Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Review- Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Other Words For Love
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publication date: 11th Jan 2011

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?

Other Words For Love is a really absorbing understated coming of age story. It's about love and relationships from all consuming first love, best friends and new friends, to strained relationships with parents and siblings.

Set in 1980's New York, Ari Mitchell is an aspiring artist and all round sensible, sensitive smart cookie. She copes fairly well with her somewhat dysfunctional family. Her overbearing mother sees her potential and wants her to have a career and makes it blatantly obvious how disappointed she is in Ari's sister Evelyn who got pregnant at 17 and married a fireman. Ari has a very rocky relationship with with her sister who suffers from post natal depression and weight issues, the relationship deteriorates further when it's discovered that Ari has a huge crush on Evelyn's husband and sleeps with one of his t shirts. Ari finds herself frozen out and banned from her sister's house as her mother thinks it's for the best for Evelyn without really considering Ari's feelings. Ari also has a very frustrating and difficult relationship with her best friend Summer who puts Ari down constantly and subtly and is very jealous when Ari develops a new friendship with the very wealthy and sweet Leigh.

Into the picture comes Leigh's cousin Blake who is rich, gorgeous and studious and they end up in an all consuming relationship which is the very thing Ari's Mother has against since her sister became pregnant. Equally, Blake's very controlling father thinks Ari isn't good enough for his son and believes she is distracting him from following in his footsteps and becoming a lawyer which is in fact the opposite of what Blake actually wants.

At times I wanted to shout out loud with frustration at both Ari and Blake. Ari becomes the girl who is so loved up she fails her SAT's, Blake goes along with his domineering father's wishes and doesn't fight for Ari when his father makes him give her up. As the relationship ends Ari literally falls apart and does some crazy out of character stuff which had me shouting out even louder. I desperately wanted them to stand up for themselves and each other and Ari's complete devastation and struggle to overcome her feelings of hopelessness really tugged at my heartstrings.

Overall, Other Words For Love is a really emotional read with fantastically well developed characters who are easy to fall in love with. The writing is so good I really felt the emotions of the characters: the love, the despair and the struggle to get back on your feet after a heartbreak.


  1. This sounds like an absolutely fantastic book! I've been looking for some great character driven books that are a bit of a change from the paranormal YA that I have been reading lately.

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  2. This one has been on my wishlist for ever! I want it even more now Ive read our review!

  3. I've SOOO been wanting to read this!!!


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