Thursday, January 27, 2011

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Ari Mitchell feels she is extraordinarily average - especially in comparison to her beautiful friend Summer who attends a prestigious private school in Manhattan. But when Ari receives an unexpected inheritance that allows her to attend Hollister Prep, it gives her hope that she will someday get into Parsons School of Design and become an artist. While at Hollister, Ari becomes friends with Leigh, who introduces her to her cousin Blake. Blake is older, attractive and wealthy - and Ari has never had a boyfriend before. Soon enough, Ari and Blake's relationship becomes serious. But when tragedy befalls Blake's family and he becomes distant, Ari has to deal with the subsequent break-up and the hard feelings that come after losing your first love.

I really enjoyed Other Words For Love. I loved that it was an historical novel in that in took place in 1985, however, it just seemed like a simpler twenty-first century. Everything was pretty much the same as now, except there were no computers, cell phones or iPods. It made the love story simpler in that there wasn't facebook or text messages complicating everything. It was also fun reading about a time period that I missed living in by only a few years.

Besides the setting, the characters in Other Words for Love were really strong. From Ari to her parents to her sister to Blake, everyone is well-developed and dynamic. Ari is the responsible one, the daughter who will get a good education and have a career before she gets caught up in boy drama, unlike her sister Evelyn who was pregnant when she was seventeen. But when Ari meets and falls in love with Blake, everything changes. Even though Ari's life starts going downhill towards the end of the novel, she still manages to fix everything in the end. Ari is at a low point which is sad to see, but watching her eventually bounce back and turn herself around was really rewarding. Even though she has experienced heartbreak, Ari is able to go on with her life and hopefully become a successful artist.

I also loved reading the romance between Ari and Blake because they seemed like a real couple. Blake was a pretty nice guy until the end, where I think he just got caught up in his own family drama. You could tell he meant well, so he wasn't a total creep, but still hurt Ari pretty badly. I thought that Rosenthal did a great job of writing all of the feelings that come along with love: excitement, elation, sadness, longing. She really has a great voice and was able to capture Ari's emotions really well.

Overall, Other Words for Love was a very well-written and sincere love story that girls of all ages will enjoy.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: reviewed for Flamingnet.

2011/ Delacorte Press/368 pages.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea this took place in 1985. I've heard really amazing things about it though. It's something I really must read.

Andrea said...

Great review! I've heard good things about this book, and I recently won a copy so I can't wait to read it. :)