Jenny's Early Review: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Gallery

Pub Date: April 10, 2018
Rating: 3.75 Stars

Our thoughts...

The prologue feels like watching the opening of the movie Up and reading the story feels like watching an episode of This Is Us. If that’s your thing, if those give you all the right feels, then check out Love and Other Words. 

Christina Lauren have created two characters that pull the reader in entirely to their world. The dual perspective of past and present are merged beautifully, and the raw emotion of their relationship comes through strongly. The prologue reminded me of what I felt watching the opening of the movie Up. Remember that gem? The loving visual stroll through the lives of two people so deeply connected to each other that their love knows no bounds, even when they are heartbreakingly separated. It’s okay to admit you cried during that part; I did, too. And I teared up during the prologue as well. Didn’t see that coming! The emotions evoked are so strong and real that I felt like I was right there with the characters. That strong emotional connection to the characters continues through most of the book for me but many will feel it through the end. And it isn’t just about the love and loss felt in a budding relationship but also familial love and loss. I think the familial part struck the strongest for me. 

So why didn’t I give this book five stars? After all of that, you think it would be a given. *Cue dramatic BIG SIGH* The ending…not even the ending but the big climax, the subject of conflict…I’m disappointed. The reader gets to know Elliot and Macy so well, so very well. To the point that the subject of conflict feels so alien to who these two are. I won’t get into what happened but know that it feels incongruent to everything we have come to know as truth, to everything we have come to see these people as being. I don’t believe these two, especially one of them, would behave this way. The whole premise of the conflict is based on a situation that I don’t believe would have ever occurred. The primary individual would have never put him/herself (gotta keep it vague here) near a situation that could lead to what happened. I just don’t buy it. Maybe the authors did too well selling us on who these characters are that any deviation from that seems unlikely and forced. The character betrayal is almost enough to knock it down to three stars but the deep emotional reaction I felt through 85% is too strong to ignore. 

Love and Other Words is a strong novel and I’m sure many people will not have the same reaction to the ending as I did. I don’t regret reading it, I just wish the conflict stayed truer to the characters. The strong emotions I felt and continue to feel are thanks to great storytelling, to authors showing more than telling, to character development done well (until it wasn’t but…). Pick this one up if you’re looking for deep feelings and strong attachments to characters.

Love and Other Words on Goodreads

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