Saturday, May 21, 2011

Other Words for Love

Other Words for Love
: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Age genre: Young adult fiction
Release date: January 11, 2011
Goodreads | Amazon

 Warning May Contain Spoilers

I just finished reading it yesterday in a 2 part marathon read. I had to stop the first time only because I was overwhelmed by the main character, sometimes I get so hooked into reading that I actually feel what the character feels. Good authors like Lorraine, can make you passionately love/hate the characters in the story they write. OWL (Other Words for Love) for example, wasn't a really good story in terms of realism or plot depth or even predictability. It made up for that in other ways but that of course, wasn't enough to make me like the story much (due to the fact that I tend to empathize with the characters in the story I read and "feel" as they do). Too much negative emotion was involved.

We start off with Aridne, a good girl who always does what she's told and her older sister Evelyn the rebel who does whatever the hell she wants, is selfish as heck and is overall, a bitch. Evelyn's got the looks but she ain't go the moral values or character to be a proper human being (75% of the time). She doesn't appreciate what Ari does for her because for some reason this hot chick with a good-looking husband, a bunch of cute kids and a loving family is jealous of her younger sister. She goes into uber-bitch mode every other page due to "hormones" (pffft they always blame it all on chemical imbalances) and alternately disses her husband, mother and younger sister who looks up to her. Wow. I was really feeling for Ari here.

Then we move on to her best friend of many years, Summer (aka the girl who has it all), who goes to some fancy (read: expensive) private school. Ari also manages to get in after her family inherits money from a distant relative. Summer consistently pops in and out of the story with different effects on the plot of the moment. She's a beautiful blond girl, who somehow never studies and yet aces all her test, popular with the guys (and girls) and somehow still manages to stick by Ari all this time. This is where you really notice the fact that there are very few characters introduced in the story. The author probably likes to keep the focus narrow so that she can spend more time (and pages) building up her main characters, making them all more interesting to read about. It works pretty well. At the new school she meets Leigh, a social outcast (courtesy of Summer's false rumors), but somehow manages to befriend her.


Along the way, she manages to:
i. Ignore her new friend completely by
ii. Using her to get to her hot male cousins
iii. Ends up proving that the bitch gene runs in the family.

I soooo wanted her to improve through the story; be more bold, aggressive and generally speak her mind instead of thinking out what she would her head. But no, she just turned into Evelyn Junior. I barely made it through the middle of the story due to her insane emotional turmoil. Her expectations of what others should do is totally unrealistic. She's never had a boyfriend. She's never been with guys. The first time she manages to hook up with one, she turns into this psychotic chick who wants him to lavish all his attention on her. She wanted uber-talented Blake to lower his standards and follow his naive dreams and when he makes the wise choice regarding his career path, she dumps him.

Overall, it's a good story with rock solid characters. But I couldn't tolerate the bitch factor and that ruined it for me. Maybe I should stay away from female YA books for awhile :P

I haven't devised a scoring system yet so this is just beta for now. Scores are out of 10, cover doesn't affect the overall score. Even if I do tend to judge books by their cover (when trying to find a good read).

Cover:  7
Characters: 6
Story: 5

Overall:  5.5/10
Comment: Decent book with nice character development, but was personally too meh for me. Chicks might dig it though.