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Love and Other Words

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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 first fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

432 pages, Hardcover

First published April 10, 2018

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About the author

Christina Lauren

97 books66.8k followers
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced nineteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

We don't respond to private messages here, so please contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

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5 stars
188,541 (50%)
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44,620 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 44,461 reviews
Profile Image for Jonathan.
745 reviews3,570 followers
January 27, 2022
no review, no rating, have a nice day fine i lied

me from two days ago: yooooooooo!!! this is kinda painful????? the heartbreak??? the angst??? could this be… a new favourite?????

me now: lol, anyway.

my favourite thing about reading this were my updates for the first 60% where I was clearly enjoying myself and all of you commenting like “you don’t like it? ☹️“ “why don’t you like it, Jonathan ☹️”, “please don’t write a mean review, Jonathan, this is my comfort book ☹️”
I literally thought I would rate it at least 4 stars at that point, probably more, so idk if you and me were seeing the same updates.

Anyway, y’all clearly jinxed this for me, so don’t complain about what’s to come.

idk what to think about this. I very much enjoyed it for the first like 60%.
I am a big fan of second chance romance because there is just so much opportunity for pain✨. second chance romance always has so much angst and it’s just chef’s kiss. big love. we all know I only read to experience pain✨ and angst✨ because my own life isn’t anxiety inducing enough. hahaha. just kidding, I had like seven panic attacks today.

and this one totally delivered on the pain and angst and anxiety at first and then the tables kinda tabled and now I just don’t even know what I’m feeling anymore.

those two got kinda… annoying after a while.

(there will be SPOILERS)

in the past chapters Macy just kept going on about Elliot’s dick and constantly dreaming about “what’s behind his zipper” and she would NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT. there is only so much I can take. find another thing to obsess over. or at least use a different phrasing?? idk.

she was just too horny for her own good and, I’m gonna be honest with you, reading about two seventeen year olds fucking is not really my idea of a good time.
and her being like “oh you can go in raw, my dad put me on birth control :)” cool cool cool. kids use condoms please.

in the present chapters those two just refused to talk to each other about things that mattered. they hadn’t seen each other in 11 years and were like “let’s not mention what kept us apart for that long for like another six months, for dramatic effect”

they just kept going on like “oh we’ll talk next month about this”, “oh let’s talk next week”

even during their super emotional (not really super emotional because they obviously had to have sex outside before this and were talking about half of the things that kept them apart while Elliot still had his dick inside her, which was very awkward because at one point he was like “I never wanted to be inside another woman, only in you” and then they made me believe he actually cheated on her, but we’ll get to that. anyway, fantastic conversation to have while his limp dick is still inside “lmao, remember when you thought I slept with another girl and then didn’t talk to me for 11 years? what do you mean there’s actually more?”)
and then she actually left??? we really had to drag this drama out, huh

every normal person would have been like “oh yeah my dad died exactly on the day I stopped talking to you” the moment he brought her dad up (on like the first day of meeting again).
honestly, they could have resolved this even faster. she wasn’t even mad about him “cheating” on her, she just said she was very depressed about her dad. I get it, but Elliot was allegedly your soulmate and your rock and the only one you ever trusted, and you really didn’t even want his support? he reached out multiple times? idk. the drama was dragged out so much that you'd think Elliot literally stabbed her dad himself.

everything about his could have been resolved fifteen years ago. even though it was only eleven since it happened.

I also did not appreciate the author trying to sell what was a very obvious r*pe situation as Elliot cheating on Macy (accidentally). he was very drunk and passed out and he thought he was sleeping with Macy, meanwhile Emma just took advantage of him. he even admitted to being afraid of intimacy many years down the line but that was just shrugged off. who cares about male r*pe victims, am I right fellas.

idk. I’m really disappointed in this one as it showed promise in the beginning. 2 stars? 2.5 stars? 3 stars? 1 star? I’ll roll a dice.

(btw, I read this as my January book for the 12-challenge. thanks to shell for the recommendation, you were so close but -)
Profile Image for Ayman.
202 reviews76.1k followers
November 1, 2021
ok y’all i’m telling you, childhood best friends to lovers to second chance romance to lovers is such an under appreciated trope!! fuck !! i loved this book !

it was so beautifully written, it felt very lyrical, and vivid. perhaps my favorite part about this book was how the writing-only being in one POV- still kept me engaged and engrossed. the detail and scene building was down flawlessly, at times my heart was racing.

i was on the edge of my seat wishing the best for these characters. i love how the authors connected the dots together at the end. really made it full circle. shit like that makes me all giddy and giggly inside. istg i love it so much.

these characters deserve the WORLD!!! bro!! fucking Elliot was such a beautifully written character. and the chemistry between Macy and Elliott was tangible since the first day they met.

some parts were predictable and some parts came out of nowhere. but i ended the book was the biggest smile on my face. these characters have king heart ❤️
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.4k followers
August 12, 2021
its been said that beautiful things dont ask for attention. and oh, how humbly beautiful this book is.

it is also simple, but its an elegant simplicity. the story itself isnt flashy; it doesnt rely on gimmicks or beg for the reader to notice it. it is just a quiet story about boy and a girl who grew up to love each other.

a book like this deserves a thousand word review, but all i have to say is how grateful i am that stories like this have been written - stories that create an honest moment of beauty and love - and make the world just a little bit better, just a little bit more lovely.

