Love and Other Words is a romantic delight


Sure, it’s not technically a romance novel, but Christina Lauren’s first women’s fiction novel blends the two genres exceptionally well.

Love and Other Words sounds like it could be the title to a romance novel. Since it comes from Christina Lauren, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking it is a romance novel. They revealed to this reviewer that they still kept the romance aspects in, but it’s never easy to mix multiple genres. Despite the challenges, this book is deeply romantic but also deeply emotional, and I shot through it in under 24 hours.

Does that mean it’s the perfect book? No. There’s really no universally perfect book out there. But it is, at the very least, a very good book, and that’s important, too.

Although Macy Sorensen has a lot to work through, the book’s 400 pages fly by. Perhaps it’s that the chapters vary in length; they’re not all long or short, but some will be quicker than others. Perhaps it’s the pair of linear narratives (“then” and “now”) that tell both chapters of Macy and Elliot’s story. And perhaps it’s because these two are ridiculously adorable, because they are, but they also actually have problems that they work through.

Elliot is not the perfect man, ever-patient and ever-ready to be Macy’s person — even though it might seem that way at points. (He dumps a girlfriend after seeing Macy again once. This is both romantic and also a bit much.) He’s hurting in a different way than she is, and while that’s clear in the book, he doesn’t overtake Macy’s story. That doesn’t mean he’s not a significant part of her story, though.

After all, they’re pretty well tied together. If my memory serves me correctly, the book doesn’t use the word soulmate at any point in time. I have to say, using that word is a bit like having to call yourself king. To paraphrase Tywin Lannister, if you have to say it, you probably don’t qualify. Instead, the writing lets you come to that conclusion yourself. They have their struggles, but they still understand each other on a fundamental level.

Whether it’s sharing books with each other or simply asking their favorite words (which also helps contribute to the title, one supposes), the two of them build a bond aside from their instant connection. They work with each other. Ultimately, it’s less of a fantasy than romance can be sometimes — it feels more grounded and real.

Do some things seem to work out a little too perfectly? Well, yes. Just because it’s more grounded emotionally doesn’t mean some things have to work out for the happy ending that the two mentioned when I spoke to them.

Next: The women behind Christina Lauren talk Love and Other Words

Even if you’ve found yourself not enjoying other works from this pair writing together, then you might want to give this a try. It’s equal parts sexy and sweet and adult.