Title: Other Words for Love
Author: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher for Review
Official TUBL Rating: A
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.Emotionally-unrestrained and striking, Other Words for Love is a stunning, provocative take on an ordinary life filled with heartbreak, angst, and love. Set in New York, the poetically beautiful descriptions submerse the readers in such atmospheric awe. In contrast, the harboring issues and drama that faces Ari is the pensive, somber balance to the stunning backdrop of New York. Rosenthal tackles issues of first love and family in a striking, moving tale of understanding and acceptance.
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?
From the very beginning, Ari's character has an air of maturity and caution around her. Her feelings elicit very powerful and very real emotions from the reader through her almost-lyrical narration. Her naiveness give readers fresh insight into an explosive first relationship and a borderline-obsessive first crush; with all of the tumultuous emotion flying off each page.
Different from other contemporary YA novels, Other Words for Love explores different types of love: familial, romantic, and friendly; all of which bring issues that drives the plot in key places. The effortless, evocative prose highlights these issues and ultimately plunges the reader into the broken, but nonetheless beautiful world of Ari.
Other Words for Love is to be put simply; beautiful and bittersweet. It's a poignant, coming-of-age novel that has an element of utter relatability and authenticity that will stay in readers' hearts for many years to come.
The Bottom Line: I loved it. I really did.