Love and Other Words
By Christina Lauren
Read by: Erin Mallon
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
Simon & Schuster Audio | ISBN 9781508212669
Release date: 04-10-18
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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.http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Love-and-Other-Words/Christina-Lauren/9781508212669
The story of this book starts sad and ends with joy, but it is one of those stories where lovers lose years and years and years of time. This is particularly well-done as the people don’t waste their lives in the eleven years hiatus between the two people who have been in love since adolescence. But, the story is told in a sort of now and then with the reveal taking a really long time. It was not what I thought it would be, so it was a surprise.
The young love develops from a childhood friendship bound in mutual interest and consideration. There’s something about Elliot’s being stuck in the vacation spot, and Macy going back and forth from her home in Berkley to the weekend cabin she and her father shared. That lack of mobility versus her ability to go back and forth leaves the relationship with a strange power balance.
One tragic mistake is all it takes to pull these committed people apart. Perhaps they have growing up to do, experience parts of life that marrying one’s high school sweetheart would preclude. I grew tired of Macy’s inability to just tell Elliot what happened all those years ago. And, I don’t ike it when lovers lose so much time together. It always seems like such a great loss.
What really worked for me was the way Lauren writes those encounters of young love, and, yes, lust: where all you want is each other and how hard it was to get free, to make out when your parent(s) left.
The narration is excellent, Mallon gives voice to the youth, the teen and the damaged adult she becomes.
This is a worthwhile but puzzling read. Sometimes I don’t really get a book and don’t know what to tell you about it. I think this one has given me much to think about for a while. If you read it I would like to know what you think.
CHRISTINA LAUREN: http://christinalaurenbooks.com/books/love-and-other-words/