Charlotte's Reviews > Other Words for Love

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
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Oct 26, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya

I think that what makes Other Words for Love a standout are the characters. Ari—a pretty, talented artist who is so overshadowed by her glamorous friend, Summer, that she can’t see the beauty of her own reflection in the mirror. Evelyn, Ari’s streetwise, stunning, bitchy and foul-mouthed sister who is trying to cope with her weight issues, her post-partum depression, and the knowledge that her parents are disappointed in her for falling into motherhood as a teen and living an average life with a “low-class” spouse. But her husband, Patrick, is anything but “low.” He’s a great guy, everything a woman could hope for—handsome, strong, a tough but caring father, and a considerate older brother figure to Ari. Ari, though, has a semi-secret crush on him and sees him as everything she wants: a devoted family man with a smokin’ body and a kind heart.

When she finally finds Blake Ellis, a gorgeous college student at New York University, she can’t believe he’s interested in her. But he is, and what’s more, he’s a rich Upper East Side hottie who lives in a penthouse and was raised with old-fashioned manners and respect for girls. He doesn’t push her into anything—a relationship, physical intimacy, but it all unfolds as their attraction heats up, and when it gets physical, it's very sexy, especially for a YA novel.

Ari and Blake are both pressured by their parents. Ari’s mother wants her to be an independent career woman, and Blake’s father wants him to take over the family business, a law firm. Blake has other ideas, and Ari supports them, but he can’t let go of his need to please and obey his sleazy, bullying, manipulative father. Ari is so blinded with love for Blake that she can’t see his weaknesses and flaws, even though others do—like Blake’s cousin, Leigh, and his older brother, Del—a nightclub owner who’s quick to throw a punch and who sees Blake for what he really is. Del refers to twenty year old Blake as a “little boy,” and unfortunately, that turns out to be true. Blake isn’t man enough to put Ari first in his life, and this leads to heartbreak for both of them.

Overall, the novel is a very well-written and complex story about growing up, falling in love, moving on, and realizing what and who are truly important in life. I loved it; it’s just an amazing read.
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