Title: Love and other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Published: April 2018
Summary: After young Macy’s mom dies, she and her dad buy a mountain retreat house to escape their Berkley life from time to time. There Macy meets Elliot, one of a large, loud family that lives next door. They quickly become best friends, sharing a love of reading and words, spending endless time in her library. As they grow up together, they become more than best friends, they become best everything. Just as they begin to acknowledge a new label on their young friendship, one night ruins everything. Eleven years later, Macy and Elliot run into each other on the street for the first time since that night, dredging up feelings from the past and posing a disruption to the lives they have built for themselves.
Thoughts: I had read a few heavier books in a row and needed a palate cleanser–this worked perfectly. It’s a cute contemporary romance that plucks at your heart strings and leaves you with a heartwarming feeling. It reminded me a bit of Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino, but has less childhood trauma. I am a sucker for stories that have someone reconnecting with their childhood and this one was really well done. The story is told by going back and forth in time from when Elliot and Macy were young to present day, helping you to understand their history as you are seeing it impact their present. Both timelines have a slow-burn, angst ridden romantic arc that feels sweet and love-soaked. Although this book is not as focused on the traditional steamy romance elements as other romances or even other Christina Lauren romances, I would still remind readers that it is still a romance novel. It is about 90% contemporary chick lit and 10% romance. It is not a trashy romance novel, but rather reads more like a romantic comedy. Christina Lauren is quickly becoming among my very favorite authors. They have such a knack for the contemporary voice and create characters that are relatable and feel natural. These two are a fantastic team, which I am finding to be more and more true as I make my way through their books.