Other Words for Love

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, Delacorte, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-73901-6
It's 1980s Brooklyn, and Ari is a wallflower next to her gorgeous, sexually experienced best friend, Summer, and her volatile sister, Evelyn, who is having a second baby with her hot firefighter husband. Then the handsome Blake sweeps Ari off her feet, and everything changes. Their relationship quickly intensifies, both emotionally and sexually, and Ari becomes dependent upon their intimacy. When family pressures force Blake to break things off, Ari makes a desperate plea for his affection; when that fails, she is left despondent ("I thought Blake was no better than some street-thug heroin dealer. He had gotten me hooked on him and then he'd cut off my supply"). Debut author Rosenthal's prose avoids moralizing while realistically addressing sexual themes, from codependence to teen pregnancy and fears of sexually transmitted infections (heightened by widespread concerns about AIDS). Though the tone of the book is often somber, it effectively mirrors Ari's emotionally disconnected state, and her difficult story honestly confronts the pain associated with coming of age and first heartbreak. Ages 14– up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 01/01/2011
Hardcover - 354 pages - 978-0-385-90765-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-89692-7
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-385-73902-3
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