Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren
Release Date - April 10,  2018
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  432 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

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.
Christina Lauren is known for reads that are as addictive as they are sexy. Love And Other Words is something a little bit different. There's a shift from something fun and sexy to something a little more emotional. This novel proves that this duo is capable of shifting expectations and writing something outside of the niche they have created and doing that incredibly well.

The mystery of what drove Macy and Elliot apart is what drives the novel. I could not turn the pages fast enough because I was driven to know what had caused their falling out. The reveal is slow to unravel, but satisfying in a lot of ways. There is a lot of heartbreak within this novel, but there is also a lot of hope. If offers the possibility of making amends and having a second chance which is something I think everyone can relate to. We've all had things we wish we could do over, and mistakes that we wish to atone for.

I could have easily read an entire book of teen Macy and Elliot falling in love. This book handles the dual timeline perfectly. I felt that I really got to know who these characters are and became invested in them because I could feel the history of their relationship. It was years of backstory that wasn't just told to you but rather allowed to unfold over the course of the novel. It makes the history tangible in a way that makes the stakes of the present so much higher and makes this book feel that much more special.

There is an emotional heft to this novel that, while not missing from their previous books, is more weighted than anything they have written before. This novel pulls at your heartstrings in a way that I just wasn't expecting going in. This really is a beautiful love story at its core with some characters that you cannot help but root for at its centre.

No review of this novel would be complete without a mention of the secondary characters. Elliot's family is just as loveable as he is. Macy's father is a steady rock for his grieving daughter. I appreciated how much we got to know his character even with him not being a main character. The older Macy has a wonderfully supportive best friend that pushes her when she needs it most. These characters help flesh out not just the two main characters, but the world they inhabit and are created with some extra care that makes them more than window dressing.

I highly recommend this book if the 'second chance at romance' trope is a particular favourite of yours. It captures that delicious agony of wanting two characters to make it work with the thrill of watching them fall in love all over again. This may be a little different than what Christina Lauren fans are expecting, but a journey that is incredibly satisfying all the same.

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