Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Pages: 368
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Published: January 11th, 2011
IBSN: 9780385739016

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?

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Other Words For Love is Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's debut novel. It comes from the first person perspective of Ariadne, (or Ari, as she goes by), who details a few years in her life as a teenager in New York City, learning about love.

The writing style is simple and raw and honest. So, so honest. Every read so true to life and true to the thoughts of the teenager that I could have thought I was reading someone's diary.

Ari was so normal - shy and reserved - that I really felt like I could relate to her. Though I would've liked her to be a little stronger, she was still interesting enough to read about. Her recount of first love and first heartbreak was beautiful and at the time same time heart-wrenching.

The book was set in the 1980s, a time period I know very little about. It's too recent to have many historical novels set there, and too old for me to have read any contemporary's from that time. However, I would have liked it better if the time setting were more implicit than explicit, rather than having the year mentioned half a dozen times.

In short, it was a sweet, sad, and occasionally funny read from a debut author to watch out for.

I give Other Words For Love a 4 out of 5.