I was first drawn to Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's debut by the title and cover. It was immediately obvious that it was a contemporary YA title, which I'm always on the lookout for, and including "love" in the title always catches my eye. Little did I know that OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE would end up being so much more to me than a well told, entertaining story.OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE tackles a variety of pertinent issues, including depression, discrimination based on socioeconomic status and cultural differences, teen sex and pregnancy, and general teenage angst. The novel's 1985 setting offers a twist while reminding readers that these issues, in many ways, defy time.Perhaps my favorite aspect of Rosenthal's debut was her treatment of Ari's first crush, first love and first real relationship. This novel poses the question: "[Was it] true love... or something else?" In many cases, especially in YA literature, true love is always the answer, but Rosenthal strays from this well-beaten path and battles through the unforgiving undergrowth of that little used second path. Love is not simple or easy or perfect, but it can make us radiantly happy for a time and teach us valuable lessons - Ari's story reinforces this.I read this novel at a time when I was feeling jaded about relationships and love, so maybe this mindset influenced me somewhat and fostered a closer connection with Ari... Regardless, Ari's romantic adventures left me hopeful. I love a happy ending with passionate kissing and whatnot, but the ending of OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE was different. It was still happy, but it wasn't happy because of a boy or a relationship... it was happy because Ari knew who she was, what she wanted, and that she was perfectly capable of being single. Go, Ari!OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE is a gorgeous novel and I'll definitely be reading more from Rosenthal. Don't miss this fantastic debut!