Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 374
Love Among the Ruins
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Olive Varanakis's father was obsessed with the lost city of Atlantis, and since he was born and raised on the island of Santorini, Greece, he left Olive in the US with her mother when she was eight years old and returned to the island. He has only sent a few occasional post cards, but Liv (as she prefers to be known now) has a box with the 25 items he left behind him, which included their favorite annotated map of Santorini. As she is preparing to apply to colleges (her boyfriend, Dax, wants her to go to Stanford with him, but she would rather go to the Rhode Island School of Design to pursue her art work), she gets a post card from her father asking her to come and spend time with him as he is working on a project. Her mother insists that she go. After a long flight, she is met by the exuberant but entirely unknown Theo, who is her age, very attractive, and does seem to know who her father is. Her luggage is sent separately as she takes off with Theo on his motorcycle. Her father has arranged a big party in her honor and given her a set of very special oil paints, but she is still irritated. She is sharing a small room right off the bookstore that Theo's mother owns with Theo, and the two spend a lot of time together working on a documentary about Atlantis that her father thinks National Geographic will feature. There are many problems along the way, family secrets revealed, light romance, but most of all, a chance for Olive to connect with her heritage and make things right with her father.
Good Points
This is a Young Adult novel that will also be popular with middle school readers. Liv isn't thrilled about spending time in Greece, but she doesn't complain, either, and she embarks on the documentary with good humor. The descriptions of Santorini are great, and I loved Theo and his mother, especially the book store. This gets into a lot of information about her father's mental health at the end, and I don't want to spoil that plot line, but it was well done and helped Liv make sense of her childhood and some anxiety that she herself has. The cover is fantastic! Understated and in pretty colors.

The first two books, which are not related to this in any way that I can figure (other than the general theme of traveling) are hugely popular in my library. I do love books about Greece, so I'm definitely purchasing this, but I wish it had mentioned the scholarly archaeology that has been done on Santorini!

Most readers won't care about this, but I was really surprised that there is no mention of the archaeological digs done in the at Akrotiri on Santorini by Spyridon Marinatos, or of Sir Arthur Evans and Knossos (although Olive does meet a man whose boyfriend is an archaeologist vaguely studying "the Minoans"). Why do I care? I was lucky enough to visit the site with Nanno Marinatos in 1985 and heard about all of the theories about Atlantis!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...
Fearless
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It was a test, you fool,” she sneered, “to see...
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Caldecott Honor artist Anita Lobel comes a touching and...
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A playful board book about the pillars of mindfulness from...
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for the littlest bug buffs, this board book offers...
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell...
Simone Breaks All the Rules
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of You Should See Me in...
Chess Not Checkers
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Chess not Checkers is a teen novel with adult adventures...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While...
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN...
Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account...
Kneel
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through...

Latest Member Reviews

Fiver Finds Home
 
5.0
"'Fiver Finds Home' by Jill Bugbee, illustrated by Jennifer Davison, is a story of friendly Fiver, a blue giraffe who..."
The Lost Legends
 
5.0
"The Lost Legends is one of those books that has everything in it. A princess, an evil king, pirates, a..."
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
"DUCKS ON THE ROAD is a charming and simple picture book with a counting theme. Mama and Papa Duck are..."
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
"SLOTH AND SMELL THE ROSES is another charming and colorful book from the fantastic sister duo, Eunice and Sabrina Moyle...."
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT INSECTS is a great non-fiction board book that lays out some basic facts about insects. Each page has..."
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
 
4.7
"Miles "Pudge" Halter seeks for a "Great Perhaps", and attends Culver Creek, a boarding school. Yet, he finds himself with..."
 
5.0
"To say that this book was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 is an understatement. After the impact..."
 
5.0
"Oh my goodness what a way to end this series! I honestly took a little longer to finish this book..."
 
5.0
"I absolutely loved this sequel. The first one was such a good set up for this book. Nita is free..."
Not Even Bones
 
4.3
"So, this book was not what I was expecting it to be. First, it takes place in the real world...."
Bird House
 
5.0
"BIRD HOUSE is a lovely story about a young girl and her abuela, who find an injured bird. They treat..."
More Than Sunny
 
4.5
"MORE THAN SUNNY is a sweet picture book about siblings, seasons, and childhood fun. The story features two siblings who..."
Whose Big Rig?
 
4.7
"WHOSE BIG RIG? is a delightful board book that takes children through the vehicles involved in building a light rail,..."
Busy Little Ladybug
 
3.5
"BUSY LITTLE LADYBUG is a cute board book about a ladybug that loves colors. Ladybug wants to figure out what..."
One Springy, Singy Day
 
4.5
"ONE SPRINGY, SINGY DAY is a brightly colored and fun celebration of spring. Told in rhyming text, the book follows..."
Blade of Mad Vision
 
5.0
"Loved it! It makes me want to be an artist and a fencer and learn languages and go on adventures..."
The Lost Continent (Wings of Fire, Book 11)
 
5.0
"It was a good book i really want to buy is so i can read it all the time. I..."
The Curie Society
 
4.2
"Three roommates at Edmonds University all face different challenges in settling into college life. Biologist Simone is very young to..."
Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs
 
4.3
"From the creative team that brought us Amphibian Acrobats and Superlative Birds, we now have this poetic treatment about every..."