Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Love and Other Foreign Words | Erin McCahan

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.

I've noticed a pattern whenever I read a love story starring a nerdy girl. 

We begin getting to know the character and all her little idiosyncrasies: 

A guy starts liking her and they get close and start sorta having a relationship: 

The girl messes up the relationship because of her inability to love or trust anyone. 

The girl learns to love and they get back together and have a happily ever after. 

It happens every time. But I still liked this book, and I'm still going to read every other book like this. It's a vicious cycle. But I still do recommend this book as a cute contemporary. 

Spoiler-Filled Discussion

I just want to point out that I totally called her relationship with Stu. It was so completely obvious. But anyways let's discuss the rest of the book. 

Although the main character was a bit overly eccentric at times, I understood where she was coming from most of the time. Especially when it came down to the idea of love and her understanding, or lack of, of it. 

There were several relationships that built up within the book:

1) Kate and Josie

I can't claim to know anything about the "sisterly connection" but at some point what the two were doing to each other seemed just cruel. I really didn't like Kate at all throughout this book because all she did was break Josie apart, picking her appearance apart, picking her crush apart, threatening to humiliate her. And while Josie wasn't much better, most of her actions were self-defense. My favorite part was seeing the two reconcile at the end when Josie admits that she didn't like Geoff (Kate's fiancĂ©e) because she didn't want to be replace in Kate's life. Honestly, I may have teared up a bit at that heartfelt moment. 

2) Josie and Stu 

I somewhat assumed they were going to get together. But my main question is how they're going to publicize their relationship. At the beginning as Josie was telling us about her relationship with Stu, she mentioned that everyone thought they were cousins and that they both just went along with it. I really want to know the process of telling everyone "Yeah we're not cousins...actually we're kinda eventually going to be in love".

3) Josie and Stefan 

Although I never really liked Stefan, ever since the "I only asked you out because you're tall". But I did feel bad for him when Josie dumped him. One thing I did like about their relationship was how straightforward they were with each other. There was no leading anybody on or faking, which is something you see way too much in modern relationships. 

4) Josie and Ethan

I liked Ethan right up until I found out he was her professor. After that, all of their interactions seemed really creepy were just

5) Josie and her family 

This definitely my favorite relationship throughout the book. Josie and her family have the cutest relationship and her conversations with her mom and dad were so funny to read about. 

Generally I really did enjoy this book, however I wish we got to see a little more of the aftermath of Stu and Josie's new relationship. I think that's one of the biggest problems with love stories. Since the plot focuses on the romance, as soon as the relationship is established, there isn't really much else for the plot to do, thus ending the book. It's one of the big reasons why, for me, romance tends to be better in series where there's a bigger action plot like the Mortal Instruments or Percy Jackson series.