Mary Windmuller Book reviews by yours truly!

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's Other Words For Love

My Evaluation of Other Words For Love
Did the plot make sense?
Kept me interested?
What about the characters?
It had a good ending?
Overall Rating

***"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?"

Summary taken from Goodreads.

Let’s see! For a winter challenge in GoodReads a picked up the book “Other words for Love” by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal. I don’t remember exactly why I picked it up from the vast selection of books, but I don’t regret it. I’m getting used to the fantasy paranormal theme but this book settled in the year I was born (1986) and in New York City with a realistic theme about struggling with life in general.

We have the story of Ari and her teenage years, her relationship with her family, friends and love. It was like a journal and the story starts just the summer before she starts in a Private Academy in New York after inheriting some money from an uncle.

What I liked most from the beginning was the pace, it was not to fast but it didn’t drag too long. And the story felt real, like something that could happen to you or a friend. I could relate to the protagonist, Ari, because she had flaws and insecurities but also had talents, depth and feelings. She was a good girl, with good intentions and I found some of the things that happened to her were unfair but at the same time she learnt from those things (sometimes in the hard way).

I loved the fact that all the characters changed from the beginning to end. They evolved and acted like real persons, which is rare to me in a Young Adult book. And I was very satisfied with how the story ends. For once I was: “Yes girl! That’s how you do in real life. You go!”

I will recommend this book to my younger sister when she turns 17 or 18. The book makes reference to drug use, alcohol and the sex is there, not like graphic but it’s there and explained so no, I won’t recommend this to a 12-year-old kid. It was tasteful, I’m happy with it.

The relationship between the characters reminded of my own life, always changing, some characters coming, then going to then reappear. The interactions were coherent. Arie has a sort of non-religious Catholic family with two caring parents and an older sister, which is married after getting pregnant in High School.

I could see the contrast between present time and the eighties, the lack of cellphones and even the description of the clothes. I even was surprised to find a Venezuelan secondary character in the story (I’m from Venezuela).

I would say that my favorite character is Ariadne, Ari. She tried her best to satisfy her family and friends, she was strong and also had dreams. She wanted to get to the Art School and she is involved with works related to arts too. She is interesting enough and I never felt like putting down the book because I was tired of the story. She is a relatable character without being selfish and a shallow Mary Sue. Ari is what a female character should be!

Her best friend Summer is in the new Private School. She meets also Leigh who will introduce her to Del and Blake, her two cousins. And of course, they are rich and powerful.  Ari falls in love for the first time, and she grown ups with the obstacles and in the end we have this strong girl, independent, inspired and full of life. The end was like a fresh breath of air and not the typical: “My boyfriend is a jerk, but love conquers all so we have our happy ending and we live happily ever after.” No, it was realistic end full of hope and self-confidence. 


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