Love and Other Foreign Words – book review

Love and Other Foreign Words
by Erin McCahan
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Josie is part of a close-knit family who understand her even if they don’t always speak the same language.  Josie is pretty particular about her likes and dislikes and when her older sister brings home her fiancé, Geoff, she takes an immediate dislike to him.  He is SO obnoxious – talks far too much, makes ridiculous assumptions about “adolescents” (like Josie), and is completely wrong for Kate.  But will anyone listen to her?  NO.  In fact, Kate suggests that Josie learn something about love before criticizing her choices.  That seems reasonable.  Josie tries dating one of her classmates, whom she really *likes*, but when he falls for her, and she admits she doesn’t feel the same, they end up barely speaking.  Then she falls for her Sociolinguistics professor, which has extremely embarrassing consequences – partially Kate-engineered.  Finally, she realizes that love could be right in front of her.  And when she sees it there, she starts to see it in Kate and Geoff as well.  Maybe their wedding won’t be a disaster.  A hilarious novel with smart and quirky characters that explores all the hidden nooks and crannies of love (in many of its forms).  Great for fans of John Green’s novels and those who like realistic fiction with some depth.


Sophie has their entire night – including a warm, moonlit evening – scripted, which she describes to me on our long walk home.  When I script my own prom night with Stefan, I don’t see weather or moonlight.  I only see myself falling off my shoes, crashing to the floor, breaking both an ankle and a wrist as I nearly take Stefan down with me.  But he falls into a table, where the votive candles ignite what’s left of his hair.  We end up in the emergency room, I in two casts, he with his bald head bandaged.  When the nurse checks on him in the next gurney over, I quickly reapply my Candy Bliss lipstick, and later, when we’re alone in Bay 8 of the ER, he notices and says, “I really appreciate that color on you.”  And I say, “I thought you might.”

This would be romance in what has been my dating life.  I’m definitely looking forward to the prom. (pp. 69-70)

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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