Until this summer, the biggest problems 16-year-old Samantha Davis faced were her embarrassingly large breasts, (nicknamed "the Grand Tetons after those mountains in Wyoming,") and the fact that her gorgeous best friend, Kitty, always made her feel like a Plain Jane: "It sounds awful, but if you saw a Jaguar and a Ford Taurus parked next to each other, which one would you want to drive?" But now Sammie's parents are splitting, and suddenly she is being assaulted by changes from every direction. She is forced to move from upstate New York to Manhattan, play nursemaid to her depressed mother, and suffer the utter boredom of not knowing anyone in a city of 8 million. But then she meets Eli, the cute "crunchy granola" son of her mom's friend, and Phoebe, the quirky girl in Central Park who categorizes people by the dog breed they resemble. Exposure to the urban scene, new friendships, and a developing sense of self cause Sammie to realize "that along with love comes other four-letter words. Like hate, obviously.... And gain. And most important, grow."
Like other recently published first novelists Lori Aurelia Williams (When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune) and Cat Bauer, (Harley: Like a Person), Carolyn Mackler convincingly captures all the drama, longing, and humor of 21st-century female adolescence. Fresh, funny, and completely irreverent, Love and Other Four-Letter Words is destined to find a place in the hearts of teenaged girls. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Okay, i guess, wait no it sucked, Mar 31, 2023
this book was so horrible i it made me wish they hada 0 star rating. The characters were typical and to unrealistic. The ending was so fairytale and predictable. I can't believe i payed 10 bucks for this crap, is the only reaction i was left with!!!!!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Great Book, Sep 25, 2023
This is most def one of the best books I've read in the past year!
Sammie's voice it's true and autentic and full of warmth. Phobe kept me lauging and Sammie did something I wish I would do about my parents.
Great book, a must read
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Not that interesting, Aug 11, 2023
I thought this book was gonna be amazing but it sure wasn't. I wasn't expecting it to be the best thing I've ever read but I was at least expecting it to be funny. And it sure wasn't. It was boring and slow and I couldn't even bring myself to read it to the very end. Maybe my expectations were too high but this sure didn't meet them. It didn't even come close.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
pretty good, Jul 19, 2023
this book was pretty good. I finished it last night. I now ppl can relate to this book. All of us gurls have had someone who makes them bad and we've all been made fun of something or another. I think it shows that moving can change u and u never know u might like what u change too.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
A tad lackluster, semi-predictable - yet FUN!, Jun 14, 2023
Naturally, when I found from the back cover synopsis that the story focused on another 16 year-old Sammie, I felt I HAD to read this book and that I'd for sure enjoy it.
I was a bit wrong in my assumption.
Don't get me wrong - it isn't a terrible book by any means. I was expecting more, however. Carolyn Mackler is the author of one of my faves, THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS so I expected this effort to be just as humorous. I'm glad I read THE EARTH, MY BUTT... before this light read because when it comes to new authors, first impressions are everything to me. This book left me unsatisfied. Yet if you compare this debut to THE EARTH, MY BUTT... you will for sure see how Mackler grew and improved as an author, especially in terms of characters and plot.
Sammie Davis is a once-kissed 16 year-old who is ashamed of her big breasts, nicknamed The Grand Tetons (there's the highlight of the humor right there). She feels inferior to beautiful and brainy best friend, Kitty, who is sexually active and talks of her sex life with boyfriend Jeff. When Mr. and Mrs. Davis decide together on a trial separation, Sammie and her mother pack their things and move on into a tiny, cramped apartment.
Fortunately, before school starts, Sammie befriends eccentric Phoebe, who is basically the most developed and interesting character in the novel. The two bond over inexperience with boys. Phoebe is far different from Kitty, which is probably why they never hit it off when she visits. Kitty grows angry when she hears that Sammie told Phoebe of her boy problems. Jeff has been cheating with the girl who now lives in Sammie's old house! Kitty storms off and heads home with barely any explanation to provide a very confused Mrs. Davis.
Mrs. Davis herself is having issues. It's obvious she's amidst a rough patch and is in no position to care for Sammie. Honestly, she would have been better off with her father.
Like THE EARTH, MY BUTT... this novel deals with self-discovery and finding confidence after a long period of lacking it. "Like a game of hide and seek" womanhood has crept up on Sammie and as the novel progresses, she becomes more used to her body. She also gets kissed for the second time. ::eye roll:: Who's the boy? Her mother's best friend's son, Eli. I would have preferred if Sammie instead realized that boys don't define you and that you do not require one to be happy.
At the end, Sammie makes a promise to herself to make amends with Kitty. Mrs. Davis finally wakes up and realizes she needs to take action in her life and in her daughter's life. Throughout the book, we don't get to know Mr. Davis - he and his daughter's conversations are curt and short. But he apologizes in the end. Naturally, hugs and tears ensue. He tells Sammie that the trial separation is not definitely a permanent thing. Perhaps the less than perfect ending compensates for often bland characters and a somewhat predictable plot - just a little bit.