and my claustrophobia was hovering around a level nine. Any higher and I was going to start throwing punches. Again.
“Mom, don’t listen to them—you’re doing great. There were a good three inches between you and that tractor,” my other brother Archie said, reaching under the headrest and patting her on the shoulder. He narrowed his blue eyes at me and mouthed, Don’t stress her out.
Walt and I rolled our eyes at each other. The man at the airport car rental desk had insisted that it would take only an hour, two tops, for my mom to get the hang of driving on the opposite side of the road, but we were more than forty-eight hours in, and every time we got in the car, I got the same sinking feeling that rickety carnival rides always gave me. Impending doom. I held the airport car rental man personally responsible for all the emotional and psychological damage I was undoubtedly going home with.
Only Ian, whose perpetual car sickness made him the unspoken victor of the front seat, was unfazed. He rolled down the window, sending a cool burst of cow-scented air into the car, his knee doing the perpetual Ian bounce.
There are two important things to know about Ian. One, he never stops moving. Ever. He’s the smallest of my brothers, only a few inches taller than me, but no one ever notices that because his energy fills up whatever room he’s in. And two, he has an anger threshold. Levels one through eight? He yells like the rest of us. Nine and above? He goes silent. Like now.
I leaned forward to get another look at his black eye. A slash of mud crossed under his ear, and grass peppered his hair. His eye was really swollen. Why was his eye so swollen already?
Ian gingerly touched the skin under his eye, as if he was thinking the same thing. “Brawling? Come on, Mom. It was just an argument. I don’t think anyone even saw.” His voice was calm, bored even. He was really trying to convince her.
“ ‘Argument’ implies that there wasn’t any violence. I saw fists. Which makes it a brawl,” Walter added helpfully. “Plus, everyone, look at Ian’s eye.”
“Do not look at my eye,” Ian growled, his Zen slipping away.
Everyone glanced at him, including my mom, who immediately started to drift to the opposite side of the road.
“Mom!” Archie yelled.
“I know,” she snapped, pulling back to the left.
I really hurt Ian. My heart started in on a dangerous free fall, but I yanked it back into place. I had exactly no room for guilt. Not when I was already filled to the brim with remorse, shame, and self-loathing. Plus, Ian deserved that black eye. He was the one who kept bringing up Cubby—poking me with Cubby was more like it. Like he had a ball of fire on the end of a stick that he could jab at me whenever he felt like it.
Ian’s voice popped into my head—the broken record I’d been listening to for ten days now. You have to tell Mom before someone else does.
Hot, itchy anxiety crept up my legs, and I quickly leaned over Archie to unroll the window, sending another rush of air into the car. Don’t think about Cubby. Don’t think about school. Just don’t think. I was four thousand miles and ten days out from my junior year—I shouldn’t spend my remaining time thinking about the disaster scene I was going back to.
I stared hard out the window, trying to anchor my mind on the scenery. Houses and B and Bs dotted the landscape in charming little clumps, their fresh white exteriors accented with brightly colored doors. Lines of laundry swung back and forth in the Irish drizzle, and cows and sheep were penned so close to the houses, they were almost in the backyards.
I still couldn’t believe I was here. When you think destination wedding, you don’t think rainy, windswept cliff on the western coast of Ireland, but that’s exactly the spot my aunt had chosen. The Cliffs of Moher. Moher, pronounced more. As in more wind, more rain, more vertical feet to traverse in a pair of nude high heels. But despite the fact that my brothers had to Sherpa my aunt’s new in-laws up to the top, or that all of us had sunk to our ankles in mud by the time dearly beloved had been uttered, I completely understood why my aunt had chosen the place.
For one thing, it made for great TV. Aunt Mel’s traveling camera crew—a couple of guys in their late twenties with exceptionally well-thought-out facial hair—forced us to do the wedding processional twice, circling in on her as the wind whipped around her art deco dress in a way that should have made her look like the inflatable waving arm guy at a car dealership, but instead made her look willowy and serene. And then once we were all in place, it was all about the view, the overwhelming grandiosity of it. Big hunks of soft green ended abruptly in sheer cliffs, dropping straight down into the ocean, where waves threw themselves against the rocks in ecstatic spray.
The cliffs were ancient and romantic, and completely unimpressed with the fact that I’d spent the summer ruining my own life. Your heart got publicly stomped on? the cliffs asked. Big deal. Watch me shatter this next wave into a million diamond fragments.
For a while there, the view had crowded out every other possible thought. No cameras, no Cubby, no angry brother. It was the first break I’d had from my mind in more than ten days. Until Ian leaned over and whispered, When are you telling Mom? and all the anxiety pent up in my chest had exploded. Why couldn’t he just let it go?
Walter rolled down his window, creating a cross tunnel of air through the back seat. He sighed happily. “Everyone saw the fight. There was a collective gasp when you went over the edge. I’ll bet at least one of the cameramen caught it on film. And then there was that group of tourists. They were talking to you, weren’t they?”