5 stars
Profile Image for pauline.
128 reviews21.6k followers
October 8, 2021
I would die for this book. I would just simply DIE.

if God told me “pauline, walk into an erupting volcano or I’m erasing this book from the world” I’d take a running head start into the lava
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,236 reviews26.6k followers
April 28, 2018
Yikes.... I guess I'm in the minority here with my opinion, but I did not enjoy this one. If you know me, you know I LOVE Christina Lauren, I consider them one of my favorite authors, but this book was just so meh. This is their first "women's fiction" novel, even though I don't know how this is different from a new adult romance.

This story follows Macy and Elliot, who met when they were kids. The story alternates chapters between when they were kids and now, years later when they are both adults. Macy's Mom died when she was a kid, and her Dad got them a "getaway" house at the lake, and they moved in next door to Elliot's family. This house has a special closet that's like a mini-library and they spend most of their summers and weekends reading in there together. In the present chapters, Macy and Elliot haven't spoken in years and now Macy is a nurse and she is engaged to this guy who has a daughter that she's only known for six months. Macy runs into Elliot randomly again and she gets blasted with feelings for Elliot and questions whether she really wants to marry Sean.

I think my main problem with this book is that I didn't like Macy or Elliot as characters. They were both impulsive and annoying, and irritating to read about. I liked their reading closet and how they both loved books, but that's literally the only thing I liked about this story. They spent most of their teenage years talking about kissing and sex and masturbating and 'omg who are you dating?' and 'do you have a girlfriend?' and 'omg why aren't we together???' and I just got annoyed really fast. And then don't even get me started on the adult Macy and Elliot. I know I wasn't going to like this book from the moment Elliot in general just bothered me and I couldn't figure out exactly why. Their romance was so bland and forgettable.

I still love Christina Lauren, and I'm still going to read everything they publish in the future, but this book was a major disappointment.
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,303 followers
April 10, 2018
➳A second chance at finding the honest truth but also, discovering the beauty of what friendship does to enhance a new romantic relationship between two soul mates...

I don't think there are enough words to describe how soul-soothing amazing the words that Christina Lauren create bring to my life. It's indeed very hard to find a novel that will not only connect with you in an entertainment kind of way, but also emotionally when it comes down to sensible topics such as second chances at finding the honesty of the past, family lose, finding a new family for comfort, and also being with the one true person that has showed tenderness, joy, and sadness all in one bundle since the moment you have met. That's who Macy and Elliot are in this flashback of a romance story that fascinate and swoop you off your feet, making you not want to get up from whatever comfortable reading position you read in just so you find out what happens in the next chapter, and the chapter after that, and after that one, and after that one, and so on...

➳This romance novel is not like your any day romance novel that's for sure. With the history that Elliot and Macy have, it is that same reason that makes this novel so worth of being enamored by it in ways that one would not expect. That one mystery that makes you question "what happened to them?" is always there as well, drawing you to the page and their flashbacks. The contentment between Elliot and Macy is there, even after years of not seeing each other, the warmth and recognition is still there. As an advocate of romances with possessive alpha males, love at first sight, strong held friendships that lead to a romantic affair (in the good way), and finding an ending that doesn't lead you to questioning what happens next, I can declare this new CLo book a masterpiece that is no surprise to me will become a hit for many who adore their writing.

➳The emotional side of CLo has one hundred percent shown in this new novel, and to many may enjoy it, but it is indeed a romance that no one should pass along and forget about. It comforts you, it soothes you, it gravitates towards you to continue and enjoy the chemistry that Elliot and Macy have. The messages of the lose, the gain, and the remembrance of family is one that certainly makes you stop and think about what you truly have and the who are the people that surround and care for you. Personally, I have taken my family for granted for so many years, but with the presence of this novel I have succumbed to the realization that family will always be there, through the thick and thin, the enjoyable times and downfall times, and the confusing and understandable times, family will always be there to show us how love truly enhances in an individual.

➳Overall, this fictional romance novel that has gained so much of my respect this year and has become one of my favorites can officially be declared as a unique story that so many should read. Those who are fans of Christina Lauren and for those who are not but still rehash to the romance genre, Love and Other Words is a story filled with unique and unforgettable moments. Thank you to my favorite publishers at Gallery Books for providing an early copy that I will forever take advantage of re-reading over and over again.

➳ARC kindly provided by Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review...

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Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,198 reviews40.7k followers
March 15, 2023
Yes, I love it, I love it, I love it!

After the frustration of “Twice in a blue moon” and “Honey don’t list”, I finally found a story to fall in love with from one of my favorite author duo! Hell, yeah! Of course “Josh &Hazel’s Guide to not dating” will always be my number book of these writers but at least I found my number two!

I loved Macy and Elliot, how grew up together, formed an amazing friendship, their love for the books, their quirkiness and common tastes and how they realized they fell for each other. But at the very same night, when Elliot comes clean about his feelings, everything turns into something messy and Macy’s heart gets broken. They never see each other for 11 years. I kept screaming and wanted to know why the reason Macy got so much hurt. (I hardly to restraint myself not to skip now and then part and read the end of the story to learn more!)

