Today I’m bringing you a review of Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren!
Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Number of Pages: 420 Pages
Age Category: Adult
Date Published: April 10, 2018
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new paediatrics 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 favourite 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 have a lot of mixed feelings about this book which I’m still trying to sort out. On one hand, there were some things that I thought this book handled well and I enjoyed, however, there were also a lot of things that left me questioning what I just read.
I’m going to start off about what I enjoyed about this book and what I thought it did well.
The first thing I think it handled well was its depiction of grief, of both a child losing their mother and a husband losing their wife, and how difficult it is to navigate that situation.
I also appreciated how books played a role in the story. I liked that books were used as an escape, that the characters bonded through reading, and that there were bookish references. I will say though that at times, I found Elliot to be a bit of a pretentious reader.
I also thought that the depiction of young love was sweet, although a bit awkward at times, though young love is often quite awkward.
Now onto the things that bothered me about the book, starting with Elliot. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a character who needs therapy as much as Elliot does. Some of his behaviours as an adult are creepy at best and outright stalkerish in a few cases. He also did a number of things, as both an adult and in the flashbacks to when he was younger, that made me ask “are you really that dumb?”
I also had a lot of issues with the ending of this book. Throughout the book there is a lead up to a reveal of what happened on New Year’s Eve that caused Macy and Elliot to stop talking to each other. It’s clear that whatever happened caused a lot of damage in their personal lives and that they’ve both struggled to process everything. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I had a lot of issues how one of the major events was casually brushed over and almost shrugged off.
I also thought the final scenes were a bit of a mess. I don’t understand how some of the secondary characters was okay with what was happening and it left me shaking my head and asking myself lots of questions.
Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, which was disappointing. There were too many things that bothered me and those thing overshadowed the things that I liked.