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.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars
Love and Other Words is, without a doubt, Christina Lauren’s best work to date. Those of you who have followed me for a while may know this already, but I am a huge Christina Lauren fan. I’ve read everything they’ve ever written, make my friends read their books, and automatically buy everything they publish. They are absolutely an auto-buy author for me. Thus far, all of their books have been fun and lighthearted – making them my go to authors when I need a good laugh and a hot as sin sex scene. Because of this, I did not see Love and Other Words coming. At all. This was the first book I’ve ever read by them that really hit me emotionally. I cried 16% in, 30% in and for at least the final 20% of the book.
The main character’s story was so unbelievably sweet. Love and Other Words is told in alternating time periods, so you got to see Macy and Elliot meet as teenagers and grow together, while seeing them reconnect in the present. I loved the flashbacks, they were adorable and sweet and held a hint of the witty humor I know CLo are great at. Their present day story was full of angst and heartbreak and I spent the entire book wondering what tore them apart so completely when they were obviously perfect together.
The writing was absolutely beautiful. Descriptive without being overly so, and completely emotional. I felt every emotion Macy felt over the course of the book and I just couldn’t put it down. I finished this book in one night. Stayed up until 4:30 am because I just could not stand to stop reading long enough to get some sleep.
I’m doing my best to avoid spoilers, while at the same time explaining to you how deeply I connected with Love and Other Words and its characters. It is just a stunning story of young love, family bonds, and learning that real love requires everything you have. It was wonderful and I genuinely hope that CLo writes more books like it.
My Takeaway: I have no more words. This book was gorgeous, and devastating and heart-warming all at once. I finished it last night and am still thinking about the characters, still connecting with them. Love and Other Words is officially an all time favorite novel of mine.