Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: Other Words for Love, by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Other Words for Love is a dramatic, teen love story that realistically portrays the emotions of a teen girl in love.

Ari goes to public school in Brooklyn and her best friend, Summer goes to a private school. Summer is the "perfect" teen -- beautiful and popular -- everything Ari isn't. When Ari's parents inherit some money, they have enough to send her to the same private school as Summer. Ari is sure that she will be miserable and won't fit in, but she meets Leigh, who soon becomes another good friend of Ari's.

But Summer and Leigh don't get along, and so Ari mostly keeps them separated. Leigh introduces Ari to her cousins, Blake and Del, and she is also introduced to the rich element of society. She's invited to fancy parties and glamorous trips to the Hamptons.  She also becomes romantically involved with Blake, and it seems that as her self esteem grows that life couldn't be much more perfect.

As a reader, I had no idea what was going to happen, but I knew this couldn't be the happy ending (I was only half way through the book.) I really enjoyed the last half of the book, where things start to fall apart. I don't want to tell you what happens, but it is quite emotional and heartbreaking.

This book has a very slow build, and it dragged a little until the romance gets going. I got annoyed with the petty difficulties of Summer vs. Leigh. The development of the side characters, Uncle Stan, Patrick and Evelyn (Ari's sister), Del, and Rachel (Leigh's mom) was very good. There were a lot of little side stories that filled out the plot, but also may have contributed to my feeling that the story dragged for a while. I did care about Ari. I totally understood her reaction to her relationship falling apart. Rosenthal can write realistic teen emotions and reactions.

The story takes place in the 80s, and I didn't feel this was important. This is a story about teen romance, and other than the cultural references, teens haven't changed that much in the way that they deal with romance and heartbreak. I can recommend this to my girls who want a pure teen romantic story, with not much else. There is some sex, and while not explicitly described, it's enough to save this one for older teens.

Published by Delacorte, January 11, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
354 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

  1. I love the 80s so I'll just pick this one up for the setting and time period. I don't mind a slow build up, but this one sounds like it pays off in the end. I'll curious as to why and how everything falls apart. I'm adding this one to my tbr list. Thanks, Annette!


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