Other Words for Love | Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Hardcover | 368 pp.
A Debut Author Challenge novel
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.Brent’s opinion of the novel:
When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
Back in July, thumbing through Goodreads, I found this book. And I immediately knew I had to read it! That cover, right? It’s gorgeous! Without even glancing at the description, I knew this would be a wonderful novel set in one of my favorite places to read about: New York City.
Ari Mitchell is an artist. She loves sketching and painting, and would love nothing more than to be accepted into an art school. Her mother’s pushing her to be the best she can be, and Ari wonders why her mother didn’t push her sister, who seems to be depressed these days, with two kids and a husband. Ari wants to forget art—even though she loves it the most—but it’s hard with her mother on her back.
But being an artist seems big and scary… and she starts to let it dissolve into thin air as she transfers to Hollister, an elite Manhattan school. Ari feels out-of-place at Hollister. Like she doesn’t belong. There she meets Leigh, another artist, who she quickly becomes friends with (her only friend at Hollister, really). After traipsing through town with Leigh tons, Ari is introduced to Leigh’s cousin, Blake.
Blake is a teenage dream. He’s hot and sweet (god, why do those boys exist only in fiction?). And rich! Ari abandons everything for Blake: her art, a good SAT score, her relationship with her mother, her friendships. Soon Ari and Blake fall hard for eachother, but as their relationship speeds up and hits the fast-lane, Ari asks herself… Were her feelings true love, or something else?
I loved so much about OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE. But two things that spoke to me the most and stuck out were the main character and the lessons she learned throughout the novel. Ari Mitchell was a smart, put-together teen girl. She was just like the girl’s at my school—my friends. There’s nothing I hate more than a character in a YA novel that seems too childish or too mature. Lorraine Zago Rosenthal really understands her audience. Ari was so beautifully developed… every time something bad happened, I felt like it happened to me! Some chapters, I felt like I just got screwed-over big time, just because Ari and her emotions jumped off the page.
OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE was a beautiful story. I loved Ari and the way she handled her struggles, and the vibrant setting. Lorraine Zago Rosenthal is wonderful writer, and I’m sure everyone’s gonna be all over her debut novel.