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Love and Other Words

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Sometimes there's this moment, when reading a book, that you know it's going to be an unforgettable experience. It might sneak up on you over the course of a story. It could arrive with a heart-crushing realization at some point near the middle or end. But there are those truly special characters and stories that have an underlying energy to them, a vibration that resonates with something at your core. This is one of those stories for me.

This is the first book I've attempted to read on my phone. I was worried that doing so might be difficult or distracting. Within the first couple pages, that misplaced concern melted away into the lives of Macy Sorensen and Elliot Petropoulos. I'm one of those that still loves holding a physical book in my hands. And to express just how powerful this book was for me, I will be owning two copies: an e-book on my phone and a paperback that will sit on my bookshelf, spine out, so each time I walk by it I'm reminded of its magic.

It's easy to share that the characters, plot, emotion, and immersive setting in this novel were all orchestrated like a fine-tuned symphony. But there's a layer beneath that, maybe many, that connect with the heart, mind, and soul in a way that transcends words. Yes, it's ironic, being this is a story composed of twenty-six characters arranged in a unique and compelling way. But it's the way those same characters, plot, emotions, and immersive settings accompany the reader along the course of their everyday lives that is transformative.

I'm usually not one to appreciate intimate scenes in a book. Too often, their placed into the story in a way that feels gratuitous. And if you are put off by intimacy in a novel, this might not be the book for you. However, I would like to emphasize the word "might". While there are scenes which delve into quite explicit physical encounters, I felt more connected to the emotional weight of the words and actions than anything else throughout these moments in the story.

Each turn of phrase, every raw emotional outpouring, connected me with each of these characters and their shared plight in a manner that had me not only rooting for them, but living the same roller coaster ride alongside them. The co-author duo took me along with them on an emotional journey that ripped at my heart in one moment and tickled my soul in the next.

This is easily my favorite book of the year, and quite possibly, much farther into the past. It arrived on my doorstep at a time of the year when so many other things were vying for my attention. And while the combination of family experiences, musical concerts, and my own writing experiences created its own sort of magic, the presence of this book and the message it delivers fit like a puzzle piece I never realized was missing.

Like the compelling question Macy and Elliot share from the opening chapters of this novel: Favorite word? All of them. Every. Single. One. Not only for how they exist on their own, but also for how they string together to create an emotional experience that's immersive, authentic, and enveloped by love in its purest form.

Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️


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