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Other Words for Love

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  3,454 ratings  ·  521 reviews
It's the mid-1980s, and Ari Mitchell feels invisible at her Brooklyn high school. Her hair is too flat, her style too preppy, and her personality too quiet. And outside school, Ari feels outshined by her beautiful, confident best friend, Summer. Their friendship is as complex and confusing as Ari’s relationship with her troubled older sister, Evelyn, a former teenage mom w ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,454 ratings  ·  521 reviews

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This is the most amazing book! I had heard such praise for it on the internet that I had to get it, and I was intrigued right off the bat by Ari’s intimate narration. My heart ached for her through her hard times and soared when things were good. I was happy at the end, even though it’s bitter-sweet, because what happened was best for Ari and she grew so much, she figured out that she didn’t need a guy to be a satisfied person. I loved the writing style, and that the subjects were deep and cover ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
If you want to be transported to the 1980s in all of its awesomeness (Madonna, Duran-Duran, Miami Vice, big hair, bustiers, a decade that was conservative but decadent and ruled by Ronald Reagan, fear of AIDS and the Russians)and intimately get to know a girl who goes through heavy ups and downs with her family, friends, and first boyfriend, then read the stunning OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE.

I’m sending serious respect to the author for writing an intimate teen novel that isn’t the equivalent of shall
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to start this review. I've been sitting here for what seems like hours trying to compose my thoughts into coherent sentences and it is just not happening.

When I first started Other Words for Love, I had no idea what to expect. It's a debut, so I had no previous experience with the author's writings. I thought the summary sounded nice.... but it didn't hook me enough to 'have' to read this book. (That summary does not do this book justice!) So why did I decide to read thi
Wendy Darling
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: Kate
I enjoy a great romance novel now and again, and I like it when there are relationships in most of the YA books that I read. But the key word for me is romance, not just hormones and sex. I felt like Ari, who is too good to be true in many aspects, was a little too fixated on boys in this book between her long-standing crush on her brother-in-law, her ennui over her ex-boyfriend, her interactions with Del, and her relationship with Blake. While I remember being 17 and dealing with those crazy te ...more
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The best thing about this book? EVERYTHING.

Other Words For Love sunk me deep inside the main character’s consciousness. It sent me to New York City in the 1980s, and it was a place I wanted to be. I wish I could still be there. I wish the book wasn’t over. I wish I knew Ari and Blake and Del and Leigh and Summer and Patrick and Evelyn, and that I could find out what they were doing today...if they were real. Because the thing is, they felt real. Hauntingly and beautifully real. I could just hear
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Other words for love sparkled for me. I felt like Ari was a friend telling me her secrets and bringing me back to a decade where girls tried to look like Madonna and believed that you might get AIDS from a public phone. I related to Ari’s yearning for love. Her relationship with Blake [when it’s going well] sizzles! There’s a scene between them in a house on Long Island that surprised me and was very, very hot. I’m not sure I have seen that in YA before, but it explained how Ari got so pulled in ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My favorite type of YA is the realistic kind, and this tops the charts of the best realistic YA out there.

I felt very close to the main character, Ari Mitchell, while reading. She's kind, honest, witty, clever, sincere, sweet, and waiting for love. She wants the unconditional kind her sister, Evelyn, has. Evelyn is married to Patrick--a fireman who is tough but soft on the inside.

I loved Patrick. I loved his no-nonsense ways, his gruff exterior, his kind heart, and the way he loves his wife ev
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-ya
This is my best YA read so far this year. It's honest and truthful, and even though parts of it are glamorous, it doesn't sugar-coat the realities of life. I also fell in love with just about every guy in the story...they're all written as so human, with pros and cons. Blake: sweet, sexy, patient, clean, but so eager to please his charming but bullying father that he'll give up what means most of him just to be the Good Son. Patrick: rugged, handsome, a devoted husband and father...well, not too ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Crazy-beautiful and awesome.
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am a high school English teacher, and this is a book that I will keep in my classroom and give to students who are going through a break-up. Not only is this story wildly entertaining and extremely well-written, but it serves as a good example of empowerment for young women. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I give the novel my highest recommendation for teen readers and adult readers.
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Believe the hype on this one. Buy it. Read it. I mean that. Go get it right now.