The Ian bounce stopped, replaced by angry fist clenching. He whirled on Walter. “Walt, just shut up.”
“All of you—” my mom started, but then she blanched. “Oh, no.”
“What? What is it?” Archie craned his face forward, his shoulders shooting up to his ears. “Roundabout,” he said in the exact tone a NASA scientist would announce, fiery Earth-destroying meteorite.
I anchored myself onto both my brothers’ arms. Walter clutched his seat belt to his chest, and Archie reverted into coach mode, barking out instructions. “Driver stays on the inside of the roundabout. Yield when you enter, not when you’re inside. Stay focused, and whatever you do, don’t hit the brakes. You can do this.”
We hit the roundabout as though it were a shark-infested whirlpool, all of us holding our breath except for my mom, who let out a stream of loud profanities, and Ian, who carried on with his regularly programmed fidgeting. When we’d finally cleared it, there was a collective exhale from the back seat, followed by one last expletive from the driver’s seat.
“Great job, Mom. If we can handle every roundabout like that, we’ll be golden,” Archie said, unhooking my claws from his upper arm.
Walt leaned forward, shaking himself free of me also. “Mom, please stop swearing. You’re awful at it.”
“You can’t be awful at swearing,” she said shakily.
“You have single-handedly disproven that theory,” Walt argued. “There’s a science to it; some words go together. You can’t just throw them all out at once.”
“I’m going to throw you all out at once,” Mom said.
“See, that’s good, Mom,” he said. “Maybe stick to the clever quips. At least those make sense.”
“It’s about context. And respect for the form,” Ian added, his voice back to calm. I dug my fingers into my muddy skirt. Now I was confused. Was Ian angry-calm or calm-calm?
Archie glared at all of us. “She can use whatever combination of words she wants. Whatever gets us back to the hotel safely. Remember what you practice in your business meditations, Mom. Go to your powerful place.”
“Great,” Ian groaned. “You’ve invoked the Catarina.”
“There’s no reason to bring her into this,” I added.
Mom scowled at us dangerously. Thirteen months ago my mom had traded in her yoga pants and oversize T-shirts for a real estate wardrobe and a bunch of Be the Business, Feel the Business audio recordings from a local real estate guru named Catarina Hayford. And we couldn’t even make fun of her for it, because in one year she had outsold 90 percent of her more seasoned fellow agents, even landing a spot on her agency’s billboards. This meant that I could be almost anywhere in Seattle and look up to see her smiling imperiously down on me. And with her new busy schedule, some days it was the only time I saw her at all.
“Remind me why I paid to bring all of you to Ireland,” Mom snapped, her voice rising.
Walt piped up. “You didn’t pay for it—Aunt Mel did. And besides, if it weren’t for Addie and Ian’s performance back there, that would have been an unbelievably boring wedding, even with that crazy scenery.” He nudged me. “My favorite part was the moment when little sis here decided to shove Ian off the cliff. There was this deliberateness to it. Like that scene in The Princess Bride when Buttercup shoves Wesley and he’s rolling down the hill yelling, ‘As yooooou wiiiiiish!’ ”
“Two things,” Ian said, his long hair brushing his shoulder as he looked back. His gaze skipped right over me. “One, great reference, seeing as the Cliffs of Moher is where they filmed the Cliffs of Insanity scenes. And two, did you even see what happened?”
Walter drew his breath in sharply. “Why didn’t anyone tell me that before we went? You’re right. We were totally at the Cliffs of Insanity. We could have done a reenactment—”
“Stop talking.” I laced my voice with as much menace as I could muster. When Walter got started, he was a human diesel train. Loud and really hard to stop.
“Or what? You’ll throw me off a cliff?”
“It was more of a chambered punch,” Archie said. “Or maybe a right hook. The technique was actually really good. I was impressed, Addie.”
Ian whipped back, and this time his bruised eye stared me down. “She didn’t knock me off the cliff. I slipped.”
“Yeah, right.” Walter laughed. “Way to save your ego there, buddy.”
I dug my elbows into Walter and Archie’s legs, but they both grabbed hold of my arms, locking me into place until I struggled free. “We went down the complete opposite side of the hill. No one was actually in danger.”
Walter shook his head. “Lucky break. Auntie Mel would have never forgiven us if you’d ruined her dream wedding by committing murder.” He whispered murder the way the narrator always did in his favorite true crime TV show.
“But could you imagine the ratings on the wedding episode if that happened?” Archie quipped. “HGTV would love you forever. They’d probably give you your own reality show. It would be like international wedding crasher–meets–hired hit man. Or hit woman.”
“All of you, stop.” My mom risked taking her hand off the steering wheel to massage her right temple. “You know what? I’m pulling over.”
