Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Pages: 336
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 1, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own? Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue--the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word--at least not in a language Josie understands."
Josie isn't your average teenager. She has an extremely high IQ and attends college classes in the morning and regular high school in the afternoon along with her best friend and next door neighbor, Stu.  Things with Stu are easy. He gets her and understands her "language." You see, Josie loves to study language and sometimes has to translate the language of her peers.  Things are going pretty well for Josie until her older sister, Kate, brings home Geoff and tells her family that they are engaged. This sort of announcement would normally be cause for celebration, but Josie can't stand Geoff. She makes it a goal to show Kate that Geoff isn't right for her before she takes the big plunge and actually marries the guy.  Geoff makes rude comments to Kate and her family from time to time, so it's no wonder Josie doesn't like him, but Kate's parents urge Josie to just support her and be happy for Kate.  Plus, high school forces Josie to examine herself, her friendships, her crushes and by the novel's end, the ultimate question…what is the nature of love?  Erin McCahan's Love and Other Foreign Words is a brilliant read and one that reminded of a John Green novel. I absolutely loved it.

Josie is very eccentric, but I loved that aspect of her in Love and Other Foreign Words. She is extremely bright and can be pretty rigid when it comes to her schedule.  She also can be socially inept from time to time, but that is what makes her so amusing. I loved how she would over think certain situations and also could be brutally honest from time to time. I also enjoyed Josie's family. Her parents were fantastic, super smart, and I loved how they dealt with her.  Her sister Kate is sort of a bridezilla in this book, but I think they captured the dynamics and craziness of planning a wedding very well.  Even the secondary characters of her older sister and her husband were well done. Needless to say, I loved Josie's quirky family in this novel.

The writing is awesome in Love and Other Foreign Words. It's smart, funny, and the dialogue is great. I loved when Josie's family would sit down for a dinner, especially with annoying Geoff, and there would be snarky comments shooting out of Josie's mouth and then Josie's parents would try to reel her in.  Then of course Geoff would say something that would make me want to face-palm. Also, Kate moves back home before her wedding and the shenanigans that ensue between these two sisters was downright hilarious and at other times moving, because it's obvious how much they love each other.  I adored this novel and it read like a favorite movie. In fact, I think Love and Other Foreign Words would translate to the big screen beautifully.

There's so much I appreciated about Love and Other Foreign Words. I loved that Josie wasn't your cookie-cutter young adult main character and that Josie's family was so much fun. If you are a fan of John Green or Rainbow Rowell and you like your summer reads to be smart, funny, and well written, then check out Love and Other Foreign Words. You won't be disappointed.


  1. I also love that she has very little hang-ups about herself; I mean, she has some but she could care less. I absolutely loved this book. :)

    1. I know!! I loved that aspect of her as well. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, too. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I think this sounds fantastic! I will definitely be checking it out. I like reading about smart characters and family relationships and the comparison to John Green and Rainbow Rowell is a big plus too.

    1. I think you'd like the quirky main character and the family dynamics, Christina. I hope you get to check it out soon! Thanks for visiting!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I actually have it on my Kindle, so I should give it a try. Josie sounds really fun, and I love books that focus on family relationships. Great review!

    1. You should definitely read it, Natalie! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for visiting! :)


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