I had heard that this book was good, and it wasn’t a lame and shallow romance, and that’s so true...please back up a safe distance because I’m going to spew love and glitter and rainbows and unicorns. Here’s my take:

So there’s this girl named Ari, and it’s 1985, and she lives in Brooklyn. She’s a pretty girl even though she thinks she’s too pale and skinny and flat chested, and she gets straight As in school and she
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Having read the other 5-star reviews, there are only a few original things I can add. But first I have to agree that this book is extremely well-written, that the characters have depth and are compelling, the protagonist (Ari) is very sympathetic, and that the story is a gripping tear-jerker. I was also impressed with this novel’s realistic portrayal of teen sex, teen pregnancy, dysfunctional familial relationships, death, depression, loneliness, feminism (it's veiled, but it's there), and becom ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
SO GOOD!!!!!! The author is clearly an insider to New York's social structure.
YA Reads Book Reviews
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christina
Originally featured on

There are so many different ways to promote books these days. The one way that I completely trust is when everyone (with nothing to gain for doing so) is buzzing about a book as enthusiastically as they were for Other Words For Love. So after I checked it out myself, I completely loved it.

The characters in this book were incredible. Each character was unique, complex, so well fleshed out and had these realistic personalities with both virtues and flaws. Some cha
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Other Words for Love. What a breath of fresh air. As an adult who reads YA, it's rare that I find something like this.

There's a lot of well-written and enchanting YA out there, but a lot of it is also vapid, silly, girl meets guy and two minutes later they're in love with no explanation, no background, nothing happening in the story except for their cotton candy romance. There is also YA with hard-edged characters who are cruel, shallow, annoying, and no explanation is ever given as to why they
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-ya, smart-ya
Read OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE if you want a story that is raw and romantic, sad but hopeful, serious but humorous, gritty yet gorgeous. It's not a shallow YA, where parents don't even have a role in the story and the teenagers barely have an intelligent or meaningful thought.

This novel has a strong plot that moves quickly, but it's literary. What I mean by literary is character-driven, where the focus is not only on the story but on the inner workings of the main character's mind. Her thoughts on h
Gabriela Milanes
I can't exactly pinpoint the exact reason why I gave this book such a low rating. It seemed like a book I would like, fluffily YA romance, right? But I felt more and more sour towards the book as the pages went on, until I was reading it just for the sake of finishing it. Maybe it's the characters, who I couldn't connect with in the slightest. Apart from Patrick, her sister's husband, I pretty much found everyone in this book annoying. Too typical, cliche, and boring. Even Ari got just completel ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Full review on Reader's Dialogue:

Though the story of Other Words for Love is set in the '80s, this story could have been happening right now. The emotions are so real, the relationships and complications so true-to-life. Ari is the perfect character for this story to happen to - just enough naivete, just enough repressed anger, just enough dreams and fantasies.

