Published on May 1, 2014 by Dial
Perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, Love and Other Foreign Words is equal parts comedy and coming of age--a whip-smart, big-hearted, laugh-out-loud love story about sisters, friends, and what it means to love at all.The only thing that made "Love and Other Foreign Words" not be a total "OH MY GOD, I LOVE IT SO MUCH" read for me was the pacing at the start and the time frame that this story includes, both were connected. I don't remember exactly how much time it passes during this book but I do remember that is more than a year, this unusual on contemporary novel and for me, even when talking about fantasy/dystopian books they usually only include a week or month of someones life and events. And this made some of the events of the beginning of the story unnecessary, like some of it could have been cut out to make the pace quicker or made room for others parts of the story (like the actual ship). But still, with my problems with the pace, this was a great book that I devoured on one day and a half.
Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?
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.
My favorite part of the story has to be Josie relationship with her family, but specialty with her sister Kate. Josie and Kate have been best friends since always and Kate is one of the few people on earth with whom Josie doesn't need to translate herself and vice versa, so it's obviously that Josie will not react okay when someone - Kate's fiancé - tries to change this dynamic. I think that everyone that loved "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han will also love the sister relationship in this one, is at times messy and complicated but it's also the one thing that you can count on everyday of your life, on the bad and on the good, and it was a great source of growing for Josie since she hates changes so much.
One other big factor on this book is love on the romantic sense. Josie doesn't understand why Kate changed so much because of one person, one person that for Josie isn't even good enough for Kate, so of course the only possible way of Josie dealing with that is by researching and trying to find an answer of what is love. On this quest of sorts Josie will grow a lot and get to know herself and her feelings even more than she expected, this part of the story really touched me because Josie, as a genius and thinking differently from everyone around her, didn't really expected to find what love is but I do think that she ended up understanding a lot more about human emotions and how much different faces love can have (just like her translation for other words on different groups) but that it will also never stop being something new and different.
Now about Josie's romance I was kind of disappointed, not disappointed but more like I wanted more scenes on the SHIP - because there was a super sweet ship. So yeah, anyway Josie falls in love a couple of times during the book and I get why she needed to have these experiences so she could be ready for THE SHIP and to start to understand her feelings and everything, also it was fun in a kind of masochist way to see all that was right in front of Josie and she never seeing it (and having the confirmation that I wasn't the only one on this ship).
Other things that I enjoyed about this were Josie herself, she was an amazing narrator, hilarious (because she thought and perspective the world around her on such different ways, kind of on the way that Sheldon, from The Big Bang Theory was but more functional) and touching (I cried on a lot of passages), she is definitely one of the most memorable characters that I read so far on my lifetime. Also really loved the way that Josie, despite being a genius, isn't bullied, have friends (both on her college as well as on high school), isn't described as ugly on any part or anything close to it and is part of a sportive active after school.
In case you didn't noticed yet I really liked this book, it was an super fun read but also touching, so I recommended it to you if you like humourous books or contemporary reads or memorable characters or novels that are very character driven or all of the above or basically just read this book, I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it.