Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Pages: 432
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Gallery 
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.  But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother...only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.  Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love."

It's the classic story of girl meets boy next door and sparks fly, but things are much more than that between Macy and Elliot.  Macy returns to her family's vacation home often and that's where she meets Elliot who instantly becomes her best friend. They have the same interests and reading is their favorite pastime.  They have a complicated relationship throughout their teen years, but it's definitely something more than friendship.  Years go by and readers find Macy working as a doctor and she's engaged to someone else. That someone is not Elliot as they haven't talked in years!  Elliot and Macy run into each other again in the present and there is still a deep connection despite their falling out. Readers are left wondering what exactly went wrong between them many years ago.   Two story lines involving past and present come together as a satisfying love story in Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren.

I absolutely love the way that Lauren wrote Love and Other Words with dual story lines focusing on the past and the present. I enjoyed learning how things unfolded for Macy and Elliot during their awkward teen years; it was heartbreaking, beautiful, impulsive, and addicting in the only way that first love can be. What truly tugged on my heartstrings was the fact that Macy and Elliot are best friends. I love a good friendship-to-something more story line and Lauren does this so very well. She truly captures a summer love and its evolution throughout the years.

Sometimes when there is a dual narrative, I find myself interested in one storyline over another, but that wasn't the case in Love and Other Words. I really liked both plot lines and was dying to find out what exactly happened between Elliot and Macy. I mean it must have been a big deal as they stopped talking after the event. I loved how their paths crossed years later and despite the time that has gone by, they never really got over each other. Also, the dialogue in this novel was fantastic. It made me cringe, laugh out loud, and swoon.  I loved it!

This is the first novel that I've read by Christina Lauren and I am pleasantly surprised. While the romance genre isn't my favorite, this novel wasn't overly saccharine and had the right balance of what I'm looking for when it comes to a fun summertime read.  If you enjoy a good love story while on vacation or while spending a day at the pool, definitely throw a copy of out  Love and Other Words into your bag this summer.

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