Book Review: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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BOOK INFO
Title: Love and Other Words
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: April 10, 2018
Genre: Romance – Contemporary
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.24

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.


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MY REVIEW
After years apart, Macy runs into Elliot, her first love. Macy has kept herself closed off from love for most of her life. She and Elliott were friends as teenagers, and their friendship eventually led to more. Sadly, Elliott broke her heart. Running into Elliot brings back emotions that she needs to deal with, emotions that she has tried to bury for years.

Told with alternating timelines – past and present. The present day timeline starts with Macy and Elliott running into one another after eleven years apart. The past timeline is their relationship as teenagers. It was wonderful to see how Macy and Elliott’s friendship evolved. They met as young teens, bonded over their shared love of reading, and eventually realized their feelings for one another were more than friends. Unfortunately, their relationship ended.

The story unfolds in a way that doesn’t reveal the cause of their break-up until late in the story. This left me guessing as to why they ended their relationship, not only as lovers, but friends as well. At times the story was sweet and cute. At times it was heartbreaking. An emotional story of first love and second chances.

I enjoyed the characters and found them to be very relatable. I’ve noticed in other books by this writing duo, not only are the main characters great, but so are the supporting ones. Every character is well-developed and I love how the different relationships with family and friends are told.

A charming friends to lovers romance. Humorous, heartwarming, and romantic.

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Book Review: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: December 4, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Goodreads Ratings: Me 5.0 / Community 3.99

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.


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MY REVIEW
Millie’s four best friends are guys, and they are all professors at the same university. An upcoming university event requires a date, but since all five of the friends are single, they make a pact to join an online dating site to find their plus-ones. Mille isn’t getting any good responses, so she starts a new account using the name Catherine. One of the first matches for Catherine is Millie’s best friend Reid. Catherine and Reid start chatting, but Reid is unaware that Catherine is really Millie. Reid is falling for Catherine, but Millie is falling for Reid IRL.

Told using the alternating points of view of Millie and Reid. Millie is just one of the guys. She’s quick with a joke, likes to keep her relationships light and her feelings hidden. Reid is a workaholic neuroscientist who wears his heart on his sleeve.

I love a smart and funny female protagonist. Millie has her flaws though, making her seem more real. The guys are all great, and each one brings something else to the table. Of course, Reid is dreamy. Millie loves all the guys, but she’s always been closest with Reid. After a few drinks one night, the two of them have a steamy half-night stand. They try to keep their night together a secret, but their feelings for one another are not going away.

A fun and hilarious contemporary romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this one by the writing duo Christina Lauren. I enjoyed their book Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, but found My Half-Night Stand to be an even better read. Great for readers who enjoy a light and funny modern romance.

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Book Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: September 4, 2018

BOOK BLURB
Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?


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MY REVIEW ★★★★☆
Hazel is a handful. She’s a bit eccentric, and says whatever pops into her head. Josh is more conventional and steady. Hazel met Josh in college, where she left a lasting impression. Josh has always thought of Hazel as the quirky girl that says, and does, weird things. When they run into each other years after college, they start up a friendship. They agree they are not at all compatible for each other, so their new friendship involves setting each other up on dates.

Told from alternating viewpoints, Hazel and Josh both share perspectives of their relationship. Two great characters. Hazel is hilarious with her no filter personality, but she is also kind and caring. Josh is charming, lovable, and has a clever dry humor.

Enjoyable, positive characters. I especially liked that family was important in their lives. A fun story of friendship, a parade of bad dates, and, just maybe, finding love. The only thing that felt a bit off was the ending. Still, it was a fun and highly entertaining read.

A hilarious contemporary romance. Humorous, upbeat, and sexy.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.