Sunday, December 18, 2011
Other Words for Love
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA (Romance)
Challenge: 2011 YA Debut Authors
Ari has been friends with Summer since forever, and now that she has the chance to join her in Hollister, a private school, everything should be perfect. But when Summer has to miss the first days of the new school year, Ari makes a new friend, and Summer is anything but friendly to Leigh. And then Leigh introduces Ari to her handsome older cousin, and Ari thinks she has the perfect relationship, and that finally, everything is going well for her. She has two friends for the first time in her life, she has a boyfriend finally, and her married sister seems to have a handle on her moods and general snottiness. But it all comes crashing down when her sister turns on her and Blake breaks up with her, and Ari is left wondering what the hell happened to her friends, her relationships, her life.
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 create a perfectly woven, multi-layered story. Each thread is followed through and creates problems just when another thread seems to be finally coming together.
And the ending is great, too. It's not a "happy-ever-after," but it's true to real life. We're left with hope for Ari, hope that she learned something from this whole thing, hope that somewhere out there is the perfect situation for her - and I especially like that her hope does not hinge on her finding a guy!