Book Review

Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahen

Love and Other Foriegn Words by Erin McCahan

Published: May 6, 2014

Number of pages: 336

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Dial

Genre: contemporary, love, sisterhood

Audience: YA

Rating: 5 owl hoots out of 5


16-year-old Josie lives her life in translation from high school to college, friends to boyfriends. But none of them are her native tongue including the language of love. The only people who can speak that language are her friends and her sister, Kate who is engaged to a guy Josie hates. Josie is determined to prove how wrong he is for her and Kate works hard for her sister to accept him as she counts down to her wedding day. As she learns to understand the language between Kate and her fiancée, Josie tries to make sense of her best friend, Stu who continues to speak to her in a foreign language she can’t understand.

My Review:

Josie is a gifted young girl who is able to understand every language in her social life, but how to understand a language that is completely foreign to you? This is how Josie feels when she tries to comprehend the language of love; a language so complex with many different variables that she fails to discover the nature behind the concept.

Josie struggles to translate this foreign language even to go so far as coming up with formulas and reading scientific articles to better understand love in her own language. But sometimes you don’t need some scientific theory or logistical formulas to understand a human emotion between two people who share the same deep affection for each other.

Josie is not only brainy but she’s sweet, caring, and overly protective of her sisters. I get how she’s looking after Kate but I also thought that she was crossing the line a little when she refuses to give her fiancée a second chance (even though he did appear to be a snobby know-it-all to the family). The story also focuses on the sisterhood between Josie and Kate that I loved and made me think about the relationship with my sister. We never provoked each other like Josie and Kate but we too have a language we speak.

Love is a foreign word, an invisible dance between two people with a secret language that not everyone else shares. It takes awhile for Josie to understand the concept, but when she does the discovery becomes a real eye opener and a game changer on her friendship with Stu. Love changes everything and as Josie learns, it is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

I absolutely loved this book as Josie is a likable character, annoying at first but really likable. In the end I just wanted to appreciate how the story made me feel.


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