Macy suffers a lot and tries to gather her broken pieces, starting a new life in San Francisco, she becomes a pediatric critical care resident and she’s engaged with an older but trustworthy, caring man who has a young daughter. She seems fine and she’s coped well. But when she sees Elliot at the cafeteria close to her hospital, her past slaps her one more time that she realizes that she’s not over him.

What happened that night? Why two people who are crazy in love ruined everything? Why any of them tried to make things right? And now, what’s gonna happen? Will Macy forgive Elliot and learn to trust him again? Will Elliot do something to take this girl back? Macy knows he is her destiny, he is her person. She didn’t love anybody even her fiancée as much as she loved him!
Oh boy! This book is so emotional, sweet and also sad, heartbreaking! My emotions are everywhere and I cannot blame any of these characters. They are not flawless. They made big mistakes and both of them are equally guilty for ruining the special relation they had. I both love them so much and I hurt for them and I ache for their painful 11 years. And the revelation part was nice touch. This was angsty but also touchy, lovely story.

I’m so thankful after so long I’m giving full 5 stars for this power duo’s wonderful book and so happy to read good romance. (I feel like I waited for decades.) 2019 was so frustrating year for my romance reads ( Well met, Get a life Chloe Brown and Regretting You are best books.) And it’s too early to say something about this year so for my romance craving, I started to read relatively old and recommended books from my pile for being better safe then sorry. And thankfully I’m not sorry right now! I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!
Profile Image for Amy.
261 reviews44 followers
April 17, 2018
This was close to being a 3 or 3.5. The story was compelling enough to keep me reading quickly, though in hindsight the characters themselves were kind of...bland. I wanted to like Elliott more than I did, as he was a sweetheart, but something was just missing for me. But I really wanted to know the twist/conflict that led to the 11-year radio silence between the two MCs.

About 90% in we finally get there, and it is...super problematic.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
793 reviews12.4k followers
April 2, 2018
Loved Loved Loved!!! This book is pure bliss on so many levels. Not only do we have amazing characters to love, we have amazing characters who love books and words, and their favorite books and favorite words fuel their romance!

Love and Other Words is an enthralling read about friendship, first love, and broken hearts.

I am not including a summary--just read this book!

Oftentimes, I find romance novels tend to not go beyond the surface and are often just formulaic. Love and Other Words is a little formulaic, but what makes this so enjoyable is that the characters have depth. While they have their flaws, they are both likable and I loved reading about Elliot and Macy’s friendship and how they came to fall in love. There is also a level of emotional intensity that I was not expecting. While there is a happy ending, there are some unexpected tragedies.

I was obsessed while reading this and I had to force myself to put it down! It was a surprisingly good and satisfying escape from the dark thrillers that I normally read. This is the first book by Christina Lauren that I have read and I now plan on reading ALL of their books asap!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Debra .
2,286 reviews35k followers
November 11, 2018
What is your favorite word?

Love and Other words is a second chance love story told in alternating timelines about two people who met and fell in love while growing up and then re-met eleven years later. Macy and Elliot met during an open house when Macy found Elliot reading a book in a closet. Macy's father purchased this second home for them after his wife (Macy's mother) passed away. Macy and her father would go to their cabin home on weekends and spend their summers there. Since the day they first met, when she was 13 and he was 14, Macy and Elliot bonded over their love of books and became best friends who fell in love during their teenage years. They could talk about anything and shared a very close bond. Then their relationship ended, and they had not seen or spoken to each other in eleven years. Then the two meet accidentally in a coffee shop, eleven years later. and the spark is still there. There is a complication of course, isn't there always with romance books - and yes, this is a romance book and a coming of age story rolled into one -even if it is classified as something else.

I enjoyed this book from the get-go even though it looks as if it took me 5 days to read. I started this book and had to finish other reading obligations but then tore through this one yesterday. This book is very easy to become absorbed in. I literally could not put this book down. I really enjoyed both characters and really rooted for them, wanting desperately to know what tore them apart eleven years ago.

Love and other words is an easy fast read which sucked me in. There was a time or two while reading this book that I wanted to shake both characters - one more than the other. I enjoyed reading about their friendship when they were younger where it was evident that both wanted to be more than friends and the reader could see them flirting with the idea and watch them get close then retreat, get close, hint around at it, then retreat, until finally they became a couple and then.... READ THE BOOK!

There is a bit of a reveal which I have mixed feelings about. I can't go into detail, so I won’t give any spoilers away, but I thought "you have got to be kidding me" and "seriously, come on". Grrr In some ways this felt cliched but it was successful in making me feel several emotions – just as the characters felt several emotions as well.

