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Title: Love And Other Foreign Words
Author: Erin McCahan
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: May 1st 2014
Finished reading: November 25th 2015
Pages: 336
Rating 1,5qqq

“In someone else’s language, you become a visitor, a guest – sometimes a very welcome guest received with shrieks and hugs – but still always a guest. Because as soon as you stop speaking the native language of the group, you stop being one of the group. And then you’re just alone, no matter who you’re with.”

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I’m not sure if it’s because I misread the blurb, because I actually studied sociolinguistics back in Uni or because it’s simply that bad, but I was more than disappointed by Love And Other Foreign Words. I was especting a story a story about two people not understanding each other because they speak a different language, not what should be called social dialect or sociolect. I thought I would be able to connect to this story since my hubby is Argentinian and Spanish is not my native language, but I was in for an unpleasant surprise. Not only did the many erroneous sociolinguistics references bother me, I was really annoyed by the characters in general. Josie, Kate, Geoff… I’m not sure which of the three wins the prize for most irritating character, because they were all equally frustrating. I even almost came to the point to DNF this novel by Erin McCahan, which doesn’t happen often… And I only made it to the end because I let myself skim through the last hundred pages or so. Sure, the prose is easy to read and the pace is fast, but the humor felt forced and the characters are simply unbearable. You can probably already guess I wouldn’t recommend reading Love And Other Foreign Words

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Josie and her best friend Stu are gifted and not even Stu seems to fully understand her when she speaks ‘Josie’. She lives her life in translation, switching between High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Family and other social groups. Josie feels most comfortable with Stu and her sister Kate, but everything seems to change when Kate gets engaged to a guy that according to Josie is all wrong for Kate. She and Geoff are off to a rough start and Josie is determined to stop the wedding. Kate on the other hand is determined to prove Geoff is the one and wants Josie to change her look to to fit in with the other bridesmaids. Their discussions turn into battles and both want to win… Will Josie be able to find out what the real meaning of love is as well as sort out her own feelings?

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The work of Erin McCahan has been compared to John Green and Rainbow Rowell, but honestly I don’t see other similarities than all three authors writing (mostly) YA contemporary novels. The prose and character development Love And Other Foreign Words is nowhere close to the same level as the novels of the authors mentioned above. The main characters were simply unbearable and I came really close to just DNFing it. Josie has a horrid character and the way Kate and Geoff treated her was just despicable. I don’t like handing out low ratings, but I just couldn’t get myself to give this novel a higher rating. If you ask me, stay away from this one; there are so many great YA contemporary novels out there in the first place…