Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren Book Review
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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.
There aren’t any trigger warnings for this book. Here is some of the potentially sensitive content that I observed while reading:
- Car accident
- Death of a parent
- Rape (mentions of)
- Sexual content
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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
I had an extreme emotional connection to this story right away. My feelings ranged from extreme giddiness to happy tears to sad tears To anger to shock. I was all over the place reading this one. Immediately invested and I know it’s because I loved these characters right way.
I appreciated how easily they fit together. Their connection was immediately so clear to me. The friendship between Macy and Elliot was definitely something I enjoyed most about their relationship. They are so different but still obviously made for each other. I pined with them when they were apart. Elliot doesn’t miss a beat when I come to Macy. He’s able to read her easily.
We get to see their young romance and it was the most sweet and earnest story about young love. Macy and Elliot share an honesty that leaps off the page. I truly feel the trust and acceptance in their words and actions. There is no boundaries for them and it doesn’t feel intrusive or forced. There is just an inherent comfort that underlines their relationship, whether it be friendship or romance.
They show each other what it means to be close to someone in more than just one way. I found myself relating to Elliot in more ways than Macy though this book is single POV from her perspective. I think keeping it in her voice gave this story the best pacing. With alternating chapters, we flashback to their teenage years and the present.
The first time that I cried reading this book was expected. The last maybe 10 chapters though… had me bawling like a baby. I could not stop crying. It’s a tear jerker that makes my eyes water even thinking about everything that was revealed. There is so much grief in this book and I liked the realistic treatment of the topic.
I recommend this book so much! I was pleasantly surprised about how much I loved this emotional read. I know many other romance lovers will enjoy this tale too!
Everything is mostly closed door and alluded to. This would a be safe recommendation for those who prefer little to no sexually explicit content in their novels.
Female Main Character
Macy is described as petite, dark brown skin and long, thick black hair. She works as a resident in pediatric care.
Macy is a little bit of an odd ball. She’s in introvert through and through. She also has a tendency to isolate when she is under stress. Her inability to be vulnerable and open with people has impacted her relationships with everyone. Her friends recognize her distance and Elliot recognized it too. Like many of us, reading it a way to escape and Macy found comfort in books. She is a fan of rereading her old favorites instead of getting new books to read.
Male Main Character
He is described as tall with an athletic build.
Elliot is usually reliable and attentive to those close to him. He’s extremely considerate and uses his vast knowledge to helps others. He would have a book recommendation for just about anything it seems.
Elliot knows a lot but never knows how much to share. With Macy, I questioned often why this man was withholding information about what he was doing with other women. He unintentionally broke Macy’s trust by thinking he was protecting her from getting upset. It backfired every single time!
Genre & Tropes
- Second Chance Romance
- Opposites Attract
- Emotional Scars
- Friends to Lovers
- He falls first
- Slow Burn Romance
- Small Town Romance
“Favorite word?” he whispers.
I don’t even hesitate: “You.”
“I never got to fall out of love. I just had to move on.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to come home for eleven years. I’ll go anywhere you go.”
“Don’t spoil her with toys; spoil her with books.”
There’s no other word like it. The state of being infatuated with another person.”
“Well, you’re more, too. You’re my best everything.”
“Sometimes it feels like I think about you every minute,”
“It never occurred to me that love could be anything other than all-consuming. Even as a child, I knew I never wanted anything less.”
“Tell her you love her. Girls need the words.”
Check out Love & Other Words on Amazon here.