You won’t see many Young Adult reviews here on ChocolatePages, but surprise here is one!
I have been doing some buddy reads as part of an online book club which is why I decided to read Love and Olives.
Santorini felt like an island holding its breath. As if it were keeping in a secret…
Liv Varanakis doesn’t like to think about 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. So when teenage Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father, who explains that National Geographic is supporting a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and asks if she will fly out to Greece and help—Liv is less than thrilled.
When she arrives in gorgeous Santorini, things are just as awkward as she’d imagined. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. Liv doesn’t want to get sucked back into her father’s world. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo, her father’s charismatic so-called protégé, to witness her struggle.
Even so, she can’t help but be charmed by everything Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the sun-drenched villages, 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.
Love and Olives was a book club read for me with a few other bookloving ladies. The book wasn’t my first ( or second) choice but I thought it would be ok and decided to give it a go. Unfortunately I should have listened to my instincts and known this wasn’t the book for me.
After the first few chapters I thought this seems like basic young adult words with the main character being 17. Again I’m not a fan of young adult so I still had my doubts but kept going until I finished the book. For me it did not improve sadly.
I will try to give my thoughts as unbiased as possible as a firm YA non lover! If you enjoy YA books you may well love this. As far as I see there are plenty of very positive reviews.
The story is based on 17 year old Olive ( or Liv as she now prefers) having an absent father for many years, now receiving an invite from her father to stay with him in Greece. Her mum says she should go, so she goes. Liv’ s Dad is an Atlantis Hunter and asked for Liv’s help in a project.
I found the plot to be very slow and the characters to be quite bland. But as a lover of thrillers, did I expect too much? Sadly my book club readers agreed with me that this wasn’t so good in terms of plot and character.
In my opinion there was quite a bit of what I would consider to be unreasonable behaviour which was deemed ok in the book. I found the characters to take advantage of each other and be quite, what I would consider to be rude. But again this was all written like it was acceptable.
There are some positive things I can write and that would be the facts about Atlantis. I didn’t know much about this at all, so I did learn something from this book.
The setting of the island and where Liv stayed was lovely and I could feel the environment from the authors words. Because of this writing style, I felt that the book had far more potential than it gave.
There are a few quotes which I did like and I think this shows that the author writes well, but this plot totally let it down.
” old books had a smell…. It was old leather with hints of vanilla and must, and a dash of something else. Magic? Pixie dust?”
“You are never quite alone when you are in a bookstore. So many voices are jammed into one place, it is impossible to feel alone”.
I’m sorry to say I found that this book has put me off YA even more than already was and I’m now ready for a good thriller.