Thursday, June 9, 2011

{Review} Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

Title : Other Words for Love 
Author : Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publication : 11th January 2011
Publisher : Delacorte Books
368 pages

My review

The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous and stunning and that's what attracted me first. Covers are really important for me and I often buy a book only thanks to its cover, sometimes without even reading the summary. I was really not disappointed, as sometimes the cover is awesome when the book is not, and I really enjoyed Other Words for Love but unfortunately its summary doesn't do it justice.

The plot may seem slow-paced but it's totally necessary to the story and it never gets boring. Even if the action is quite slow it's never dull or tedious and Other Words for Love is a poignant and touching read. It's a bitter-sweet book which deals with love, life - every day life, and difficult choices.

Ari lives in a middle-class neighborhood, she has not a perfect life, on the contrary she has to deal with teenage girls’ typical issues and some others which are a bit deeper -depression, death, dysfunctional familial relationships. She is a really great character and it was very very easy for me to relate to her. She's so realistic, she's got real problems as every teenager. Even if the action takes place in the late 80s she is like me and like every average teen. She's got the same preoccupations I had and everyone could have, between 17 and 20. I really felt connected to her, she was me at her age.

It was really interesting to see the characters, and especially Ari, grow, change and evolve. Between happiness and sadness, laughs and tears Lorraine Zago Rosenthal describes the difficulty of growing and becoming adult. First loves, first times, first breaks. The feelings are very well depicted : joy, heartbreak, pain, hope ; you really feel connected to Ari. You laugh, you swoon and cry with her.

Some people may not approve of the way Lorraine Zago Rosenthal deals with the sexuality of teenagers but for me it was very realistic. If you don't approve of sexual intercourses outside marriage perhaps you won't approve it but in my opinion Lorraine Zago Rosenthal deals with it in a very responsible and appropriate way. She insists on love that is the most important, waiting, trust, but also and, above all, condoms and testing. She insists on Aids, diseases and illness but without being moralizing and she conveys a very strong and important message.

The writing is smooth and pleasant, although there are a few repetitions (as for instance the physical features of some characters) the storytelling is compelling. Even if the subject is quite common, I was spellbound all along, I was curious to know what would happen next and I read it in only a few hours. I also really loved the atmosphere of this book, the time - late 80's and the place - New York and its neighborhood.

I didn't expect that kind of ending but once again it felt appropriate, although I wanted another one. If you're quite as sentimental and emotional as me you should perhaps start thinking to have a box of tissues next to you during your read. 

To sum up, I really loved Other Worlds for Love and especially Ari, who has such a strong voice, even if all the characters are important and necessary to the story. It's a true and realistic book. Everything felt right and I was very sad to close this book and to let Ari go at the end. I will definitively buy Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's next books and I can't wait to read them.

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