Release Date: January 11, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Kindle Store
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York–and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn’t think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.
When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari’s world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
I read all the rave reviews of Other Words for Love–that’s why I bought it–but I still didn’t realize how fantastic it really was until I read it myself. The synopsis really doesn’t capture what the book is about. It makes it sound a little…frivolous, and it is definitely not frivolous.
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal really captures the complexities of relationships in Other Words for Love. Not just romantic relationships, but all of them. Family dynamics, friendships, first love, all of it! I don’t remember the last time I read a book that captures all of this with such precision and depth. Maybe never! This author really has a talent for expressing the subtle things that come between people, or that bring people together.
All of that being said, I of course loved all of the characters. They were so real. Ari was a typical teenager. I could relate to her so well, because she was self conscious, and shy and lonely. A lot like me when I was a teen! And she wasn’t perfect. She was a little boy crazy, a little selfish, but who isn’t at 17? She has her priorities in the wrong order, but watching her grow, and mature, and learn is really what made this book great.
This book is just filled with characters. Ari’s family plays a huge role in the book and I really loved that. Most of the time, family’s are left at the wayside in books. Ari’s friendships also played a large role. We got to see how friendships usually unravel. And of course there was romance, but it was real romance. Not the insta-attraction. It was well played out and sweet and swoony at times and hard at others.
Other Words for Love spans something like 4 years, 1985-1989, I think. And it captures the heartbreak and intensity of being a young adult so well. The character growth in this book is incredible, probably some of the best I have ever read! Lorraine Zago Rosenthal is a new voice that must be heard! And I will definitely be reading everything that she writes from now on!