Love and Other Words, in My Words


Maya Marques '26

LAOW strutting the bookshelf runway.

Maya Marques, Reporter

“Love and Other Words”, In My Words

I had just gotten home from school, and it had not been a good day. I was tired and emotional, for a reason I can’t remember. I was glad there was no homework that day because I wouldn’t have had the motivation to do it anyway. I remembered that I had gone to the bookstore a day prior and decided I deserved a break to do what I wanted for once. So I picked up “Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren and started reading.

I was pulled in immediately; the characters were lovable and the plot was enticing. The reason I chose it at the bookstore in the first place was because I had seen one not very popular review on it on the internet, but the writer of said review was raving about it. I was intrigued that it wasn’t being talked about. And wanted to learn more.

The authors, Christina Lauren, had had many hits at this point in their career. And they had recognition for most of their books at this point, like  “The Unhoneymooners” and “Roomies.” I have read books from this duo before, and from prior experiences I was expecting a cliché love story with no actual depth. Instead I got a cliché love story with twists and turns and four different points of views that kept me on my toes the entire time.

Christina and Lauren met in unlikely circumstances. Christina Hobbs, a former junior high counselor and Lauren Billings, a neuroscientist. These two met co-writing fan-fiction and became a duo ever since. I didn’t even know they were co-writers until I finished “Love and Other Words” and saw a picture of both of them on the last page. I was really surprised.

The story follows Macy and Elliot. Macy is a half-Brazilian girl who lost her mother at a young age. Her mother, having the knowledge that she was going to die, wrote a list for Macy’s father, full of things for him to give Macy in her lifetime. One of these things is a house outside the city for Macy and her father to go to on the weekends when Macy needs a break from the world.

Macy and her father visit houses and in one in particular, Macy finds a boy in her closet reading a book. From then on, Macy and Elliot become best friends, sharing their love for stories, closets, and drama.

The story follows the point of view when Macy and Elliot are both young and growing up slowly falling in love. But, there is also a jump to the lovers’ present-day point of view, beginning when Macy and Elliot meet again in a coffee shop and Macy refuses to even look at Elliot. The mystery is why did these two lovers fall apart and will they find their love again?

There are a few trigger warnings that need to be stated before reading the book: there is a recount of rape, cheating, grief, and loss. So reader discretion is advised, these moments are briefly mentioned in the story.

The tropes in this book are: Childhood friends to lovers to enemies to lovers, there is a happy ending, and a miscommunication sub-trope.

The book is an amazingly quick read. I finished the book on the same day and later I went to bed in a way better mood than when I was coming home from school.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Elliot and Macy share their favorite words with each other.

Today my favorite word is nefelibata, read “Love and Other Words” and tell me yours.