I read and reviewed Mackler's The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things back in 2009; I really enjoyed it and kept thinking about it occasionally afterwards. When I saw Love and Other Four Letter Words in a charity shop for 50 p, I instantly walked to the cashier and bought it. Finally on a cold night, while sipping tea and eating cake, I picked it from my book shelf and read the whole thing on one sitting.
When the parents of Sammie Davies, a 16 year old girl living in a small New York town separate and her artsy mother rents them a small apartment from New York City, everything changes for her. She has to leave her home and her best friend Kitty behind and move to a completely new city with her mother, who after the separation, seems even more unstable than she was before. But once Sammie gets familiar with New York City and meets Phoebe, which who she forms a friendship, Sammie starts to realize her life back home wasn't maybe as perfect as she thought - her family was falling apart and Kitty, the girl she has regarded as her best friend since 3rd grade does not really seem to get Sammie at all. And in New York there's also the hot neighbor who looks like Johnny Depp and of course Eli, a guy she has known for ages but has never really considered before in a romantic light.
Love and Other Four Letter Words might not be your best pick if you are looking for something cute and romantic. Don't get me wrong, there are some cute moments there, but it is more focused on the development and growth of Sammie and the realizations she makes while getting used to a new environment and new life. I was positively surprised of how well this novel was written - I did not have much expectations, other than that it will be a fast read, and I was really taken by Mackler's witty dialogue and the amount of research she must have done to quote the lyrics of folk bands etc. Sammie listens to. I also really enjoyed the supporting characters from hilarious Phoebe to shy Eli. This was so funny at parts I was literally laughing out loud.