This is the type of book that can easily be read in one day! It pulls at the heartstrings and delivers! I could feel their friendship, their angst, their chemistry, the love, the heartbreak, the spark, the re-connection. While reading this book I felt as if I were on this emotional journey with Macy and Elliot.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Sophia Judice.
57 reviews11.9k followers
November 29, 2021
LOVED THIS!!! Love and Other Words is impossibly sweet. I just love when a book reminds me of how single I am in every page. Truthfully, Elliot is like top 5 book boyfriends of all time; he is perfect. And Macy is a pretty relatable MC. I also enjoy the format of the book, how the chapters alternate from past to present. Nothing really major or shocking happens (veryyyy slow burn, but satisfactory), but it is such a cute read that I couldn’t put down!! The whole thing just feels very intimate, and you can feel the passion emanating from the words. Amazing.
Profile Image for alluringB.
239 reviews136 followers
August 28, 2022
𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒕: 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏.

1𝐬𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝, 10.12.2018 : 4.75🌟
𝐑𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝, 2019 : 4.75🌟
𝐑𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝, 2019 : 5+🌟
𝐑𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝, 2020 : 5+🌟
𝐑𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝, 2020 : 5 ⭐️

before i start with the review, i just want make something clear— i breathe, eat, sneeze, sleep, and shit for this book so i’m here to warn you that i will deadass come for you if i see any *hate* specifically on Elliot and Macey.

lol i’m kidding!


⚠︎︎ i strongly discourage any of you to pick this up if you DON’T fancy an easy simple sweet romance that hs second chance and friends to lovers tropes!! bc i will pretend to not see any ratings below 3 stars and continue with my day goodbYEE

yes i staN haRD

on to the review ~

Have you ever loved a book so freaking much with your whole entire heart that you sometimes hesitate to mention or recommend it to anyone because the possibility of them hating it personally hurts you or the thought of them loving it just as much spurs jealousy deep inside of you? (i’m petty betty, i know)
— yeah, that’s LaOW for me.

This warm love story begins with Macey’s (h) dad getting a summer house that’s neighbored beside Elliot’s (H) and from there they both form a heartfelt friendship and a profound bond through books and words. Over the years during weekends spending inside a closet, their sacred haven, one day an irreversible tragedy causes Macey to disappear on Elliot and leave him and their relationship at lost for 11 years.
Suddenly, fate leads them back to each other to restore their faith in their love and Macey is finally forced to confront the past and give closure to Elliot’s decade of agony.
*The book is told in alternating time lines between then and now.

I’m gonna give you guys my shitty summarized thoughts bc yall already know how i feel about this book and plus, i don’t want to give away too much so you guys can just enjoy the cute, emotional ride.
Words can never explain how much i cherish the characters in this book and adore and desire the relationship that Elliot and Macey have. The bond they've created together is so deep, genuine, innocent and all-consuming that i'm always in awe whenever i do a reread. At this point, no one can understand how desperate i am to have what they have✊🏻😞

Elliot was, is and will forever be my top-tier fictional husband. periodt. Attentive, loving, caring, emotionally intelligent, and a hot nerd? Fuck yes.

"𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖?"
"𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒊𝒔."

me @ Elliot:

"𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑 𝒎𝒆," 𝑰 𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒉𝒊𝒎.
𝑯𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒆 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒊𝒎𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒈𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔, 𝒃𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒆𝒅. "𝑰 𝒅𝒐."
�� 𝒈𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒅. "𝑶𝒓 𝒃𝒆 𝒎𝒚 𝒔𝒍𝒂𝒗𝒆."
"𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅." 𝑯𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒌, 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒆𝒍𝒃𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒔. "𝑰 𝒂𝒎."

The devotion and adoration Elliot has for Macey is honestly so beautiful that it evokes jealousy and frustration inside me bc i realize now that there is zero to no chance for me to ever come across a man like Elliot Petropoulos on this earth. And that’s some sad shit, man

Macey’s a sweetheart through and through. The deep loss she endured as a child breaks my heart and i’m so glad that Elliot is her Godsend. Not to forget the pain she went through after leaving Elliot 🥺 i’ll forever stan a chick like her with all that i have.

"𝑰 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆. 𝑰 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒐𝒏."

me @ Macey:

The Petropoulos family is my dream family. They're so wholesome that my long abandoned heart aches. Don't come for them too bc I’m always ready to protecc and attacc for them

*Look, read it or don’t read it, thats up to you. I’m just here to leave a review for the softest romance book to ever exist in my petty life 🥺 ♥️*


*for real, don’t cross this section if you haven’t read this and are interested to pick this up someday bc this section will discuss the last 15% which involves the ‘reveal’ of the book.

As you can see at the top of this review, i originally rated this 4.75 stars because like others, i was unsatisfied with how the book ended. it felt rushed and too convenient. I’ve seen some reviews saying that Macey shouldn’t have forgiven him but honestly, all i felt was that Elliot should’ve been given more time to digest the reason why she left him all those years ago. Bc like it or not, technically he did a play a factor to why Macy’s dad got into an accident and died. But i get it, it’s not entirely his fault.

I totally 💯% understand why Macey left him with a long-decade of silence bc by the time she realized that he deserves a chance to explain himself and that the supposedly ‘cheating’ thing was small compared to the accident, she didn’t know how to reach out to him and was afraid to face the past that wounded her deeply.
"I wasn’t thinking clearly—after—I wasn’t able to separate—you. And it."