“Mom, what are you doing?” I yelled as we bumped off the side of the road, a parade of cars honking behind us. If I had to stay sandwiched in this car for even a minute longer than was completely necessary, I was going to lose it. “There’s a whole line of cars behind us. And the shoulder’s almost nonexistent.”
“Yes, Addie, I know that.” She shakily threw the car into park, wrenching us all forward. “This can’t wait.”
“The fight at the cliffs was one hundred percent Ian’s fault.” The words screeched—unplanned—out of my mouth, and all three of my brothers turned to stare at me in horror. I had just broken Bennett sibling code rule #1: Never throw one another under the bus. Except this Cubby thing was on a whole new level. Maybe old rules didn’t apply.
Ian’s face tightened in anger. “You’re the one who—”
“ENOUGH!” My mom’s voice reverberated around the car like a gong. “I don’t care who started it. I don’t care if Addie drenched you with honey and then threw you into a bear den. You’re teenagers, practically adults. And I have had it with your arguments. You fell off a hill. In the middle of a wedding.”
Bear den? Honey? Mom had a great imagination. Walter started to laugh, but Mom wrenched her neck toward him, and he fell silent. Next she zeroed in on Ian.
“There is one year standing between you and college, and if you think I’m going to put up with how you’ve been acting, you’re wrong. And, Addie, you’re sixteen years old and you have all the self-control of a ten-year-old.”
“Hey!” I started, but Archie shot his elbow into my ribs, and I doubled over. It was a saving gesture. If I had any chance of surviving this, it was going to involve the subtle art of keeping quiet. And Mom was right. As my outburst had just so aptly demonstrated, I did struggle with impulsivity. It got me into trouble a lot.
“You two are so close,” Mom said. “The closest of any of you. There were years when I thought that neither of you knew that anyone else existed. What is going on this summer?”
And then suddenly the car was quiet. Horribly quiet. All except for the windshield wipers, which chose this exact moment to become sentient. This summer, this summer, this summer, they chanted, sloshing water across the window. Ian’s knee slowed, and I felt his stare, heavy on my face. Tell Mom.
I raised my eyes to his, my telepathic message just as insistent. I am not. Telling. Mom.
“Fine. Don’t tell me.” Mom slammed her palm down on the steering wheel and we all flinched. “If Dad were here, you know you’d be on the first flight back to Seattle.”
Ian and I simultaneously levitated off our seats. “Mom, no! I have to go to Italy. I have to go see Lina!” I shouted.
Ian’s measured voice filled the car. “Mom, you’ve got to think this through.”
She threw her hand up, deflecting our emotion like one of the backhand shots that ruled her tennis game. “I didn’t say you’re not going.”
“Geez, chill, Addie,” Walter whispered. “You almost went headfirst through the windshield.”
I sagged back into my seat, panic filtering out of my veins. The only good thing about Aunt Mel’s wedding—besides the gorgeous location—was that it had gotten me to Europe, the continent that had stolen my best friend from me at the beginning of the summer.
My aunt had arranged for a postwedding tour of Ireland that was supposed to include all of us, but I’d managed to talk my parents into letting me skip the tour in exchange for a few days in Italy with Lina. I hadn’t seen her since she moved to Florence ninety-two days ago to live with her father, Howard, and every single one of those days had felt like a lifetime. Not seeing her was not an option. Especially now, when it was very likely she was the only friend I had left.
Ian slumped forward in relief, twisting the back of his hair into a tight corkscrew. I swore he’d grown his hair out just to give him more fidget options.
“Don’t get me wrong,” my mom continued. “I should be sending you both back, but we spent way too much on those tickets to Florence, and if I don’t have some time away from the two of you and your constant fighting, I’m going to have a breakdown.”
A fresh dose of anger hit my system. “Could someone please explain to me why Ian’s coming with me to Italy?”
“Addie,” my mom snapped. Ian shot me a wide-eyed look that said, Shut up NOW.
I glared back, our stares connecting. Despite the fact that I definitely should have been Shutting up NOW, it was an extremely valid question. Why did he want to come on a trip with me when, by all accounts, he couldn’t stand me?
“So here’s the deal,” my mom said, inserting herself into the middle of our staring match. “Tomorrow morning, Archie, Walter, and I will leave on the tour, and the two of you will continue on to Florence.” She spoke slowly, her words lining up like a row of dominoes, and I held my breath, waiting for her to topple the first one.
But . . . she didn’t.
After almost ten seconds of silence, I looked up, hope lifting the edges of my voice. “That’s it? We just get to go?”
“You’re just going to send them to Italy?” Walter asked, sounding as incredulous as I felt. “Aren’t you going to, like, punish them?”
“Walter!” Ian and I both yelled.
My mom wrenched herself around again, focusing first on me, then Ian, her spine swiveling seamlessly. At least she was putting all her yoga classes to good use. “You’re going to Italy. It will force you two to spend some quality time together,” she said, barbing the word “quality.” “But there’s a catch.”
