‘Love and Other Words’ – Christina Lauren

I don’t know if I really believe in the kind of all-consuming romance that our main characters, Elliot and Macy have. From the time they first meet it seems pretty obvious that they are closer than your average boy/girl pairing. We don’t find out for a long time why they’re not together, but we get to see them re-acquainted eleven years in the future. Things are the same between them, but there’s clearly something big they need to get over.

Told in alternating timeframes we slowly get to see the significance of this relationship.

As a way of forging a new life once his partner dies, Macy’s dad decides to buy them a second home. When they go to look at the house, Macy is shocked to see the boy next door curled up in one of the rooms reading. Rather than being freaked out by this rather odd experience, Macy sees it as a signal to begin what she clearly regards as the most honest friendship she has.

Over time Macy and Elliot realise that their closeness is not just a sign of friendship. We see them take the tentative steps towards lovers…but still no closer in the present to knowing why things went so wrong.

In the present, Macy is living a rather soulless existence. She is engaged but when she sees Elliot in a local coffee shop it’s clear that this is not going to end as she expects. Within a very short space of time the fiancĂ© is despatched and the lack of emotion surrounding this gave one explanation for him seeming such a cardboard character.

I was expecting this to be a story of their romance. It was, but it was also a story of the little details of their lives that led to them not speaking for eleven years.
Perhaps in the real world you’d move on from such an experience. Perhaps in the real world you’d recall this relationship fondly but I cannot see you willingly turning everything upside down on the off-chance that things might still be what they were. Thankfully, this is the book world where we’re not ruled by our heads…