Ok now, did Elliot really cheat on her?
I guess that depends on ones perspective of the situation. Personally, i don’t think so bc he was shitface drunk with disappointment that Macey didn’t give an assuring response to his proposal and didn’t say she loved him back. He already explained that he thought that Emma was her when he slept with Emma (sounds shitty, i know but if you reaLLY know Elliot and where his mind and heart is solely at, you’d believe him too bc he. would. never .
my KING? cheating?! nu'uh, never!
' "I was so drunk, Mace. I remember touching your hair, talking to you, encouraging. And when I look back, I still see your face when she climbed on me."

....I remembered what Brandon started to say, something about how Elliot wouldn’t. '

A wonderful friend of mine here on GR, Julia have pointed out something really important on this 'cheating' matter and i feel like it's important for others to understand this and see the logic from this perspective because Elliot did not cheat. Instead, he was taken advantage of by Emma when he was vulnerable and not sober. Can you imagine if roles were reversed and it was Macey who was in his position? Do you think it'd be fair to say that she cheated on Elliot? Would you say she 'cheated' if she were so drunk and got approached by a guy who manipulated her into thinking that he's her boyfriend, then proceeded to take full advantage of her?
Think about it. Just bc Eliot's a dude doesn't mean he's any less of a victim in this situation.

On my 2nd reread, i read the book following its timeline chronologically; starting with all the ‘Then’ chapters first and then moved to the ‘Now’ chapters. Ergo the 5+ stars.
Rereading it this way really helped me to understand why Christina Lauren wrote the ‘reveal’ scene and left the ending the way that they did. I was able to feel the 11 years of lost time and detachment when they bumped into each other at the cafe— The decade of silence suddenly became deafening, the buried disappointments and sadness immediately felt heavier. Only then was I able to understand more on how Elliot was able move on from the past without holding any grudges against Macey for the lost time and welcomed her back into his life with opened arms.

It also helped me to separate the overload cuteness from the ‘Then’ chapters and the ‘Now’ chapters which are more focused on regrets and longing for one another.
So i'd highly recommend any of you to reread this following its timeline chronologically, if you ever plan to

EDIT (24/12)
since i’m too young, dumb and broke~ to treat myself on my birthday 🤠 i know one thing that can leave me beaming and heart swelling for the entire freaking day—rereading my ultimate fave book of ALL. TIME.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
February 17, 2021
i just finished this and it's 2 a.m. and i cried significantly

for some reason this book made it to the list of books i've owned the longest that I haven't yet read. I think it's because I heard that it's not CL's best work and it's more character-based than smutty, but this still flew by and as mentioned, it made me weep by the end. it's been so long since i've read a good romance book that im just out here mourning my lack of an elliot.
Profile Image for Emmyreads444.
160 reviews1,498 followers
August 17, 2022
5 FUCKING STARS OMFGGGG. I want someone to love me like this
Profile Image for h.
100 reviews30 followers
April 9, 2022
I'm sleeping on the highway tonight
Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
142 reviews11.9k followers
April 19, 2022
4.5 stars!! Ahhh I loved this book so much. I was hooked the entire time. I felt a little bit conflicted about the ending which is why I’m giving 4.5 instead of 5 stars but overall SO good. I absolutely adored the characters and the flashbacks to them in high school and their love for books were chefs kiss. And such a heartbreaking reveal at the end. Such a good read!
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
May 5, 2019

I'm not a fan of the term "chick lit," because I think it's often used to downgrade a book, to connote that it shouldn't be taken seriously or it's not as well-written as "real" novels. But the truth is, whether you call Christina Lauren's new book, Love and Other Words, "chick lit," "women's fiction," or whatever, I absolutely loved it—gender label be damned!!

Macy and Elliot were inseparable as teenagers. Elliot's family lived next door to the house her father built for the two of them to escape to on weekends and holidays, while mourning the death of her mother. Macy and Elliot's shared love of reading, their quiet, contemplative, even sensitive nature, drew them together quickly, and cemented a friendship that was the biggest thing in their lives.

But as they grew toward adulthood, their feelings blossomed. Elliot was no longer the awkward, gangly kid she used to know—he was becoming a man she couldn't get out of her mind, one with whom she wanted so much more than companionship, and trading favorite words. He felt the same thing about Macy, and hated the fact that he only was able to spend time with her on weekends and holidays, when he wanted to be with her always.

And on the night he finally declared his love for her, something they both felt so intensely, he wound up breaking her heart, leaving her a complete wreck. Macy never spoke to him again, never returned to the house, and left Elliot wondering how things could have changed so drastically, how he was going to live without the person he thought about every day. Macy, too, had to rebuild her life, and she coped by keeping everyone at arm's length, never letting anyone close enough to hurt her, never giving anyone a chance.

Eleven years later, Macy feels like she's pulled herself together. She's a pediatric critical care resident, and she's engaged to an older, well-established man with a young daughter. Maybe there's not a lot of passion, but the sex is great, and she feels, well, secure. Isn't that enough? It seems that way until she runs into Elliot one day at a coffee shop near her hospital.

"He's my person. He's always been my person. My best friend, my confidant, probably the love of my life. And I've spent the last eleven years being angry and self-righteous. But at the end of the day, he tore a hole in us, and fate ripped it wide open."