Of course there was. “What?” I asked impatiently, pulling a particularly stabby bobby pin out from its favorite spot in the back of my wilting updo. If it wouldn’t completely set him off, I’d stick it in Ian’s hair, try to get some of it out of his face.
“Here we go,” Ian muttered, just loud enough for me to hear.
Mom paused dramatically, her eyes darting back and forth between us. “Are you both listening?”
“We’re listening,” I assured her, and Ian’s knee bounced receptively. Couldn’t he ever just hold still?
“This is your chance to prove to me that you can handle yourselves. If I hear anything bad from Lina’s father, and I mean anything—if you fight, if you yell, if you so much as look at each other cross-eyed while you’re there—both of you are off your teams.”
There was a moment of dead air, and then the car exploded. “What? ” Archie said.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Walter shook his head. “Are you being serious, Mom?”
“We’ll be off our teams?” I asked quickly. “Like soccer and football?”
She nodded, a self-satisfied smile spreading like warm butter across her face. She was proud of this one. “Yes. Like soccer and football. And it doesn’t even have to be both of you. If one of you messes up, you’re both getting punished for it. And there will be absolutely no second chances. One strike, you’re out. That’s it.”
I thought I had no space for fresh panic, but it squeezed in with all the old stuff, turning my chest into an accordion. I leaned forward, putting my hands on the front seats to steady myself. “Mom, you know I have to play soccer this year.” My voice was high and stringy, not nearly as reasonable sounding as I’d intended. “If I don’t, college scouts won’t see me play, and then there’s no way I’ll get onto a college team. This is the year that matters. This is my future.”
“Then you’d better not mess up.”
Ian’s eyes met mine, and I could see the words ping-ponging through his head. You already messed up, Addie.
I shot lasers at him. “But—”
“This is in your control. And Ian’s. I’m not backing down on this.”
As if she needed to add that last part. My parents never backed down on anything. It was one of life’s constants: the shortest distance between two points is a line, root beer floats always taste better half-melted, and my parents never take back their punishments.
But soccer? That was my way into a good school. Because no matter how hard I tried, my grades were never all that great, which meant I needed to rely on sports to get me into any college with a halfway decent engineering program. It was a long shot, but I had to try.
Plus, soccer. I closed my eyes, imagining the smell of the grass, the complicated rhythm of my teammates, the way time disappeared—the rest of life forced to the outer boundaries of the game. It was my place. The only place where I ever truly fit in. And with Lina moving and Ian now hating me, I needed that place more than ever.
Forget future Addie. I needed soccer for present Addie. If I had any chance of surviving post-Cubby life, it was going to be on that soccer field.
Mom tilted her head toward Ian, who was now impersonating a collapsed puppet. “Ian, are you listening?”
“Listening,” he responded, his voice oddly resigned. His body language and voice all said I don’t care, but I knew that couldn’t be true. Sports were an even bigger deal to him than they were to me. He was way better at them.
“So you understand that if you or Addie do anything wrong, you are off the football team? No second chances, no debating, you’re just off?”
“Got it,” he said nonchalantly. His hand sank back into his hair, forming a tight knot.
Archie raised one finger in the air. “Not to criticize your wisdom, Mom, but that does seem a tad bit harsh. One of them messes up and they’re both off their—”
“Enough from the peanut gallery,” Mom snapped.
“Wait, what?” I startled, the second part of her punishment finally sticking to my brain. “You’re saying that if Ian messes up, I’m going to be punished for it?”
“Yes. And if you mess up, Ian is going to be punished for it. Think of it as a team sport. One of you blows it, you both lose.”
“But, Mom, I have absolutely no control over what Ian does. How is that fair?” I wailed.
“Life isn’t fair,” my mom vaulted back, a hint of glee in her voice. My parents loved maxims the way other people loved cheese or fine wines.
And how was Ian acting so chill ? Ever since his first junior football game, where he single-handedly turned the game around and then methodically led them to the championship, football had been Ian’s life. Not only was he the starting quarterback on our high school’s football team, but he’d already been approached by two different colleges with talks of scholarships. One of them had been right before football camp. No wonder he was acting like he didn’t care. He was probably in the process of internal collapse.
You know what Cubby’s been doing, right? He’s been—Without warning, Ian’s words charged into my head, and I had to dive on them before they could gain any ground. I couldn’t think about football camp now. Not unless I wanted to go from kind of losing it to completely losing it. Not when Italy was on the line.
“Great. We’re all in agreement,” my mom said to our silence. She turned forward, placing her hands on the steering wheel at a perfect ten and two. “Here’s the plan for tonight. When we get back to the hotel, I want everyone to pack up. Walter and Archie, the tour bus leaves at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning, and you need to be ready. Addie and Ian, you are going to change and get cleaned up, and then I am taking you to your aunt’s room, where you will apologize profusely and beg for her forgiveness.”
“Mom—” I groaned, but she held up a hand.
