Charming. Erin McCahan's story of sisterly bonds and navigating adolescence, Love and Other Foreign Words, is heartwarming and sweet. It will leave you with the warm fuzzies.
What really makes this story so great is the protagonist. The story is told in a first person narrative, by Josie, a gifted teenager who has her time split between taking classes at a regular high school and taking college classes. Although gifted intellectually, Josie is awkward in social situations. She doesn't relate to most of the kids her age and she has a very hard time understanding her older sister's upcoming wedding. Josie is on a mission to stop the wedding at all costs. To complicate the story further, Josie develops a huge crush on her college professor. Josie is a very likable character. In fact, all of the main characters in the story are likable, flaws and all. Josie has a quirky family that is filled with love that radiates through the pages.
It was hard to find fault with McCahan's novel. Maybe it ran a little too long and the pacing slowed down towards the end? Still, I found it compelling and very enjoyable. McCahan is a accessible writer and the story kept my interest. I'd definitely read more of her books in the future.
I think this would likely be classified as a YA fiction, due to the main characters being teens and that the story deals with a lot of teen issues. However, I found it to have a broad appeal and not be in the slightest bit limiting. The theme of family bonds and love is not one limited to YA fiction. It wasn't a story that was "dumbed down" to fit the YA market. It's a story that can be enjoyed by teens, as well as adults, which makes it a real winner.
Love and Other Foreign Words is a story with tons of heart. I highly recommend putting it on your summer reading list!