As Macy and Elliot try to catch up on the last 11 years, the intensity of their feelings for one another come rushing back instantly. But is she willing to throw away the security she's found for a chance to get hurt again? Would they even work as adults anyway, when so much within and between them has changed? And how can they get past what happened 11 years ago if she's not sure she can even talk about it, let alone deal with it?

I thought this book was excellent—every heartfelt, emotional, sexy, melodramatic second. Love and Other Words takes the story of best friends who become something more and then throws them into utter discord. You may have your suspicions about what happened but you can't understand what would necessitate not speaking to one another for so long, and building barriers around your life like Macy did.

I loved these characters, even when they were being selfish, petulant, or just plain ridiculous. There is just so much heart and emotion in this book, so much love, and I couldn't get enough. I would've devoured the entire book in one day if I wasn't in the middle of my busiest time at work. I know when I pick up my Kindle while I'm sitting at traffic lights so I can squeeze in a page or two, I'm hooked.

Christina Lauren, the authors (it's a pen name for two friends) of one of my favorite books from last year, Autoboyography (see my review), once again prove they're excellent storytellers who want you to feel and think and grow along with their characters. Don't worry about what genre this might fall in—just call it "great fiction," or even, "lit lit." (See what I did there?)

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Deema ♡ (tella's version).
154 reviews402 followers
January 8, 2023
4.25/5 ★

It is so hard for me to give this book less than 5 stars because “then” Elliot & Macy are everything, but I did not totally fall in love with “now” Elliot & Macy. I know, I’m shocked that I preferred the younger versions of the characters in an adult romance.

This book is beautiful. I’m not usually a second-chance romance girly, but once in a while I pick up a great book that reminds me of why this trope deserves to exist; This is one of those books. Not only is the romance written with so much feeling and yearning, but the authors’ exploration of grief was excellent too.

“You’re my best everything.”

I smiled a lot, I cried multiple times, and I felt so attached to these characters. I think I cared so much for Elliot and Macy because of the “then” chapters—That’s where we really get to know them as individuals, see their hardships and triumphs, and feel their relationship grow. I adored how they balanced each other out and had the cutest banter. I also think their meaningful interactions and strong chemistry made their progression from friends to lovers feel genuine and organic.

Adult—or “now”—Elliot and Macy were a bit lacking to me, but Elliot is still one of my top love interests in all of the romance books I’ve read in my life so far. He is kind, emotionally intelligent, quiet in a sexy way, and so smart. What’s not to love? I liked Macy’s back story, strength, and bond with her dad. I respect that she had to grow some more as an adult and finally become more emotionally available/secure.

What I didn’t like is how shockingly immature Macy came across as an adult. It took her so long to talk to Elliot about what happened to end their relationship eleven years ago. To be so close to someone, so in love with someone, and not give them a few minutes to explain their side of things is absurd to me. Young Macy was overwhelmed and shattered, I understand that and don’t envy what she went through. Adult Macy had so many opportunities to call and to heal. The mysterious reason behind their falling out was so built up and then the reveal was confusing/concerning to me. I disagree with the way the authors handled that situation; It’s not just the added trope that bothered me, it was also that the writing lacked the level of sensitivity needed when discussing such a complex topic.

“I’ve been waiting for you to come home for eleven years. I’ll go anywhere you go.”

The good and the bad aside, this is my favourite Christina Lauren book. It has lots of pining, lovable main characters who read, and a beautiful love story. I will reread this book in the future, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Profile Image for becca ୨୧.
68 reviews209 followers
April 22, 2023
4.5 stars ✰

“favourite word?”

god this book was something. this had been on my tbr for forever so why haven’t i read this sooner? this book was so heartwarming and heartbreaking. i haven’t read a book in one day since last year, which says something. elliot and macy deserve everything.

macy was such a raw character. she was very different, yet alike, compared to other fmc’s. she was a very calm, chill and held back person. reading and feeling about her grief was so pure. she deserves the world. her dad and the letters was so 🥹🥹 and then later on finding out how her dad passed away was soul shattering.

”i want to be your boyfriend.”

elliot my man. he is my everything. i was down bad from the start. i knew i’d love him as soon as he walked into the shop wearing glasses and a book in his hand, reading. he was so precious and such a sweetheart 💘💗 younger him (13-15) was so cute. his cheeks and neck turning pink/red every time he was nervous around macy was so adorable. as they grew up, he became more confident, but still shy, and more bolder. he was so loveable, in the past and present. he was nervous around her when he saw her for the first time in twelve years. he never failed to express how he felt about her every chance he got but also respecting her relationship with sean.

he just falls to his knees in front of me, wrapping his arms around my hips and pressing his face to my stomach. frozen for a moment, i stare down at the top of his head, trying to translate the shaking of his shoulders. he’s crying.

i was so shocked when i finally found out what happened between them. i felt so bad for him because of what happened. the fact that it was just brushed passed too? i knew from the moment macy said he messed up (he didn’t actually) that it had something to do with emma and i was begging for me to be wrong but it is what it is.