“Did I say beg? I meant grovel. After that, we’re all attending the wedding dinner, where I trust you will all manage to behave like civilized human beings, or at least like mildly trained apes. Then, once we’ve danced and eaten cake or whatever else my sister wants us to do, we will all go right to bed. And, Addie and Ian, I suggest you both figure out a way to reconcile in a nonviolent manner. Otherwise it’s going to be a miserable few days in Italy. I hear that cemetery Lina lives in is pretty small.”
“It isn’t. It’s giant,” I blurted out.
“Addie,” Ian said, his patience completely spent. “Stop. Talking.”
“I just don’t get why you—”
“Addie!” the whole car yelled.
I threw myself back into my brothers’ meaty shoulders. Stop talking. If I wanted to play soccer, I was going to have to keep my focus on two goals: stay on Mom’s good side and get along with Ian.
I bit the inside of my lip, Ian’s tousled hair on the outskirts of my vision. How had getting along with Ian become a goal?
At any other point in our lives, Ian coming to Italy with me would have made perfect sense. He’d always been my partner in adventure. When we were in elementary school, he’d made a game out of finding strange spots around the neighborhood to surprise me with. Once we’d snuck into an abandoned shed full of molding comic books, and another day he’d boosted me up into a massive oak tree littered with initials.
“Field trips,” Ian called them. And as we got older, we stuck with the tradition, driver’s licenses extending our possibilities. We’d been on one just three weeks earlier.
“Field trip time.” As usual, Ian hadn’t bothered to knock. He’d just burst into my room, shoving past me at my desk to launch himself onto my unmade bed.
“Not happening. Mom’s coworker will be here in an hour, and we will be at dinner,” I said, doing my best imitation of Mom. “Also, you’re getting my sheets dirty.”
I hadn’t actually turned around yet, so this was based entirely on speculation. But I knew Ian. Instead of showering and changing like a normal human, Ian almost always jetted straight out of practice the second it was over. The muddy upholstery of our shared car was a testament to that.
I scribbled out my last answer and flipped to a fresh page in my notebook. It offended my very essence to be enrolled in summer school, but I’d barely passed biology, and my parents and I had decided that a second go-around would be a good idea.
Ian flopped around dramatically, making my bedsprings squeak. “Mom is fine with us missing dinner for our important Student Athlete Committee meeting.”
“SAC?” I spun around, my chair twisting with me. “Please tell me you did not sign me up for that.” SAC was a new and desperate attempt to repair our school’s reputation as having the most aggressive (read: mean) spectators in the state.
Ian grinned his signature grin, the one that took over his whole face and let me know that something exciting was about to happen. “Don’t worry. I did not sign you up for that. Although if Mom asks, that’s where we’re going.”
I let my pencil clatter onto the desk. “You know they’re going to make you do it, though, right? Ms. Hampton said they were going to recruit the school’s ‘most beloved student athletes,’ and I swear she was making googly eyes at you when she said it.” I placed my hand over my heart, doing my best impression of her shaky falsetto. “Ian, you shining star of perfection. Save us from ourselves!”
He made a gagging face. “Please, please, please, can we not talk about football? I’ll be in the car.” He jumped up and thundered out, leaving a muddy body print splayed out on my white sheets.
“Ian,” I groaned, looking at his imprint. But I grabbed my sneakers from under my desk and took off after him. Chasing after Ian never felt like a choice—it was like sleeping or brushing my teeth. It was just what I did.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Addie's family are in Ireland to attend her aunt's wedding. That means her brothers are included too. And all she wants is to get away and just visit her best friend, Lina in Italy. Nothing's going wrong, right? I fell in love with Love & Gelato. And with all the buzz for this book, I can't help myself but to be excited for it too. Especially knowing that this is Lina's best friend, Addie. And speaking of Addie, I love her character. I love that she's so realistic and relatable. Realistic because she knows that she's not perfect, she knows her shortcomings and she accepts it. Relatable because I have brothers myself. So all the mentioned sibling relationship is on point. I love the flow of story too. Everything they do in the road trip is very creative and it makes my imagination go wild. The book is definitely more about family and self growth than romance. I just kinda thought since 'love' is in the title it's going to be more romance. But I guess we can say it was a very very very slow burn. Or the love for self is what it means. I can go with that. Great story telling, amazing wanderlust for Ireland, and superb character growth.
