Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Erin Mallon
Length: 8 hours (432 pages)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Content Warnings: sexual assault, car accident, death of parent, infidelity
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 fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).
I expected to love this book, and I initially fell fast and hard for this childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance. Macy and Elliot were inseparable growing up…until they suddenly stopped speaking 11 years ago. A chance encounter stirs up memories and reignites old feelings, but their mysterious falling out looms in the background.
The story is told in dual timeline, and the flashbacks to their childhood were sweet and nostalgic, creating an interesting juxtaposition to Macy’s present complicated feelings toward Elliot. He seemed like the perfect loyal and understanding book boyfriend…
…Until he wasn’t. I did not like the reveal of why Macy and Elliot stopped speaking in the past. The situation was very uncomfortable, and I didn’t buy Elliot’s explanation. I really did not like Elliot’s toxic reaction when Macy did not immediately respond the way he wanted her to following his confession. Macy may have had 11 years to forgive him and let go of the past, but as a reader I did not, and it almost ruined the whole book for me.
This book was emotional and heartbreaking, exploring the awkwardness of first love, the devastation of loss, and the power of growing into who you want to be.