More Than Words

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This was a fun read! I am probably one of the few that has not read the author’s first title.  I plan to but just haven’t yet.  Her reputation inspired my selection of this book and it does not disappoint and in fact has made me determined to read her first.  I don’t want to say too much more on this as I want the readers to get to know Nina and the men in her life for themselves.
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Jill Santopolo was an author that I wanted to read long before this book! I received an ARC of her THE LIGHT WE LOST a couple years ago and I just couldn’t fit it into my review schedule.

I still continue to eye THE LIGHT WE LOST whenever I am looking for something to read. It sounds like such a beautiful story, but for some reason, it just never makes its way onto my nightstand.

Then MORE THAN WORDS came up for review and I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass me by a second time. I have heard people rave about her books so I was excited to start this one. Not to mention the cover is elegant and interesting so that was an added bonus.


Nina has always known who she’s supposed to be. But is that who she truly is?

Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter. Raised by her father, owner of New York City’s glamorous Gregory Hotels, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And Tim–her devoted boyfriend and best friend since childhood–feels the same. But when Nina’s father dies, he leaves behind a secret that shocks Nina to her core.

As her world falls apart, Nina begins to see the men in her life–her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her boss, Rafael–in a new light. Soon Nina finds herself caught between the world she loves, and a passion that could upend everything.

More Than Words is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live (summary from Goodreads).


Make sure you have tissues ready for this one. I am not really a crier when I am reading but this book definitely threatened tears on a number of occasions, so if you find yourself in need of a good cry or just an emotional reader, then make sure you have tissues ready when you read this book.

I can see why Santopolo has such a huge fan base and wide appeal. She writes elegant but yet completely relevant stories that go right to the heart of the female reader. I have seen a few reviewers comment about how this book lacks the same chemistry and impact as her first novel, THE LIGT WE LOST, but since I haven’t actually read that one, I felt more opened minded about this book.

Personally, I enjoyed it tremendously. It was real, relatable, and had a lot of heart. Nina is a little quirky which worked for me. She wasn’t your cookie cutter heroine even though she it from a pretty high class world (she is a hotel heiress),  I thought that a lot of women could relate and like her bases on her personality. Plus the things that happen to her bring her down into the realm of ‘real world’ for the average reader if that makes sense.

Some things about the plot were a little cliche and sometimes the chapters were overlong, but in the end I felt that the novel worked and earned a 4 star rating from me. I am not even more excited to read THE LIGHT WE LOST because I found that Santopolo’s writing style was crisp and emotional, at least in this book.
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I wanted to try this author after her last novel was highlighted by Reese Witherspoon. It's solidly in women's fiction bordering on romance.

Nina works in politics but is destined to take over the family business, a lucrative hospitality corporation in NYC. As her father approaches the end of his life, she is confronted with the truth of what happened in her childhood and has to decide who she wants to be. I liked the quick chapters, female crisis of identity, and the attraction to one character. I would have liked the characters more if they hadn't been the 1%, but that's a personal preference. I suppose for me, it's harder to take a crisis seriously if a character has money to fix it.
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I actually rounded up in my rating and actually give it a 3.5. I had really high hopes for this book. After reading the Light We Lost, I thought this was going to be another oh my heart can't take this book. It started out like that and I was like oh give me more. Then the book plateaued towards the middle. I wanted so much more from this book and it kinda happened but it wasn't as climactic as I thought it was going to be. 

Of course there was the love triangle that some have been talking about. I really didn't think it was a love triangle. The big secret that Nina's father kept from her really wasn't that big. There were two secrets and well they didn't seem so shocking. 

There were some holes in the plot and I felt like somethings could have been expounded upon. I think a few things in the story just ended abruptly. It was like oh that's done now. 

I liked the book for the most part but like I said it just fell short. It's a nice quick read. Although I am glad that I didn't buy the book like I had made plans on to do. 

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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Nina Gregory has the perfect life: she’s the heiress of the glamorous Gregory Hotels, shares a fantastic relationship with her boyfriend Tim, and works as a speechwriter for Rafael O’Connor-Ruiz, the man who might become the next mayor of New York. 
One day, she finds out that her father, the man she trusts and loves the most in the world, is not the man she thought he was and her world crumbles. All her choices and decisions in life were made to please her father and now she doesn't know who she is anymore. Will Nina keep living the life her father planned for her or will she start living as she wants to? 
The Light We Lost, the author's first adult novel, is still my favourite, but I enjoyed this new story. Nina, as a character, feels realistic and familiar and she develops well as she struggles not only with the truth about her father, but also with a complicated love life as she has to decide whether to stay with Tim, her best friend who has known her all her life, or to follow her feelings for her handsome boss Rafael. The story is engaging, heartbreaking, captivating, and very well-written. The bright lights of New York, the glamorous social parties, romance, friendship, family ties... you will find them all in this beautiful and immersive novel.
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I’ve been holding off on posting my review until today simply because I can’t think of a more fitting book to discuss on Valentine’s Day than this one! It was a great love story, but it also had plenty of depth and was about so much more than two people falling in love, it explored several other relatable topics and issues as well.

