Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on April 10, 2018
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (433 pages)
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
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.
Proceed With Caution:
This book deals with death and grief.
Love and Other Words is a romance-centric Women’s Fiction novel about Macy. It alternates between present day when she’s unexpectedly reunited with her first (and only) love and the past when they first met up until they had a falling out. Neither has gotten over the other, but they’ve also never talked about what happened eleven years ago that forced them apart.
I don’t normally read Women’s Fiction, but Love and Other Words sounded interested, so I decided to give it a try. And I’m so glad that I did! I was immediately hooked into Macy’s story even though there was nothing specific that I can pinpoint. I just wanted to know what happened to her and see her get her happy ending. I also just loved the past chapters, because she and Elliot are just too freaking adorable for words. They’re both avid readers and spend a ton of time together just reading. Four years of being alone together and just reading. Seriously.
The focus of Love and Other Words is on the relationship between Macy and Elliot, so it does read like a Contemporary Romance, which was good for me. It’s just a change of pace, since it doesn’t follow the general romantic progression, as we also need to work through Macy’s emotional trauma, which is done through her relationship with Elliot. We don’t know what happened to separate them for over a decade; it’s slowly revealed. I did guess, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment, because there was still a lot of baggage to unpack surrounding it.
Love and Other Words also deals heavily with grief. Macy’s mother dies when she’s ten and leaves her father a list of “rules” to help him raise a teenage daughter. One of those things was to find her a weekend getaway when she’s feeling stressed, which he takes very literally and buys a second home. Next door to Elliot. Macy doesn’t talk much about her mother, but over time does open up Elliot about it, since he does ask her and lets her know that he’s there if she does want to talk. Then we learn that Macy’s father also passed sometime within those eleven years, and she still hasn’t dealt with it at all. Her feelings there are completely mingled up with her feelings for Elliot.
I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that I really enjoyed Love and Other Words. The teen romance was really sweet and kind of messy. The present day is even more messy because Macy is extremely avoidant of her emotions, which is quite understandable given her history of letting people get close.