I love how there are so many layers to the story and how Lorraine knits them all together to cre
Other Words For Love has so much honesty and realism that it connected me to the characters right off the bat. It is filled with raw emotion and all the exhilaration, heartbreak, joy and pain of life...especially that of a young person during her interactions with family, friends and romantic interests. It is edgy in many ways and it boldly and effectively defies the conventional YA premise. If you’re looking for a beautifully crafted story with heart, depth and meaning, this novel is for you. A ...more
Princess Bookie
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2010
My Thoughts: When I first saw this book, I thought I was going to love it. Maybe even more than a 5 cupcake book! I didn't love it as much as I hoped but I still did enjoy it a lot. We are introduced to Ari who lives in the late 80's. She lives with her mother and father. Her sister lives a little bit away with her husband Patrick. Ari kind of had feelings for Patrick which was a bit unusual but nothing actually ever happens between them. It's more like a little teenage crush.Her sister is kind ...more
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-york
Ariadne (Ari) Mitchell attends public high school in Brooklyn. She is artistic and dreams of one day attending Parsons School of Design and of falling in love. Ari’s best friend Summer is beautiful and flashy and attends the exclusive Hollister Prep on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. When Ari’s family receives an inheritance, they decide to send her to Hollister Prep. Ari’s preppy style and artistic sensibility is more of a match at Hollister. She quickly makes a new friend Leigh who introduces her ...more
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The synopsis on Goodreads for this book does not do it justice, in my opinion. It doesn't even cover half of what this story is about. I thought that this would be an extremely light read, but it pulled me through so many emotions from happy, to sad, to infuriated! This book is about Ari Mitchell and her eventual relationship with Blake Ellis, but it's also about her relationship with her sister Evelyn, her relationship with her very strict and worried mother, and her rocky friendships. You'd th ...more
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Other Words for Love is one of those rare treats filled with characters and situations that mirror everyday life yet maintain a certain compelling allure to readers in spite of the fact that they themselves have most likely experienced something similar in their own lives. Perhaps part of the appeal is due to the subject matter. As the title suggests, this is a story about love and all of the ways it can manifest, obscure itself, and be displayed. More intriguing, it’s about a girl finding her ...more
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It's about figuring out what you want, geting to know yourself and people around you, growing up, taking chances and making the wright choices - and, above all it's about girl power - something I'm raised to believe in.
Cass -  Words on Paper

I'm not even entirely sure how I feel about this. Other Words for Love is an inspired and empowering book that reveals important morals that I appreciated during my reading. Ari was such a genuine character that not only could I connect and relate to her on so many levels, I was also able to understand her rationale behind her actions and sympathise with her at her low-points.

Other Words for Love is unlike all other contemporaries, in that love is portrayed as OTHER than what it normally ent
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Other Words for Love is a superb debut novel by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, and I’m very, very happy that I picked up this book. From the first few pages I just knew this book was going to have the perfect amount of humor, seriousness, dialogue, and inner dialogue, and it came through.

Other Words for Love is set in New York in the 1980s, specifically 1985-1988. Those dates are really special to my sister and myself…I was born in ’85 and she was born in ’88. So for me, it was really nostalgic to rea
May 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Firstly, this book does not deserve such a gorgeous cover. It gives people false hope of a good book

This book is....I'm not entirely sure what word I want to use but the phrase 'all over the place' would fit as well.

This book went up and down for me. More down than up. I look at this book as though it's in 3 parts:

1st Part - not good. I hated the characters.
2nd Part - uplifting and good. I felt like the book was heading in a good direction.
3rd Part - back to being bad (although the end
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-read
this book isn't groundbreaking or phenomenal. instead, it's the kind of book that you read and sigh at the end of, emotionally exhausted. and then you find yourself thinking about it some days later and smile, feeling it's aftereffects as if you went through the main character's journey yourself.

or, well, it was like that for me. :)
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It's just so good, and Ari is a very real and sympathetic character. I love the way romance and family issues are written realistically, and the ending was perfect.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Oh my. . . this book was tender aching, lovely loneliness, and finally, quiet confidence.

This is a book I think almost anyone can appreciate and relate to. If you’re older, you are going to think about your first serious romance and let your mind roll over the nostalgia, good or bad. If you are Ari’s age and in a relationship of your own, you might laugh, commiserate and nod in agreement. If you still are waiting for your first ‘real’ relationship, Ari’s story might simultaneously make you want
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A Synopsis of the book 2 29 Aug 03, 2011 07:55AM  

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Lorraine Zago Rosenthal was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the University of South Florida. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Master's degrees in Education and English.

Her debut novel, OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE, was published by Random House (Delacorte Press) in 2011. Her second novel, NEW MONEY, was published by Macmillan/St. Martin's Press (Thomas Dunne Books) in

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