I was super happy to find out that this book was going to be a thing. But then it didn't happen. And I was upset about it. And then I finally got it in my hands. I couldn't be happier about it. And now that I've read it, I still feel the same way. "Dublin is seductive as hell." pg. 8 Ian and Addie have been going through so many different fights all summer. So different from their normal sibling fun. But now they've gone off to Ireland and took their fight with them. Hopefully their time running all over Ireland will help them get back to the relationship they once had. "This is the year that matters. This is my future." pg. 25 I was so glad to be back in Welch's words. And this time it was super cool to be in Ireland. I loved seeing so many different places that they visited. Especially since I'm not sure I'll ever go to Ireland on my own. So many of the places mentioned are big in Ireland and were available to look at on the internet. It was great to visit those sites, even if they are forever away. "courage + time = healed heart." pg. 106 I also loved the characters. They were all different and they all complimented each other in their own special way. From the main characters to the supporting roles, they all played a special part and I loved the way they interacted together. "Heartache came in all sorts and flavors." pg. 171 The only thing I wasn't completely sold on was the actual plot. In places it dragged quite a bit. Which seemed strange because the book itself was only 299 pages. (According to the ARC copy.) I just felt like the mystery about what had happened to her had dragged on and by the time I got to the end of the book I had made my own story up in my head. And of course, mine was so much worse than what had actually happened. "If you want to get through heartache, you're going to have to let your heart, you know, ache. And no matter how many distractions you pile on- cartons of ice cream, shopping binges, marathon naps- you can't outsmart heartache. It has nowhere to be, nothing to do. It will just stand there, buffing its nails, waiting until you're ready. It's a persistent little devil." pg. 180 I (Meaning me personally) was also was missing that romance aspect. In Love and Gelato, Lina finds her love when she doesn't want to, but there is still a whirlwind romance and I loved it. But in this one, there wasn't that much romance at all. I knew where it was going, but this story is mainly about Addie and her growing up. I missed that romance and sweetness that Love and Gelato had.(With a title like Love and Luck, I was just expecting it. I wish I had known that it wouldn't be there so I wouldn't have expected it. However, even though there was an absence of romance, I LOVED the family dynamic that was present. I can attest to the sibling rivalries and the way they helped each other when things happened to each other. It felt like such a real family. "I'd never thought of connection that way- that hatered could be just as bieding as love." pg. 264 I've been waiting on this book for a long time and I'm happy it lived up to most of my expectations. Some things were unexpected, but that's what makes a good book in my opinion.
This started off really adorable and then just kind of lost its charm...wait, see what I did there? Made a charm reference on a book that is called love and luck with a four leaf clover on the front? Are you feeling as lame as I am now? ANYWAY, book = started off strong, floundered in the middle, brought back the fun at the end until we hit the epilogue. The pros: Ireland settingggggggggggggggg; some good dynamics between Addie and her siblings; Walt, the cologne loving brother; any all family moments; fun, contemporary moments that were feel good and funny; Rowan; good journeys; empowerment; and a fun road trip. ALSO, THERE WAS AN EPIC PRINCESS BRIDE REFERENCE LIKE 12 PAGES IN, AND I WAS DYINGGGGGGGGG. The cons: While we hit some amazing places in Ireland, we never got any real solid descriptions? Had I not been to a lot of the places, I wouldn't have really felt the beauty and a clear picture in my head. I wanted more Ireland. I wanted more sibling fun. I wanted more family time. I liked the realism of Rowan and Addie and how it didn't feel SUPER SUPER SUPER fast; however, the ending kind of ruined that for me because it felt really forced with them being smushed together for the sake of a happy ending. Also: Addie, Addie, and more Addie. I liked her, but I really had a hard time connecting with her and even rolled my eyes a bit. Also the heartbroken guide moments: I was so bored with them. Also, I wasn't a fan of the whole thing with Cubby. I thought it was an important topic, but I felt like it got really lost in the grand scheme of the novel and wasn't given the proper amount of depth that it needed to really make an impact. I wanted more than surface depth for it. Overall, it had its fun moments with a great setting and a great road trip. It was a good summer read, but I was kind of eh about it. 3 crowns and a Belle rating!
