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Love, Love, Love: Language of Love; Cupidity (Simon Romantic Comedies) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Simon Romantic Comedies
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Bind-Up edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442403136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442403130
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,172,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Whitney Lyles
is the author of the Pulse Romantic Comedy Party Games. She lives with her husband and daughter in San Diego, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

How did I get myself into this mess? I stared up at the ceiling, looking for an answer. Of course, I knew it wasn’t up there. In fact, I already knew the culprit behind my predicament was none other than Molly Harris, my BIF. In Molly’s case, BIF stood for “bad influence friend”—the friend who gets you to do all kinds of things you wouldn’t normally do but do anyway because that friend holds some sort of voodoo power over you.

To further complicate matters, Molly was my BFF, too. We’d been friends forever, or at least as far back as second grade, when Molly moved onto my block and I had an instant ally in my very testosterone-filled neighborhood. There were boys to the left, boys to the right, and one particularly annoying little boy in the bedroom next to mine.

Molly had me at hello with her shiny blond hair, cornflower-blue mischievous eyes, a grin that made you believe anything was possible, and a confidence that said she’d be president someday if it weren’t for the countless scandals she’s bound to have a hand in between now and age thirty. We’d been through it all together over the years, and though she could certainly be a bit, shall we say, self-involved, at her core Molly was a good person. When it came down to it, I knew she’d always be there for me.

To be fair, Molly didn’t get me into this mess alone. In fact, I actually started it. After all, I’m the one who decided impersonating a Hungarian national was a good idea. But I was just having fun. This? This situation I was in now? Not fun. Definitely not fun.

It all started today after school. I met up with Molly at her locker, where she was pulling on her raincoat and reapplying her lipstick, and we figured out a plan for the rest of the day. As usual, Molly’s mom was on a business trip—Hong Kong or Tokyo (it’s hard to keep track)—and her stepdad wouldn’t be home until at least eight o’clock. The plan was to hang out at Molly’s house, get some Thai takeout, and catch up on a backlog of seriously good reality TV.

We hopped on the number four bus for the first leg of our journey to Molly’s neighborhood of Wallingford, which she’d moved to right after her parents’ divorce when we were in fourth grade. The bus was packed, so we squeezed into the rear, claiming a tiny piece of real estate for ourselves and our overstuffed backpacks. We added to the hot air fogging up the bus windows by trading horror stories from the school day—Molly’s uncomfortable standoff with a substitute in gym (Molly refused to wear her swim cap) and my continuing inability to bring up my cultural studies’ grade.

By the time we stepped off the bus at Virginia and Third, I was sure we’d been teleported to the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season. Having lived in Seattle our whole lives, we were more than used to the rain. And like every other Seattleite, we never carried umbrellas, thinking there was no storm that couldn’t be weathered with a decent raincoat and a pair of wellies. Except for, apparently, today. And since we had ten minutes until our bus connection, we decided to seek refuge in the corner Starbucks. The added bonus? Caffeine.

As we basked in the warmth and contemplated the assorted goodies on display while we waited to order, Molly brought up my cultural studies grade again. “What’s up with that, anyway?” she probed, shifting my attention from sugar cookies back to my bleak academic reality.

“I have no idea. I just don’t get how Ms. Kendall can be such a cool person in real life, yet such a tyrant of a teacher.”

“She must be on some sort of power trip,” Molly mused.

“Yeah, well, I wish she’d get over it already. If I don’t kick butt on this last unit on Eastern European history, I’m going to get a D.” My voice sank. We both knew what that meant. I had 99.9 percent convinced my parents to let me go to Europe with Molly and her mom this summer, but they told me I had to score Bs or higher in all my classes. We’d made big plans … Paris, London, Madrid. The fate of my unstamped passport lay in Ms. Kendall’s finely manicured hands.

“I just don’t know what else I can do—I turn in all my homework; I study for the tests,” I rambled on. “You know, I bet someone who’s actually from Eastern Europe couldn’t even get a B in her class.”

“Um … isn’t your dad Hungarian, Janna?” Molly asked.

“Well … yeah.”

“So doesn’t that make you Eastern European?”

“Kind of, I guess. But I’m talking about someone who’s from from Eastern Europe. As in, just off the boat,” I explained.

I started speaking in an Eastern European accent. “I’m sorry. Which countries are former Eastern Bloc again? France? Mexico? Alaska?

Molly giggled, egging me on.

“Please tell me why zis communism so bad?” I continued, laying it on thick. “And does zis Iron Curtain I hear of come in different fabrics?”

I was on a roll by the time we reached the front of the line and ordered our lattes with fat-free soy, plus a caramel marshmallow thingy for me (I’m a slave to sugar). Molly snagged a tiny table by the window so we could watch for the bus while waiting for our drinks. We had just dumped our bags on the floor and sat down when two boys—two very cute boys, I might add—walked up.