I love a book that follows a character at a defining point in their lives, it’s so interesting to me to see what choices they make and what actions take place after some sort of event shakes up their life. Nina losing her father is her defining moment, she begins to question everything she’s been sure of her entire life and she really starts to come into her own. I really enjoyed watching her grow, mature and just start to feel comfortable in her own skin, on her own terms.

Love triangles are nothing new, but this one is done well. So many times I’m clearly rooting hard for one person to “get the girl” in these types of stories, but here I genuinely liked both men in Nina’s life which made me feel for her (and them) as she struggled to chose one of them. There was quite a bit of drama here as Nina navigates life after her fathers death, which was also fun as it broke up the romancey parts.

This was my first Santopolo book and I was impressed by her writing, it’s lyrical and fluid with a bit a magic to it as well, really perfect for a romance. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about The Light We Lost and am really excited to read that one too after this gem.

More Than Words in three words: Touching, Sweet and Lyrical.
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This book was such an unexpected surprise! I’m normally not a fan of reading romance/ love stories, but this was so much more than that!  As soon as I saw this gorgeous cover and who the author was, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.
I was rooting for Nina on her journey to self-discovery and so proud of her for having the courage to shed her skin and take risks to figure out who she really was, not just who she’s always assumed she should be.
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Loved this story of self-discovery in the wake of grief. A thoughtful but face-paced read. The message that we must be true to ourselves weaves through this tender, romantic story.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, GP Putnam's Sons, & Jill Santopolo for the opportunity to read her latest book.  I thought her previous book, The Light We Lost, was absolutely wonderful so I couldn't wait to read this one.

Nina Gregory was raised by her father after her mother's death and was taught her place in her family's dynasty - The Gregory Hotels.  She was raised with expectations for how she acted, what she would do for a living, and who she dated.  Her lifelong friend and son of her father's business partner, Tim, is steadfast and true when their friendship turns to love.  However, her father's death from cancer turns her world around.  Nina is no longer sure who she is, what she wants, and if her father was holding secrets that could have changed everything.

While I didn't find myself as invested in this story as I did in The Light We Lost, this is a beautifully-written story of family expectations and learning to be true to yourself at all costs.
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Nina Gregory lives a life of privilege and of responsibility.  As the sole heir to the Gregory Corporation, it has been ingrained in her psyche since birth.  

Determined to make a difference, she lands a job as a speechwriter for the up and coming NYC mayoral candidate, Rafael O’Connor-Ruiz.   He embodies everything that she loves about New York City - He’s hard working, honorable and entirely too handsome for her peace of mind. 

She keeps telling herself that she’s happy with her comfortable boyfriend and the predictable path that she’s set for the future. But all of that was before cancer threatened to steal her father away long before she’s ready to let him go.

“Do you read poetry?” he asked her. 
Nina swallowed the lump in her throat. “Not much,” she said. “But a little. When I was a kid, I memorized Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky,’ for my dad.” 
“He took his vorpal sword in hand; Long time the manxome foe he sought—” Rafael quoted. 
“So rested he by the Tumtum tree and stood awhile in thought,” Nina finished. 
Rafael laughed. “You’re full of surprises,” he said. 
You too, Nina wanted to say. But instead she just smiled. “Why did you bring up poetry?” 
“Well,” Rafael answered, stretching out the word. “I took a couple of poetry classes in college, and I’ve come to think of life like poetry. It’s my own theory, but it makes me feel better about things.” 
“What do you mean?” Nina asked, hoping that whatever he was about to say would be comforting. 
“I think of people like poems,” he said. “Maybe someone’s a haiku, or a villanelle, or a cinquain, a sonnet—our length and form are predestined, but our content isn’t. And each form has its own challenges, its own difficulties, and its own beauty. Your father’s poem is coming to an end, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful or worthwhile or important.”

With her world falling apart, she begins to question everything she’s ever thought she wanted out of life. Nothing is as it seems, people aren’t what they appear to be, and love isn’t always easy. The only thing that she does know is that she feels so alive when she’s with Rafael.
Rafael looked at her. Their hands were still touching and now their eyes locked. “I feel like I can be myself around you,” he told her. “All of me. I never feel that way. Not even with my ex-wife.” 
“I feel like I can be myself around you, too,” Nina said. She was whispering. The pieces of her that felt new, the questions she had—Rafael didn’t seem like he had expectations of who she would be. More like he wanted to learn who she was, deep inside.

Jill Santopolo’s More Than Words can be best described as a journey to find truth - that special kind of soul truth.   