”i’m sorry. i’m nervous.”

the amount of butterflies this man made me feel is outrageous. the things he said, the things he did, i was SWOONING.

he broke up with his girlfriend after seeing her for two minutes.
⤷ kept the same phone number for twelve years just for her.

i loved that the book was both in the past and present, which is surprising because i tend to not like books when there’s too many flashbacks. i was eager to read more about them growing up together, being each others first and them having cute little moments. them connecting over books is to die for and elliot giving/buying her new books >> him reading a book a day?? a girl would wish 😮‍💨 but also them telling each other their new favourite word every time they saw each other.

”then come over here,” he said in that
same quiet voice. “you kiss me.”
my eyes flew to his. “what?”
“kiss me.”

when i tell you i was melting, panting, fainting, running laps, i’m not exaggerating. the tension they had!! the chemistry!! the love he felt for her is unmatched. he was so down bad.

when they were younger and growing up together, it made me feel so many emotions. not even them being together, but them truly being best friends first.

the side characters too? amazing. sabrina was such a sweet and funny bsf. she helped macy come to her senses and tell her what she really wanted to do. elliot’s family were so loveable and welcoming. andreas teasing elliot and macy when they were younger was funny. dina, elliot’s mom, was the sweetest. she was so hard working and generous.

overall, i loved it so so much. getting to see them grow up and reunite and get a second chance. the strangers to friends to best friends to lovers to strangers to lovers was done perfectly.

if you haven’t read this yet, what are you actually doing?
Profile Image for Amina.
375 reviews134 followers
February 4, 2023
My first 5-star rating of the year! I devoured this book, reading it within a day.

Christian Lauren's book, Love and Other Words, is worthy of attention for wonderful character development and great writing.

Macy has a full schedule. Not only is she a pediatric resident, she is also engaged to a prominent artist who happens to have a child. Her life is going pretty smoothly until one day she come across Elliot, in a coffee shop. A plethora of emotions overtakes her. Elliot is a reminder of everything wonderful and heartbreaking in her past.

Love and Other Words, tells a story of two teens, bonding through all the angst and fury of life's pubescent horrors and wonders. Macy and Elliot form a bond that makes them inseparable--eventually each other's comfort.

They embark on a friendship that slowly grows into a passion with the tides of growth and understanding. With time, we come to understand why Macy and Elliot ended their friendship so abruptly.

The story is told between present day and eleven years, when the two meet at an open house for a summer home intended for Macy and her widowed father.

Macy and Elliot have amazing once-in-a-lifetime chemistry and their slow-burn romance is perfect.

It is Macy and Elliot's shared love for books that brings them together. Falling in love, over books and words! What's not to love about that? The beauty of true friendship and beautiful love--a combination worth reading.

I just finished this book and have a huge smile on my face! An epic escape from the current madness of life.

5 fabulous starts for this page-turner!
Profile Image for  Teodora .
303 reviews1,634 followers
May 10, 2023
3.5/5 ⭐

Okay, that rating means that I am kind of pleased with the outcome of this book.

Honesty time: I couldn't sleep last night so I decided to read this book until I fall asleep. Three hours later, I finished the book and forgot all about the fact that I was, in fact, supposed to sleep.
I don't regret it though, I quite enjoyed my read!

The general atmosphere of the book was really nice. I liked many aspects of it that I will highlight below for you.

First of all, I liked how this was typical Christina Lauren and the characters were of mixed nationalities - here we have Macy who is half-Danish, half-Brazilian and Elliot who is of Greek origin.
This multicultural, mixed-cultural aspect is something I always like about those stories.

Second, there was this 'now and then' placement of the action. The chapters alternate between 'then' when the two first met - when they were children - and also, 'now' when they meet again, eleven years later.
Even though this might sound a bit confusing, it's not. The sweetness of their falling in love the first is real and simple. And the good part - they got to fall in love a second time too!

Of course, there were parts that annoyed me because of slight inaccuracies and some details that I wasn't 100% agreeing with because they were little mistakes and inconsistencies, but that wasn't something to bother me to no ends.
Also, their abrupt breakup that led to their second falling in love was due to a misunderstanding (that I didn't quite buy) but anyway, some circumstances might be understood and forgiven as they are. Just move on.

The third thing that I really loved about this book was those two characters' love for words.

They both became friends through their love for books and words and knowledge, which shows how sweetly bookish love can be. I loved them both when they shared their books with each other, when they met up to read together, when they shared their favourite words with each other.
There was something beautiful about falling in love through books.

It was honestly such a sweet read, I am really glad I picked it up!

Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews571 followers
May 5, 2021
Very sweet! 🤍
It's comforting to know that I can turn to a Christina Lauren book when I need to get out from under the weight of a previous upsetting read.
February 14, 2022
Five ‘Cute and Cuddly’ stars for a book that features a subtle play on words in this romantic story, and

The word to describe such a story - Blissful
The word for Macey and Elliot – Soulmates,
The message from the story- Forgiveness

There we have it!!!. An enchanting story of two soul mates who must learn to forgive each other after almost a decade apart.

The Plot

As they play a game of favourite words and enjoy a love of reading, Macey and Elliott are both growing up and growing into each other through their teenage years, and with a commitment of love and a promise of marriage they seem inseparable- until they part. And what’s the new word? – Betrayal. Macey believes Elliott cheated and Elliott believes Macey never gave him a chance to explain or fight for their relationship as neither “..got to fall out of love. they just had to move on”.

