Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren is a fictional contemporary romance novel set in the United States. It is a coming-of-age story with themes revolving around friendship, love, loss, and a second chance at love. The book was published by Gallery Books in English on April 10, 2018. I have listened to the audiobook narrated by Erin Mallon and released by Simon & Schuster Audio.
It is my first audiobook ever. It is also one of the very few romance novels I have read. Thus, I went out of my comfort zone on two separate counts with this read. Special thanks to the narrator for a good first experience and a smooth ride throughout. If I end up listening to more audiobooks, it will be because of Erin.
Contrary to the belief, Christina Lauren is not one person but the pen name of a combination of two – Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings.
The emotional story is narrated by Macy Sorensen, the protagonist, in alternating timelines eleven years apart. Her teenage self meets Elliot Petropoulos at an open house. They both fall in love before growing apart over a misunderstanding. Then, unlike real life, the fictional story ends in a happy ending for the couple as they reconcile their differences after all those years and live happily ever after. Most of the plot twists and the purported big reveals are clichéd and easily guessable.
On the contrary, the two major characters are very much human. Their awkward behaviour in strange situations (except for the very intimate scene in a garden, FFS), character flaws, and love for books are relatable.
Cover image courtesy of Gallery Books.