In poignant prose, she leads you from the beloved streets of New York City to the unknown depths of the human heart.  

Yes, there is crippling grief and overwhelming joy.  But most of all, there is triumph.  And perhaps within its pages, you will also find the inspiration to live your most authentic self…
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What a timely book! This story reminded me of a combination of The West Wing and one of my favorite Parenthood plotlines, and I enjoyed it more than her debut, The Light We Lost. I can't wait to recommend this to the right reader on my podcast What Should I Read Next. It's perfect for fans of relatable stories about love, loss, and family, and the interesting political setting sets it apart.
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Last year, The Light We Lost grabbed me and didn't let go. So when I heard that More Than Words was being published, I was eager to read it as soon as possible. Jill Santopolo did not disappoint and I liked this novel even more than her debut!

At first I wasn't sure that I'd be able to relate to Nina, as our lives are so different. We're also ten years apart in age. However, Nina was extremely relatable and I could even understand and sympathize with what she was experiencing. Her voice kept me going throughout the story, and I did not want to put it down even when I had to get back to real life. I loved the picture Jill painted of New York City in this novel and could easily visualize all the places that were mentioned, even if I had never personally seen them. The descriptions of people also made them come to life in front of me. The conversations were genuine throughout and I could practically hear the characters talking as if I were listening to an audio book instead of reading it on my Kindle. Nina is put into some interesting predicaments and I liked seeing how she tried to handle each one. The sexual tension between Nina and Rafael is so hot that it was hard for me not to ship them.

Based on both her debut and current novel, Jill has been writing on some topics that are clichés in women's fiction. However, she writes beautifully and puts a new spin on them. I would love to see her find something new and original to write about for her third novel (because I don't want her to stop writing, ever). I also would have preferred Nina to not be so wealthy because it made her struggles seem more like first world problems. It would have been nice if there were some closure between Nina and one of the other characters, but maybe we can revisit that in a sequel down the road?

Overall, I really enjoyed More Than Words and I hope readers will check out this gem of a novel.

Dream movie cast:
Nina: Anna Kendrick
Tim: Nick Gehlfuss
Leslie: Cobie Smulders
Rafael: Rodrigo Santoro
Jane: Phoebe Neidhardt
Joseph: John Wesley Shipp
Caro: Sharon Lawrence
TJ: Peter Gallagher

Thanks to Putnam for the book in exchange for an honest review.
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'More Than Words' is a lovely story about a young woman coming into her own in New York City during a time of tremendous personal and professional upheaval. I enjoyed Nina's story and the New York setting. 

Jill Santopolo is the author of one of my favorite books, 'The Light We Lost' so I was very eager to get my hands on her latest novel. At times both emotional and romantic, this book was a fast-paced story about Nina Gregory, who has been raised by her father among New York City's elite. Her family owns a famous hotel and Nina has been in the spotlight since a very young age. It seems as though her entire life has been planned out for her since birth. Her father constantly reminds her of the making the right choices but Nina decides to work as a speechwriter for Rafael, a candidate for New York City mayor, before she spends the rest of her life working in the family business. 

Rafael is a charismatic and handsome character, unlike anyone in Nina's life. Hers is a life of privilege, which she does not take lightly. She is dating her best friend Tim but begins to chafe at the life planned out for her. 

"She heard her father’s voice in her mind: You’re smarter than that. And she was. But sometimes it wasn’t about intelligence. Not when the heart got involved. Her father never seemed to understand that. Or maybe he did. All too well." 

Nina's life has not been perfect and has been marred by several tragedies. When another sudden tragedy strikes, she forces herself to confront her life and what she wants for her future. She also uncovers certain facts that cause her to question everything she has ever held dear. Will she take the comfortable path or will she take a chance and live her life to the fullest? 

“Everything I told you. It’s all true. I just … everything feels so tangled right now.” 

Fans of women's fiction will love this story. It is a quieter tale than 'The Light We Lost' but the author explores deeper issues such as the impact of family, friends and truth on our lives. I loved the ending to this story and can't wait for the author's next book!
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This is the story of a woman who is dealing with all sorts of challenges in the public eye. She is falling in love with her boss while accepting a proposal from her long time best friend while dealing with her father's passing and her subsequent new job of running her father's passing. This was an interesting story that i read quickly but had too many sex scenes for my taste.
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I am a fan of Jill Santopolo. I LOVED her first novel (didn't we all) and was SUPER excited for this one to come out. I was ECSTATIC to receive an advanced copy from NetGalley and penguin Random House. So, thank you, and please accept my honest opinion of this book.

Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter, a good girlfriend. Raised by her father, owner of New York City's glamorous Gregory Hotels, after her mother's death, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And her boyfriend Tim, thoughtful, kind, and honest, not to mention her best friend since childhood, feels the same. But after Nina's father passes away, she learns he may not have practiced what he preached. 

