Click to listen!
Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Published: 10th of April 2018 — Gallery Books
Format: Paperback — 420 pages
Hello Hello! How are you today?
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I don’t usually gravitate towards contemporary romance stories, as they don’t always interest me. However, in times of sadness, demotivation and during the dreaded reading slumps I do like the pick the odd one up.
So I’ve been reading more of these kinds of books lately, and I was chuffed when some book blogging buddies decided to start yet another mini book club chat, this time for ROMANCE READS! I jumped on the chance, and this was the first book, which was amazing!
Keep on reading for my full thoughts on this cute and very emotional book.
The story of the heart can never be unwritten.
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.
Trigger warnings: death of parents, grief, car accident, talk of illness, working around sick children, infidelity, scenes of a sexual nature, alcohol use.
“Don’t spoil her with toys; spoil her with books.”
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren is a very cute and very emotional adult contemporary romance. I’m glad this was chosen as our first book, because it is also a book about books, and that makes it so much better. I have to say that it is definitely character-driven, which I don’t always enjoy, but here it was great getting to know the characters intricately and seeing their lives past and present. This is the special thing about this book, it alternates between the past when Elliot and Macy met as teenagers, and then in the present when they meet again, 11 years after Macy disappeared from Elliot life, after a lot of trauma and betrayal. I did like how it was a first person narrative because I liked Macy a lot as a character, and her voice was very nice to read from.
Talking of characters, I loved the relationship between Macy and her father. Her mother died when she was 10-years-old, and thanks to a sort of to-do list and SOS list that she wrote for Macy’s father, he picked up the reins and took care of her to the best of his abilities, checking his wife’s list in moments where he was lost for instance when she got her first period or when she met a boy. I liked her father a lot even though we didn’t really get to see a lot of him. He was quiet and comforting and was always looking out for her, so he reminded me a lot about my own dad, and it made me miss him a lot (he passed away 6 years ago).
As I mentioned previously, this is also a book about book. Macy loves to read, as her mum did, and her dad makes sure she always has lots of books. When she is in her mid-teens, her dad buys a cabin that they can go to on the weekends to get out of town and for her to reset after hard weeks at school and swimming practice. This is where she meets Elliot, but it is also where she gets a full library in a closet, and gets to spend hours upon hours sitting in it, reading, and getting to know Elliot, who is also a bookworm. My little bookish heart was loving all the book references, especially when they were talking about books I’ve read and loved already. The fact that they become friends to start with because of their mutual love of reading is the cutest thing ever and really shows you how words and books have power to unite people.
Once I got into this story, it was unputdownable for me and I just needed to keep turning the pages and see what would happen. It was really fast-paced, but not TOO fast, just the right balance, and it kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could read them. I love books that hook me like that! As I got towards the end of the book, the last 100 pages were so suspenseful, because I knew the big reveal of why Macy and Elliot broke up was getting closer. I kind of predicted the first part of the reveal to do with Elliot, but never saw the second reveal coming, concerning her father. I basically spent 10 minutes after finishing the book absolutely sobbing my eyes out because it was both so sad but also so beautiful and I love how it ended. These authors definitely know how to rip the tears from you. I loved the way it was written, because it was so easy to follow, but it was also so nice with the book references, and it was just a very bookish book, if you know what I mean.
“‘Limerence.’ There’s no other word like it. The state of being infatuated with another person.”
FINAL THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, I absolutely loved this book and I’m so glad I decided to dive into the world of romance reads and trusted my buddies’ choices. It was a really comforting read for me, with a lot of emotion too, so tissues were needed, but it made me feel a bit lost when I had finished it and once I had dried my tears.
I loved the writing style, how the narrative went back in time and back to the present, moving ever closer to the big reveal that had me on the edge of my seat. This was honestly such a beautiful story of first love, first everything, the power of words and stories, of relationships between people rekindled years later, grief and sadness, but also the beauty of love and life. It’s even making me philosophical, lol.
I gave Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren 5 stars, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. Although, do make sure to read the TWs I included at the start of my post, because some of the reveals can be hard to stomach for some people because of the topic it covers.
If you’re a book lover, you need some cute but emotional romance in your life, love reading books with easy but beautiful writing that hooks you in from the start, and want a book about the power of words and of first love, then you’ve come to the right place. This book is definitely worth of shot!
“Favourite word?” he whispers. I don’t even hesitate: “You”.
Atmosphere – 7
Start – 8.5
Pacing – 8
Ending – 9.5
Characters – 8.5
Theme – 7
Style – 9.5
Total = 58
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post.
See you soon, stay safe,