Now, it’s not all that unusual for random guys to hit on us, or more specifically, on Molly. It’s that whole blond, blue-eyed, mischievous smile thing. Plainly put, most members of the male species are drawn to Molly like dogs to a bone. Me? I was pretty much used to my place in our friendship. I was the classic sidekick—the best friend who tried to act as if it wasn’t painfully obvious to everyone that she was nothing more than an accessory to the main attraction. It wasn’t that I was ugly. I had nice enough honey eyes that come close to matching my light brown wavy hair. And I’d even been told I had a warm smile. But put me next to Molly and I’ve got “plain Jane” (or “plain Janna”) written all over me. And that was generally okay by me.

Today, however, was different. First off, these guys didn’t come across as your typical supercool guys with heaps of attitude who thought they were all that, like the ones who usually hit on us (I mean, on Molly). Cute? Yes. But more in a boy-next-door-tussled-hair way as opposed to leading-man-chiseled-cheekbones-six-pack-abs way. For whatever reason, something about them was different enough to make us take notice.

But the real difference? Today I was the one being hit on.

“Hi there,” cute boy number one said.

Having just shoved my entire caramel treat into my mouth, I remained mute and wide-eyed as Molly flashed him a winning smile.

“Well, hi there,” she answered flirtatiously.

But the boy, dressed in an army jacket, jeans, and black Converse, flung his hair out of his eyes Zac Efron–style and stayed focused on me. Caught off guard, I continued chewing my caramel marshmallow in slow motion, in part because it was sticking to my teeth (perhaps I should have taken a bite instead of eating it whole?) and in part because I hadn’t a clue as to what to say.

“I couldn’t help but notice your accent,” he went on. “So, what country are you from, anyway?”

What country was I from? I squinted in confusion.

“Your accent?” he continued. “I overheard you talking before. Wait, let me guess. Somewhere in Eastern Europe? Russia?”

Realizing the source of the misunderstanding, I finished swallowing the caramel and was about to set the record straight when Molly blurted out, “This is Janna! She’s an exchange student from Hungary!”

I faced Molly with a look of quiet panic. She returned my gaze with a ridiculously big smile and that damn twinkle in her eye that I’m powerless to resist.

“Hungary? That’s so cool!” He was clearly impressed with my apparent heritage. “I’m Julian, by the way. And this is Spence.” He motioned to cute boy number two behind him.

I froze. I was at a crossroads, and I had to choose a path. I could turn Molly’s declaration into a joke and admit I’d never been east of the Rockies, or I could succumb to the message Molly was sending me telepathically (and with several strategically placed kicks under the table). And then, in a split second, fueled by unfamiliar-cute-boy attention, adrenaline, and little else, it was done.

“Sank you,” I responded in my most authentic Hungarian accent, which, come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve actually even heard before. “I like America veddy much,” I added for good measure.

Julian smiled. “I dig the accent,” he said. “Where do you girls go to school?”

I sank into my chair and let Molly do the talking, too shocked I was actually going along with the ruse to say a word. I felt slightly guilty about the whole thing, but there was no turning back. Molly was already in full flirtation mode with Spence, and, being completely honest, the fact that foreign intrigue had magically made me more appealing to at least one very cute member of the opposite sex prompted me to keep my mouth shut. By the time our bus pulled up five minutes later, cell-phone digits had been exchanged and we’d planned to connect at a club where Julian was deejaying Friday night.

The sound of my cell phone snapped me back to my bedroom ceilin...

More About the Author

Debbie Reber hails from Reading, Pennsylvania, a city best known as the home of the 'Reading Railroad' from Monopoly and darned good pretzels.


Debbie graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast & Cable. (This was back in the stone ages when 'cable television' was a new phenomenon'it got its own major!). After graduation, she moved to NYC to make it big in the world of broadcast news, just like Holly Hunter's character in the movie by the same name. When that didn't happen, she decided to save the world instead, and produced videos, PSAs (public service announcements) and documentaries for CARE, UNICEF and the PBS show Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television.

While living in NYC, Debbie apparently decided that working fulltime didn't keep her busy enough, so she simultaneously attended The New School for Social Research, where she earned her MA in Media Studies, with a focus on documentary and media criticism.

With even more student loans to pay off, Debbie left the world of nonprofit and jumped into children's television, where she worked on Blue's Clues for Nickelodeon and developed original programming for Cartoon Network. It was while working at Cartoon Network that she sold her first book, Run for Your Life: A Book for Beginning Women Runners.

She loved the process of writing a book, and loved seeing her name in print even more. So in 2003, Debbie turned in the key to her corporate office and traded it in for a lime green Ikea chair, an all-in-one desk unit and a tiny corner of her den to eke out a living as a fulltime writer. She's never looked back. (Okay, there was that one time she looked back, but that was a while ago, and since then, things have been going smashingly well).

