Author: Erin McCahan
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Can anyone be truly herself–or truly in love–in a language that’s not her own?
Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue–the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn’t always like, and the best friend who hasn’t said a word–at least not in a language Josie understands
Huge thank you to Razorbill CA/Dial Books for Young Readers for this ARC!
Oh my goodness, this book. This book made me laugh I don’t know how many times outloud. I can’t remember the last time I read such a humorous contemporary novel that was both charming and thoughtful, but this book was a complete package.
Josie is the type of narrator is who insanely logical… about everything, and I think this is what made her so funny a lot of the time. No matter how much she tries to rationalize relationships, love, and even just social contact, it’s all done in such a quirky way. Josie’s voice is so easy to be drawn into because she’s such an oddball, but she’s my favourite kind because behaves as though there is a rational reason for everything.
This book has a romance in it, and one that is surprisingly sweet and a touch awkward. It’s the good kind of awkward, with it’s shy ‘omgIcan’tstoptalkingbutIdon’tknowwhattosay’ sorta way, and I loved that because when it comes to Joise and Stu, they were just so funny and interesting that they were easy to cheer for. Also how Josie tries to sabotage her sister’s marriage plans? She’s such a little brat, and yet I loved how Josie and Kate were able to find each other and repair their relationship, even if how they behaved and took revenge on each other was both perfect and bratty.
I adored Love and Other Foreign Words, and it was so great to read a book that knew when to be serious, but also knew when to be light-hearted and fun. Josie is not an easy protagonist to cheer for, but she’s someone who is wonderfully real and imperfect. McCahan gives us such a fun cast of characters and one strangely whimsical story that I think teens will simply love. Also, humor that is genuine and not forced? Count me in.