I don’t read enough books with road trips in it, and I’ve never read any book that takes place in Ireland so when I heard about Love & Luck I was really intrigued. It sounded like such a fun contemporary read in a gorgeous setting so I had to read it ASAP. I had no idea it was a companion novel to another book by Jenna that I’ve had on my TBR for the longest time, Love & Gelato but that didn’t take away from reading this as a standalone. Having read Love & Luck now, I definitely need to read the previous one next! I’ll admit that Addie was a bit annoying in the beginning because of her misplaced anger and quick temper, but once she started changing and working on things later on I really found her endearing. Her fierceness and strong relationships with her family and best friend Lina really made me admire her. And, okay, I’ll admit that I probably found her annoying with her quick temper because I can be the same sometimes. Haha I absolutely adore sibling relationships in books and my favorite in this one definitely had to be Addie’s relationship with her brother Ian. As terrible it was to see two siblings who used to be so close now constantly butting heads and at odds with each other, it was also so amusing to witness. I found myself constantly wishing throughout the book that Ian and Addie would mend their broken siblings relationship, more so than anything else because the little flashback excerpts of what led to Addie’s broken heart and her fallout with Ian really highlighted their closeness. Ian was her other best friend and it was such a shame to see such beautiful sibling camaraderie reduced to short tempers and petty arguments. The entire dynamic in Addie’s family was so fun and always full of energy. It actually made me kind of wish I had a bunch of older brothers, too. There is romance in this book, however, it’s more of a slow pace and takes a backseat to family and friendship, which I actually didn’t really mind. Rowan is such a nice and sweet character and I instantly liked him a lot. I loved how his and Addie’s relationship gradually developed throughout their adventure and that it started from both characters bonding over broken hearts. I had no intentions of ever visiting Ireland, but going through this road trip with these characters has definitely changed my mind. All the places that the guidebook Addie was following mentioned sounded amazing and I’d really love to visit them myself one day now! Speaking of the guidebook, when I first started reading the book I was a little confused because it opened with an excerpt from it instead of immediately jumping into the story but it didn’t take me long to realize why. Certain excerpts from the guidebook helped set up the upcoming events in Addie’s journey in Ireland, and also aided in mending her broken heart. It was really amusing to read the story that way. I wish Rowan sounded more Irish because the way his dialogue was written just made him sound American. I had to keep reminding myself he had an Irish accent and go back and read his dialogue again in the correct accent in my mind, but that just got tiresome really quickly. Love & Luck is a wonderfully fun and light contemporary that highlights familial love and friendship, and takes you on a road trip through gorgeous historical landmarks in Ireland. Now I can’t wait to finally jump into Love & Gelato! I’ve heard lots of good things about it **Original review posted on My Fangirl Chronicles**
While I didn't *love* LOVE & LUCK by Jenna Evan Welch as much as I did LOVE & GELATO it was still a very fun read. Road trip + Ireland + a cute boy = um... yes please! Some of the best and funniest scenes, however, didn't even involve said cute boy, but Addie and her brother Ian. The story, after all, opens with them falling off a cliff. Seriously, they were like slapstick comedy in book form. The guidebook excerpts were a nice addition and just as much fun to read as the main story. As fluffy as LOVE & LUCK is, it did have a serious side. Addie, Ian and Rowan each had drama they were dealing with and secrets they were reluctant to share. Still, if you are looking for a quick, fun summer, road tripping read, give it a try!
A WONDERFULLY CHARMING AND ENTERTAINING READ! Love and Luck was such an adorable story about self-discovery, family, healing, friendship and love. It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s so full of heart and a must read you cannot miss! I was totally smitten with Love and Gelato, so I was really excited for this book. Luckily, Jenna Evans Welch managed to incorporate all the things I fell in love with and enjoyed in her debut novel into this charming companion story – breathtaking settings, lovable characters, humor, wonderful relationships, a dash of drama and a hint of romance. The writing was absolutely beautiful, descriptive and so realistic. I felt as if I was part of the story and I enjoyed every moment. Love comes in different forms and there is something so precious about the kind of love between friends and families. I really enjoyed the amazing friendships and family dynamics in this book. The silly arguments, bantering, and heartfelt conversations between the characters, specially Addie and Ian, were positively endearing and made me smile and laugh a few times. I thought the characters were all likable and interesting in their own ways, but Rowan without a doubt stole a piece of my heart. He’s funny, sweet, adorable, a great friend and totally swoon-worthy. Love and Luck was a wonderfully charming and entertaining read. It’s full of heartwarming moments and by the end, I was absolutely tearing up and had all these warm fuzzies. I’m definitely looking forward to whatever adventure Welch is planning next. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All thought and opinions are my own.
4.5 stars ... Love & Luck was just too cute! This beautiful contemporary was not centered around romance, which made the story much more interesting. There’s travel, self discovery, and learning to trust the support of friends and family. Addie and her family are in Ireland for a wedding. She’s supposed to meet up with Lina (from Love & Gelato), but her plans get derailed. It ends up being a healing and amazing journey for those involved. I loved the positive family relationships in this book. It was refreshing that this book dealt with the aftermath of secret-keeping, and how hard it is to face reality sometimes. Contemporary YA fiction fans are going to love this one. I was fortunate to receive an e-ARC through NetGalley.
First, thank you to Simon Pulse and NetGalley for allowing me to receive this book early for an honest review. I picked up Love and Gelato two years ago, hoping for a light romance story. However, Jenna Evans Welch had much more in store for her readers. It made me fall in love with her writing style and crave more from her. So when I found out Love & Luck was being written I couldn't wait to read the book. The story follows Addie (Lina's best friend) and her unplanned adventure in Ireland with her brother, Ian and new friend Rowan. The story opens up with Addie trying to guard her secret, while Ian, tries to get her to tell their mother about it. This is the running conflict between the two siblings throughout the novel. I kept wondering, what did Cubby, the source of Addie's heartache, do to her that she's trying so desperately to hide? There's so much I love about this book. The relationship between Addie and Ian, reminds me of my older brother. How Ian knows what makes Addie tick, her knowledge of cars, and their shared inside jokes. When it comes to Addie and Rowan, I can't even begin. The fact that they shared their heartaches with one another and became an unexpected support for each other. Oh, my heart was so happy. That's what I love about Welch's style. She sneaks in the love, letting it grow from a stronger foundation than just instantaneous attraction. I also glad Lina and Ren made an appearance in the story. Lina and Addie are definitely best friend goals. All the characters really made this story such a joy to read. The writing in this book is exceptional as well. It's a fun story that tackles difficult topics, but I couldn't help but smile the entire time I was reading this book. The depth this story brings in the middle of an Irish road trip just makes me applaud the author. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Also, the guidebook entries...Absolutely brilliant!!) If you're in the mood for a quick read, with amazing characters, great writing that will make you laugh and feel, PICK UP THIS BOOK.
