Review: Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: April 10, 2018

The heart may hide, but it never forgets.

The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

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 teen 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 reading 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.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Other people have a falling-out. What we had felt like a rupture.

I don’t typically read women’s fiction, unless of course it’s penned by the talented duo that is Christina Lauren. Then I don’t even think twice about jumping into the story. Though truth be told, while the story encompasses friendship, life and loss, the romantic element is very much at the heart of everything. So even though it wasn’t the steamy romance that I’m used to from theses authors, the emotional connection that I developed to these characters and their story was more than enough to make up for it.

Macy Sorensen is a woman that seemingly has her life together with a loving finance and a budding medical career. But then everything comes to a screeching halt when she bumps into the one man that she never forgot or gotten over; Elliot Petropoulos. The boy that was once her everything, her confidant, her best friend, her escape, is now a man. And while it’s clear there’s a reason for their ultimate rift, the reader is left to wander what could possibly happen to tear apart such a strong bond. The story is told in alternate parts past and present, truly engrossing the readers into the connection that these two develop and share from the time they’re just children. You get to experience them becoming friends, to developing feelings, and ultimately falling for one another. Christina Lauren did such a phenomenal job with the development of these characters and their sweet and budding love. You don’t feel like you’re just reading it, you truly feel engrossed in their experience. It’s beautiful, emotional, and so incredibly real. It’s a coming of age sort of feel with the addition of true adult feelings in the aftermath. It was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.

Elliot clearly never got over Macy, and Macy clearly never got over whatever it was that made her turn away from him. Years apart did nothing to heal the wounds or dim the love they had for each other. The story is brimming with emotion and overrunning with the rawness of their love for each other and pain of their past. It was magnificent and almost painful to read at times. It had me riveted to the pages, eager for just one more morsel to truly understand what could possibly go wrong to tear them apart.

This had all the makings of an epic 5 star read for me, until the big reveal happens. Man did I struggle with my feelings about it. And while I can understand how something like that could happen in the circumstances they had, it still felt like a betrayal to everything I had learned about these characters. I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t absolutely hate it. Because I did. I hated it and it ripped my heart apart at the same time. But after sitting on my rating and review for over a week, I decided that I can’t discount everything else this book made me feel, including the ultimate reveal of the truth. I may have hated it, but it also made me feel. It made me feel right along with the characters, and even though a part of me can’t help but still feel like it was in part unnecessarily OTT, I get it. I truly do.

Love and Other Words was a beautifully crafted coming of age story and second chance romance. It was emotional and all encompassing. It made you feel everything. So much of it. And it left a bit of a gaping hole in your heart at the end, even while mending bits and pieces of it. I hated it and I loved it, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

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