Title: Love in English
Author: Maria E. Andreu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Sixteen-year-old Ana has just moved to New Jersey from Argentina for her Junior year of high school. She’s a poet and a lover of language—except that now, she can barely understand what’s going on around her, let alone find the words to express how she feels in the language she’s expected to speak.
All Ana wants to do is go home—until she meets Harrison, the very cute, very American boy in her math class. And then there’s her new friend Neo, the Greek boy she’s partnered up with in ESL class, who she bonds with over the 80s teen movies they are assigned to watch for class (but later keep watching together for fun), and Altagracia, her artistic and Instagram-fabulous friend, who thankfully is fluent in Spanish and able to help her settle into American high school.
But is it possible that she’s becoming too American—as her father accuses—and what does it mean when her feelings for Harrison and Neo start to change? Ana will spend her year learning that the rules of English may be confounding, but there are no rules when it comes to love.
With playful and poetic breakouts exploring the idiosyncrasies of the English language, Love in English tells a story that is simultaneously charming and romantic, while articulating a deeper story about what it means to become “American.”
Sixteen-year-old Ana moved to New Jersey from Argentina. She likes to write poetry, but now she’s somewhere that she doesn’t speak the language. She meets Harrison, a cute American boy, who needs her help with math. Then, she meets Neo, a cute Greek boy, in her ESL class. Harrison is the ideal boyfriend she imagined having in America, but she has a lot in common with Neo, as they both help each other with English. Ana has to navigate this new world with a new language, while also dealing with the usual issues of growing up.
English is the only language I speak, so I’ve never had the experience that Ana had. However, everyone at some point in their lives has felt left out of a group, whether at a new school or a new workplace. When I was a child, most of my friends spoke English as a second language. I was reminded of them while reading this book. After reading this story, I feel like I have a better understanding of how they felt coming to a new country and learning English.
This story gave an interesting view of the English language. There are so many strange things in the language that really don’t make sense. Some sayings, such as “have your cake and eat it too,” were mentioned a lot because Ana thought it was so strange. She also pointed out how the words dough, rough, and bough look so similar but have completely different pronunciations. I don’t usually examine these parts of English, since it’s the only language I know. It was fun to see all these unusual parts of language pointed out in this story.
This was a fun and beautiful story!
Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen
Have you read Love in English? What did you think of it?