Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: Apr 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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.
Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).
This review is going to be a toughy for me because it just packed such an emotional punch. It’s been days and I’ve finished a couple books since putting this one down, but it just hasn’t let me go yet.
Let me first share what I absolutely LOVED about this book. The book is split between the present and the past. I believe it’s been 11 years since Macy and Elliot last saw each other. You get a back and forth picture between past and present, but it was the past that I fell in love with. I mean I fell HARD! The past contains their high school years starting with the initial awkward coming into puberty time. These chapters were just everything. I adored their conversations. I loved how Eliot pushed Macy to talk about everything. Nothing was off limits. Not her first period nor the dynamics of sex. And they also discussed books there in the little library in her closet. LOTS of books! You could so totally feel the intense love and respect they had for each other. I loved getting to see it all play out. But, I knew that things would go bad. I knew that Eliot had done something to make Macy take off, and that just left such a pit of despair in me.
I have to say that I didn’t so much enjoy the present tense parts of the story. The first half Macy was in a relationship with someone else, so she was barely seeing Elliot. And then, I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the way their conversation went when they discussed what had happened to separate them. It felt like he was more upset with her for not talking to him than he was with himself. He thought she should forgive and that everything should be fine because his mistakes weren’t intentional. But, I didn’t like that. It’s not something that anyone could just move past. No one could blame her for forgiving him. But if I was in her place I don’t know that I could necessarily move past what he’d done – intentional or not. My husband and I had a similar relationship in our teens, and I know I would have been wrecked if I was Macy. And just thinking how that would have made me feel just made my emotions that much stronger about this book.
And ultimately, I wanted a little more of the current time frame of them rebuilding. I wanted to feel for them in the present tense what I had felt for them in the past. There wasn’t enough warm gooey goodness in the present tense to have wiped out all the hurt I was still feeling. So, being honest, 5 stars for emotional impact, 4 for enjoyment. I should also add here that I know I’ve been more emotional than usual lately between COVID and a life threatening situation taking place with someone close to me. So, I really want to reread this at some point when I’m in a happier place and see how I feel about it then.