Ari Mitchell has always felt overlooked in the midst of her more beautiful sister and best friend. So when she transfers to a new school and meets a glam classmate who introduces her to her cute cousin, Ari falls for him hard.
Despite what it sounds like, I wouldn’t really classify this as a romance. It’s much more about Ari discovering who she is, and not really liking what she discovers. She doesn’t even meet her love interest until a third of the way through the book, so the beginning of the novel is all about Ari interacting with her friends and family.
What I really loved about this book was how achingly honest it felt. - from the way Ari steals a shirt from her sisters husband so she can breathe in his scent, to the very raw depiction of first love. Even when the narrative veers into decidedly melodramatic overtones late in the book, Ari felt real.
I’m not really sure why this was set in the 1980s (a pet peeve of Kelly J. from Stacked blog), so I had to think of her when I was reading. I guess it sort of added a sense of nostalgia – the kind you feel for a first love – that wouldn’t be there if it were a contemporary setting. So there’s that.
OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE is available now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.