Home / Book Review / Highly Recommended | Book Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahn

Highly Recommended | Book Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahn

Love and Other Foreign Words gave me a serious book hangover. But, I don’t care. I want to read it all over again.

Book Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahn

Goodreads | Amazon | Erin McCahan’s Website

love and other foreign words erin mccahan book review

Title & Author: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: May 1, 2014

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Dial Books

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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 fianc√© 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.”

Love and Other Words to Describe This Book

Get ready. I’m about to GUSH, absolutely GUSH, about Love and Other Foreign Words.

The world needs more characters like Josie. She’s so smart – in fact, she’s smart enough to be in a program where she takes college classes half of her time at high school. And, she’s so funny. It’s like she invented the witty comeback and the snarky side comment.

Along with Josie’s intelligence and humor, she’s speaks multiple languages. She speaks girl friend, which includes translating “shut up” and “I hate you,” while also understanding the language of college classes and best friends and families. Josie belongs in so many worlds that she feels like she’s always interpreting and decoding what people say and what they mean.

That is the magic of Love and Other Foreign Words. It’s beautifully written, and it touches the heart of the high school (and let’s be honest, adult) life experience: figuring out where you belong and what that means about who you are.

Because as soon as you stop speaking the native language of the group, you stop being of the of group. And then you’re just alone, no matter who you’re with.

Another one of my favorite things about the book was Josie and her family. Josie has two older sisters, Maggie and Kate, along with a new future brother-in-law Geoff. How they all interact with each other is just priceless. There is a lot of sarcasm and banter and hilarious moments.

McCahan created this family with so much depth and fun that I felt like I was actually sitting at their dining room table while I was reading. Plus, there are definitely some hardcore feels moments between the sisters. Whether you have siblings or not, I think readers will be able to relate to the family dynamic portrayed – it’s a truly universal feeling that’s communicated.

I can’t say enough great things about this book. I loved it from start to finish. Upon turning the last page, my first instinct was to flip the whole book back to page one. And, I don’t get that urge very often.


Between the writing style, Josie’s wit and charm and the portrayal of high school and misunderstandings and relating to others, this book is a standout YA contemporary read. I loved every single moment, and I can’t recommend Love and Other Foreign Words enough!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • alexalexalexLA

    Great recommendation, thank you!