Monday, August 11, 2014

Love and Other Foreign Words - Erin McCahan

Love and Other Foreign Words book cover
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Source/Format: Borrowed from Ellice (Thanks!) || Hardcover

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue -- the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word -- at least not in a language Josie understands. (from Goodreads)

The first time I ever saw Love and Other Foreign Words in person, I was browsing the YA section at The Strand. The dark blue caught my eye, and once I spotted the cover illustration, I knew it was something I had to check out for myself. I read the first chapter standing there, immediately drawn to main character Josie and her way of looking at the world. Though I had to set it down then (due to a lack of funds!), I had my heart set on finding some way of acquiring it.

With many thanks to the wonderful Ellice (who lent me her copy), I was able to read Love and Other Foreign Words sooner than I expected to. This is, in fact, a wonderful thing because I really enjoyed it! The main character is a riot, the writing is clever and the story was really engaging. Quiet and quirky work hand in hand in this novel, shaping it into a memorable tale.

Josie is, by far, one of my favorite YA females in a long time! The lens with which she views the world is what immediately makes her stand out as a narrator. I was equally amused and horrified by the directions her thoughts would swing, but more importantly, I felt a kinship. I could see why, for some readers, she’s going to rub them the wrong way, but her entire personality just worked for me. In fact, without her narrating this novel, I rather doubt I would think Love and Other Foreign Words was remarkable the way I do currently.

In terms of story, Love and Other Foreign Words is actually a fairly simple one. It concentrates heavily on Josie, and how what she thinks she knows (especially about love) is challenged at every turn. The catalyst for her thoughts on love? Her sister’s engagement to a guy Josie doesn’t quite approve of. It’s quiet, and mostly introspective, but I was easily charmed by how the story moved along at just the right pace. While it’s definitely off-beat, sometimes, that can lead to a great reading experience overall – as it definitely did that for me!

I enjoyed Love and Other Foreign Words, plain and simple, from the story to the characters (including the secondary ones, who I think deserved a little more time to shine in their own rights). It might sound strange, but reading it is an experience that I can compare to listening to a beautifully performed musical composition – fluid, pleasant and entertaining. It’s definitely a contemporary that’s flown under the radar, so consider this review my endorsement to GO FORTH AND READ IT NOW!

23 comments:

  1. I also recently read and reviewed this book and I really loved it too! I found Josie rubbed me the wrong way a lot of times, but I agree that without her perspective the book really wouldn't have been the same. I also found the secondary character's really great. I wished there a been more interactions with Megan and Ross (I think those were the name of her other sister and brother-in-law) who I found to be very sweet and interesting.

    I really glad you liked this book! Awesome review!

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  2. I was hesitant about this but I think I might give it a shot now, especially that Spring is coming up!

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  3. I definitely want to read Love and Other Foreign Words soon. I keep hearing good things, and I love the cover, too. Simple covers are almost always my favorite. I can't wait to meet Josie.

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  4. I've seen so many people read this, but I don't think I realized how much people are loving it! Your review sold me, but then I clicked over to Goodreads and saw so many friends have given it 5 stars! Thanks for reminding me of this one :)

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  5. I love the sound of this book! I'm happy to hear that you loved the main character. Although the plot seems so simple, it's definitely something I would like! Sometimes, less is more! I like the concept of Josie trying to discover what love means. I will definitely be checking this out! Thanks for the wonderful review, Alexa!

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  6. Happy Birthday! And thanks for the awesome giveaway! ♥

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  7. It was SO funny. I really enjoyed my time with it, and I think I will buy my sister a copy for Christmas. Don't tell!

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  8. Happy birthday, what an awesome giveaway! I have just discovered your blog and it looks awesome :)

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  9. This totally sounds like something I'd enjoy!! Glad you liked it and I definitely need to check it out!

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  10. Happy Birthday and thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  11. Happy Birthday Alexa! What an incredible bunch of books you've picked up, I've been lucky enough to have read (and loved) Throne of Glass, but aside from flicking through Cinder, this compilation looks like a fun new adventure!

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  12. Happy birthday,and omg I would love copies of these books! Great giveaway!

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  13. I definitely agree with you, Alexa! Josie was such a pleasure to read about, and it was... interesting being in her mind and learning (along with her) the different things "love" could mean. Such a cute book, this one. <3

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  14. Woah. Those are some awesome books! And I hope you enjoyed your birthday! :)

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  15. Me wants!! Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  16. Happy Birthday!! Thanks for the amazing giveaway.

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  17. Happy Happy name day!! Thanks for the generous giveaway!

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  18. The happiest of birthdays to you. May all your wishes come true. Thank-you for sharing the book love with this giveaway. :)

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  19. Happy birthday to you!!! Hope you have/had tons of fun! <3

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  20. Happy birthday Alexa! I love your channel so much and u are the reason why I started reading in the first place. Have a great birthday and cheers to many more

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  21. Happy Birthday!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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