6 Stars for the Christina Lauren’s newest novel

by Shelee Juarez, Columnist

Love and Other Words, which was officially released yesterday, was a beautiful and emotional journey of exploration, first love, and the crucial moments that can long effect you into adulthood.  After finishing it last week, it took me a few days to find words to express the praise I have for this story. Each alternating timeline of past and present were masterfully woven together to create an impactful punch that led readers from chapter to chapter with ease while wonderfully lingering and bleeding into every subsequent chapter. Christina Lauren took their readers on a journey with their multi-facetted characters. Coauthors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, began writing together in 2010 and have published 14 New York Times bestselling novels under their shared pen name.

As a Women’s Fiction novel, this story perfectly encapsulated Macy’s inner struggles of finding her place and what she deserved in love. She was so fresh and evocative on the page that it was easy to become enamored by her personality and understand the choices she’d made for herself. What was most special, though, was watching Macy and Elliot interact, both in the Now and Then. Christina Lauren perfectly captured the nuances of their unique friendship and how that slowly morphed into something all-consuming; added to it was the present storyline where all of those special pieces were mired in heartache and loss, and yet you could still feel the gut-deep instinctual connection they had from years ago. It was a delicious slow burn, but with an additional layer of raw passion that had been bottled up for years.

There aren’t words to properly convey how consuming and stunning Love and Other Words was. The intricate connection these two characters shared did not need to be written on the page because Lauren’s words alluded to it just by how they told the story–and that was more impressive than anything. Both heartbreaking and poignant, this story is a must-read.

This novel gets 6/5 stars.
BLURB:
The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

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 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 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.

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