Addie needs a break. From the moment her brother, Ian, whispers into her ear, her final nerve just SNAPS...hence, the undignified moment where the siblings topple over a cliff, mid-wedding. Jenna Evans Welch's Love & Luck was an endearing story about the sibling bond and rediscovering yourself when heartbreak and hard times have taken you far from who you want to be. Love & Luck follows Addie, and up-and-coming high school junior through the last few weeks of a summer that has TOTALLY gone wrong. She and her third oldest brother, Ian, tell each other everything...or so they both thought. While Addie's secrets threaten to ruin her reputation at school and possibly her brother's future, Ian has been hiding a dream and passion that no one in the family knows about. Unfortunately for both of them, both of their secrets are just not meant to stay that way. Welch's plot was fun and easy-to-follow. After Addie's luck spirals out of her control, she's stuck with her brother (who's a bit ticked at her) and his friend (who she never knew about) road-tripping through Ireland. The narration of their trip trip is filled with funny, sassy entries from a guidebook that Addie fatefully found at their family's hotel. Each entry provides a little education about popular spots in the Emerald Isle as well as "homework" for the broken-hearted. I really liked this little asides, and I could even picture them panning out on the small (or big) screen as little lighthearted cameos in a film version of the novel. Rowan, Ian's mysterious Irish friend with some heartbreak of his own, adorably stumbles through the homework with Addie, neither of them really caring about how silly they might seem in their quest to have a full heart once more. The pacing moves along well, with the adventurers never lingering in one spot for too long. Rowan, Ian, and Addie have an easy chemistry despite the turmoil between the siblings. When they're all in an open, cheery mood, their camaraderie makes you want to jump in the car (soggy seats and all). Addie was an enjoyable character even though she's made some mistakes. I DID groan when I finally found out what her terrible secret was, but, come on...she's supposed to be a high school student. I totally found her secret believable, and my heart went out to her for what she had to deal with. That being said, I was thinking it would be MUCH WORSE than it really was because I felt like it was quite built up. Addie is a funny, caring, and competent person. She's the family mechanic, and she's not afraid to speak her mind. I liked that she held her own against all of the boys, especially since she was the "little sister". For me, Ian felt a little flat compared to Addie. She's really given more of an opportunity to shine than him, but he was interesting enough to keep my attention. What I'd really like is a follow-up novel featuring Rowan. I was interested in his story, but I think his conflicts got swallowed up by the drama between Ian and Addie. I'd totally jump into a sequel where we got to see what happened in his life after his American friends leave him to go back to the States for school. Overall, Love & Luck was a quick and fun read. I had no idea that it was a bit of a follow up to another book, Love & Gelato, so I feel confident saying that other readers could totally pick up Love & Luck as their first Welch experience and not be left behind.
**I received this ARC from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review** Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Did I mention I loved this book? Jenna Evans Welch does not disappoint. I read her first book, Love and Gelato, last summer and I absolutely adored it. So, it didn't surprise me when I devoured Love & Luck. Love & Luck was exactly what I was hoping it would be: a fun, light, happy read. Love & Luck is about Addie's journey to accepting a mistake she made with a boy, getting over her heartbreak, and fixing her relationship with her older brother Ian. The plan: Addie and Ian are supposed to fly to Italy so she can spend time with her best friend, Lina while the rest of her family explores Ireland with her aunt and her wedding party. However, Ian has been keeping a secret of his own because he has no plans of going to Italy, instead he is going on a mini road trip in Ireland with an Irish friend Addie has never heard of before. I fell in love with each and every character in this story: Addie, Ian, Rowan, Archie, and even Walt. I simply adored Addie's whole family. Then, how could I not fall in love with Rowan? He's such a sweetheart. Where can I find one? Jenna Evans Welch continues to do an amazing job in creating relatable, fun characters. The writing in this story is superb just as it was in Love and Gelato. It's a fun story but it still deals with serious topics such as accepting your mistakes no matter how big or small, and accepting yourself for who you are and sharing that version of yourself with others. If you want a fun, sweet, and humorous read, then I definitely recommend Love & Luck