· Other Words for Love is a story about love and the layers of love that unveil as we grow up and come across new experiences and new ways to feel about others. Perhaps you have fallen in love or have had a serious crush. Although being in love is an exciting state, do you think you missed out on an important experience if you don't go through a breakup like Ari did? Can you envision what the person who went through the breakup might be feeling?
· What makes Other Words for Love easy for many different types of readers is its ability to portray realistic characters who seem like people you'd know in school or anywhere. No one is perfect in this book and no one tries to be, each and every character needs help from the people around them. Do you have family members who behave the way the people connected to Ari do? Would you be happy to have parents so involved in your day to day life or would you rather they let you make your own decisions more often?
· Ariadne’s best friend, for most of the novel, is the perfect foil to her character—different in every way. Can you think of someone you both envy but admire at the same time? Do you believe these friendships are more helpful or hurtful? Can you explain how this point of view relates to Ari’s friendship with Summer?
· “Just about everyone I knew was afraid of two things: a nuclear attack by the Russians and a gruesome death from the AIDS virus . . .” This novel is set in the ‘80s when many aspects of life as we know it today were different. Do you think the story is more interesting because it’s set in a different time period (when some things were culturally more or less acceptable) or do you think that the details are different but the feelings are universal and timeless and the year doesn't matter?