I really don't know how to rate this book. I couldn't relate to the main character Nina Gregory at all. She seemed naive and spoiled and as if the world was revolving around her. I don't know if this was the intention, but she remained unlikeable to me throughout the book. But, other than that, I did like the storyline. There was a mix of romance, and mystery, but not too much of either one that it over powered the book. I mainly thought of the book as a young woman finding herself for the first time after losing a family member. 

I didn't fly through this book as fast as I expected to but at about halfway through I found myself picking up the pace as it held my attention. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loved her first book, as well as just anyone in general!
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There were some really lovely moments in this book. But it just felt a little flat to me, especially compared to her first book. I would have probably enjoyed it more without all the “mysteries” which were fairly easy to figure out. And Tim. Tim was so boring. And Rafael one dimensional. It would probably be a good book club book since it has some interesting themes.
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I received a digital ARC of More Than Words by Jill Santopolo through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. More Than Words is scheduled for release February 5, 2019.

More Than Words is the story of a woman who was raised by her father to hold herself to high standards. He has always pointed out to Nina that the world is watching her (her family owns a famous hotel chain in New York), but even if the world weren’t watching, she should maintain all of his expectations.

Nina has settled into a relationship with her childhood friend, exactly as their families expected and wanted for them. Nina is on the verge of settling into the life she has been raised to live. 

When Nina’s father passes away, Nina discovers secrets from her family’s past that make her question everything her father taught her. It makes her question if she should continue to be the person he raised, or if she should find her own path.

This novel was a classic tale of a person figuring out who they are, separate from the expectations of family and society. It was well written, but not exceptional. 

My main challenge in loving this novel was the characters. Nina was developed into a whole character, with a history that filtered into her current life. But I had a difficult time liking her, or even caring about her. This could be because she initially came across as a “poor little rich girl.” On the surface, Nina has it all. She is from a wealthy family. She has had a wealth of opportunities, including the ability to chose to work for a political campaign she believes in while she is “killing time” waiting to take over her role in the family business. 

Santopolo layers tragedy into Nina’s history. Her mom died when she was young, her father is dying at the start of the novel, she isn’t completely confident in her relationship with her boyfriend. My initial response to these layers of tragedy was a feeling that the author was trying to make Nina seem like a normal girl with normal problems despite her wealth. While this perception changed as the story unfolded and the layers of tragedy were broken open to reveal secrets, I still struggled to connect with Nina’s character. 

I had the same difficulty with the characters around Nina. Many of the characters had a history and backstory, but still felt flat to me. I’m not sure if this was due to Santopolo’s writing style or my initial dislike of Nina- that may have carried over onto the characters around her.

Overall, More Than Words was an okay novel, but did not manage to reach into my heart the way the author intended.
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If you’re a fan of “The Light We Lost,” you will enjoy Jill Santopolo’s second novel, debuting on February 5. Nina Gregory has been the perfect daughter to her father, a hotel industry mogul in NYC. She graduated from Yale, promises to takeover the family business (one day) and is dating her longtime best friend Tim. Nina’s real passion though is not business, but politics. She is on the campaign team of a local mayoral candidate who is newly divorced and undeniably handsome. 

When her father’s cancer returns and he’s given little time to live, Nina’s world changes and secrets come to the surface.

Is she ready to takeover the family business & leave her passion for politics behind? Will she be able to make the right choices without her father by her side? Is Tim really the one or just another choice she made to please her father?

Overall, I enjoyed this read & felt for Nina as she tried to find herself throughout the book. It’s a quick read & read it mostly while traveling.
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More Than Words is barely a story. Hotel heiress Nina Gregory's father is dying. Her mother died when she was eight. (Oh, various parental mysteries!) Her boyfriend, childhood friend Tim, wants to get married. Nina is attracted to Rafael, mayoral candidate for whose campaign she's part of. You can guess the whole thing from this. Which is about as long as most of the chapters are.

Too boring and clinched to even resemble a real story. Also, possibly the least interesting love scenes I've read in ages.
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"More Than Words" is the story of Nina, an heiress to a hotel company. She has always made choices based on what her father would think and what her father wants her to do. When her father dies, and she learns her parents' marriage wasn't perfect, Nina learns to decide what she wants for herself. 

I've not read anything else by Jill Santopolo yet, but I enjoyed this novel.  While the book deals with heavy topics, including death and betrayals, it was an easy read. I liked Nina's character and the descriptions Santopolo used to paint scenes in the book; I felt at times like I was right there alongside Nina throughout her day. I especially enjoyed watching her take control of her life and make decisions for herself for what's likely the first time in her life. 

Thanks to Net Galley and Jill Santopolo for allowing me to review an ARC of this book.
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