Debbie has written a number of books for teens, tweens and even preschoolers, including the new series from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, The Real Deal and more than a dozen Blue's Clues books. Her latest book, In Their Shoes: Amazing Women Describing Amazing Jobs (Simon Pulse) comes out in April 2007.

Debbie lives in Seattle with her strikingly handsome husband Derin, adorable little boy Asher and trusty, white German Shepherd, Baxter. She is a volunteer running coach with the Puget Sound chapter of Girls on the Run, and an advisory board member for the teen girl mentoring organization, WriteGirl.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Great cast of interesting characters.
P. Romance
I'm older than the target YA audience but this was a totally sweet and fun quick read!
Seattle reader
Debbie's book Language of Love is book one and book two is Cupidity by Caroline Goode.
Darlene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darlene on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Language of Love by Deborah Reber is her debut YA novel and it is terrific! It's a story about a young girl who loses herself only to find herself again and learns an important lesson in doing so. As you can see by the cover the book is called Love, Love, Love and that is because you get two books for the price of one. Debbie's book Language of Love is book one and book two is Cupidity by Caroline Goode. I only read Debbie's book Language of Love and that is what this review is based on.

Language of Love is all about Janna who is sixteen and the lengths she will go to for love. It all starts one afternoon when Janna and her best friend Molly are having coffee and while joking around Janna speaks in a different accent to Molly. Well some boys, Spence and Julian overhear them, and Julian especially seems particularly interested in this Janna with the accent. He's curious where she's from and unfortunately at that moment Janna has her mouth full of a caramel treat and can't say a word so Molly speaks for her and says she's an exchange student from Hungary. Janna, who is used to being overpowered by Molly, goes along with the ruse and they agree to meet up with the boys on the weekend.

Being Janna from Hungary only escalates over the next few weeks. Janna is used to playing second fiddle to Molly. After all Molly is the pretty and popular one while Janna is just plain old Janna; she's ok but nothing special. However being Janna from Hungary makes her special, especially to Julian. For Janna, she's falling head over heels. She's never had such a cute boy pay attention to her. Yet she can't help wondering whether Julian would like her, the real her - plain old Janna from Seattle. Is it the accent? Is the fact she's Janna from Hungary that he likes?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seattle reader on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I too am only reviewing the first book, Language of Love. I'm older than the target YA audience but this was a totally sweet and fun quick read! I loved that the main character is solid. Even though she stumbles you don't cringe as you read-- often young romantic comedies have really pathetic heroines. She also has a funny and realistic relationship with her family. Even though her best friend is clearly manipulative, she isn't portrayed as the villain-- everyone in this story is someone you've met or been friends with in high school! And how cool is it that the boy-interest is a guy who is into quirky girls? Very.
Deborah Reber also gives great props to Seattle and some of the fun haunts of the town. Fun read for sure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Poppy J. on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book Love, Love, Love actually offers two stories on love for the price of one. The first story is called Language of Love, and it is by Deborah Reber. It is about a high school student Molly and her BFF Janna, as well as Molly's boy-pal Emmett. Janna lives in Molly's blonde hair and blue eyed shadow, with Emmett as Janna's biggest cheerleader. Janna's younger brother Henry rounds out the cast, and the book is definitely written for the younger tween set.

The story centers on Janna's prank that she uses to snare her new beau Julian, which is a definite boost to her self esteem, but will end up biting her where it hurts in the end. Her rouse of pretending to be a foreign exchange student backfires (predictably) as she is found out as to her true identity. Through it all, Janna realizes the one-sidedness of her relationship with Molly, and discovers that she can be interesting on her own without needing someone else to warm up the crowd for her first. The book is written for the middle school crowd, who will find it endearing to read Janna's "fake" accent and discover how she sorts it all out in the end.

The second story is Cupidity by Caroline Goode. It is about two friends, Laura Sweney and her best friend. They both read mythology for school, but have an adventure when one of the characters becomes real. With a bit of fantasy and whimsy, Cupid is personified and a mythical pact is made. As Laura battles the popular crowd, fights the bullies and discovers herself, her ally protects and serves as she looks for lasting love. The characters are honestly portrayed with a predictable ending, but a good source of "what if" feelings for a young reader interested in how to eventually find the right one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By brandileigh2003 on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
So far I have only read Language of Love, so that is what I am reviewing.
Janna is a shy and outgoing person until she starts pretending to be an exchange student from Hungary. It is a twisting journey to see how she got herself into it, and learned a lot about herself in the process. I can see how the lie could continue and sympathize with her since I have often wished for a chance for a fresh start, to be someone else.
Her best friends Molly and Emm are well written and play great supporting roles.
This is a cute and quick read, funny, romantic, and it has a well wrapped up, satisfying ending.
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