For the next 11 years they live separate lives until a chance meeting reignites the flame, feelings, and emotions, as missed chances present a new opportunity if only, they can heal old wounds. And now a new word – Understanding. However, Macey is engaged to be married to another, Sean.

“He’s my person. He’s always been my person. My best friend, my confidant, probably the love of my life. And I’ve spent the last eleven years being angry and self-righteous. But at the end of the day, he tore a hole in us, and fate ripped it wide open.”

Review and Comments

Love and Other Words is a celebration of love, in all its states, powerful but fragile, unwavering but unforgiving, and tender but cruel but above all enduring like any true friendship that can overcome anything and their favourite word ‘everyfriend’. A true friend for life in every way possible, making them perfect soulmates.

With adorable characters, a lovely plot, a sense of intrigue throughout, ‘Love and Other Words’ is a great option for all readers, especially those interested in Romance. A story that is romantic without being gushy, a little predictable without spoiling a perfectly good story and so the word for readers – ‘Recommended’. And a rating for such a book - of course 5 stars.

The word for Warda’s recommendation - ‘perfect’.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
April 12, 2018
4.5 absolutely Beautiful Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5 I loved loved loved every single word of this book.... Christina Lauren absolutely hit a homerun with this book.... A book I couldn’t put down filled with characters I absolutely adored and was rooting for....

This is a second chance love story....Elliot and Macy were one another’s first love.... The story is told in alternating time periods between their teenage years and 11 years later when they are reunited.... Macy and Elliot started out as friends bonding over a love of books and words.... Their friends to lovers story develops so sweetly and slowly and perfectly.... I just could not possibly figure out what could have torn these two apart....

11 years later and Macy and Elliot run into each other at a coffee shop.... The connection is still there, but are Macy’s walls too high and too thick to be broken down? What happened to break these two up in the first place? What tragedy and secret has been haunting Macey for all these years? Well you’re going to need to read this book to find out! And I strongly encourage you to do so..... this book has all the feels and leaves you with a huge smile on your face....

Trust me my non romance loving friends even you will be entranced by this book.... and your eyes will not roll I promise.... it is almost impossible not to fall in love with Elliot and Macy and this remarkable love story....

Favoriteword.... YOU💕

*** thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book ***
Profile Image for KAS.
317 reviews3,130 followers
January 3, 2019
5 ”When we love, we love for good.” Stars!!

Anyone remember the commercial from back in the day “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.”?? Well one of my best buds, Robin Hill, is my E. F. Hutton. When she recommends a book, I listen! LOL. ;) Honest to goodness, she is never wrong!!

So, of course, she recommended I read this book, and viola, I LOVED IT!!

And yes, of course, I went in blind. But I will admit, I thought it was going to be another romantic comedy, as I just finished reading “Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating.” Boy, was I wrong on that assumption. Plenty of romance, sans comedy.

Once again this author duo has hit it out of the park! From the first page to the last, I was dialed in and mesmerized.

”I called you,” he says. “Like a million times. And then that number changed.”

 ”Elliot,” I say pushing past the clog in my throat at the feel of his name there, “I’m sorry. I really have to run. I need to be at work soon.”

 He bends so that he’s level with my face. “Are you kidding?” His eyes go wide. “I can’t just run into you at Saul’s and be like ‘Hey, Macy, what’s up, and then you go to work, and I go to work, and we don’t talk for another ten f...ing years.”

This is an endearing and captivating second chance romance, and is the love story of Elliot and Macy, who have had no contact in eleven years. I really enjoyed how it is told in the ‘now and then’ format, which works incredibly well.

I also found it a strange coincidence that I started this book on New Year’s Eve and finished it on New Year’s Day. There is much significance in those dates. Attempting to be your E.F. Hutton, I recommend you pick this one up ... and hope you will listen ;)
Profile Image for Warda.
1,152 reviews18.3k followers
January 2, 2023
One of my favourite reads this year. This book consumed me!
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this. All I wanted was to read a story written by Christina Lauren.

This is not your typical lighthearted novel that we are used to and that this duo tends to write. It deals with loss and grief, first love and heartbreak and how much these things can break you down. It got too much to read at times and had to come up for air and slow down. It was written so well, with so much heart and the story flowed beautifully.

I'm at loss for words really. I don't know how I can describe the impact it has had on me. I know it will stay with me for a while and I hope Christina Lauren never stop writing.


Always in need of some Christina Lauren.

He’s into books.
She’s into books.
They’re going to be into books together.
Profile Image for kimberly ☆.
209 reviews3,320 followers
August 21, 2021
this book is one of the most beautiful books i’ve read this year. i’m usually not a fan of books that alternate from past to present, but i truly loved the story it is so in-depth and raw and emotional. the character development, the realism within each character and the adoration you’ll end up having for both is almost indescribable. this book was really easy to follow, and cultivating enough to make you wanna keep reading without a break. i really recommend this story to anyone who will read it, i was not a big fan of second chance at romance before but now i need it more than anything!
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