I’m back guys!
After eight beautiful long days in good old Mexico I’m really glad to be home. There’s no doubt that I will miss waking up to a gorgeous beach every day.
Before I went on vacation I asked everyone to help me pick which books I should take with me. There weren’t quite as many responses as I would have hoped for but for those who did participate I listened to your advice! Thank you so much for the recommendation! The book I decided to take along with me was….
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary, Teen Romance
“Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite no speaking a word of French, Anna meet some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken-and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?”
To say that I flew through this book is an understatement. My boyfriend even got mad at me for staying up past 2 a.m. just reading. There were many times when I was sure I was going to wake him up because I was either laughing, going silly with giddiness or crying out in frustration. I can see now why everyone was so quick to recommend this book. It’s a fantastic read and while it is a teen romance novel it’s somehow different than your average contemporary. Perhaps it’s the beautifully detailed Paris setting, the cute English boy, or maybe it was the macaroons and crepes!
On Anna’s first day she makes a new friend, Meredith, who helps her deal with feeling alone. Thanks to her new friend Anna is quickly introduced to three more characters. Rash, Josh, and Etienne. Together they make up a fun, quirky group of friends that leave you laughing out loud as you read about their escapades. They also have a lot of up’s and downs. Which really just makes a friendship stronger don’t you think?
I truly loved the friendship Anna and Etienne share. They grow so close to one another and spend all their time together. He pulls her out of her shell and she inspires him to be more confident in himself. Anna wants to be a professional movie reviewer, Etienne wants to major in History. She has a blog, he has stacks of books and knows a lot of facts. Etienne encourages her hobby, going with her to watch movies no one else is really interested in. Anna takes a genuine interest in his interests and listens to his stories that others find boring. Together they build each other up and Etienne becomes pretty protective of Anna which is just so cute to see.
The friendly feelings quickly become something more though. Which Anna struggles with because of course, Etienne has a girlfriend. (Whyyy??? Why are the cute English boys always taken?) They both fight their feelings so hard that I think it only increases the attraction to each other. It does get pretty frustrating reading as they go back and forth. When Anna couldn’t take it anymore and finally lashed out at Étienne I wanted to cry. I felt her frustration and hurt and confusion. Even though there was plenty of fault on both sides I chose to stick by Anna’s. (but I get Etienne’s point of view too!)
One of my favorite aspects of this story was that it revolved around so many different things, not just romance. There’s a good lesson on friendship that was truly inspiring. Anna actually made me want to be more like her. Even though she’s much younger than I am she demonstrates a patience and forgiveness I never had with high school friends. I don’t know if at that age I would have been able to forgive my best friend for what I’m sure would feel like a huge betrayal. It goes against Girl Code!
There’s also some serious family issues. Everyone seems to have an issue or two with their dad in this book, favoring their mothers more. Anna’s dad is an author who writes famous romance novels. They don’t have a good relationships as he’s the one who plucked her from her life and threw her into a foreign country. I mean I’d be pretty peeved about that too…….maybe? Her parent’s are also divorced and do quite a bit of their own bickering.
Etienne and his dad have the worst relationship. His dad is very careless of Etienne’s feelings and worries only about appearance. I don’t want to go into more details and spoil anything.
Stephanie Perkins did an amazing job writing this book. I loved her style. The fact that Paris itself is what drew me in and not just the romance was so refreshing. I wanted to jump into the pages and try the delicious cuisine, feel the crisp air while laying down in the park on a sunny day, stand on a star and make a wish. It was an amazing experience to feel what the characters were feeling. I’ve never been one of those girls who would constantly dream of going to Paris. I’ve never had anything in my room, or house, with any relation to Europe. Now……..hooo. Now I’ve purchased a bookmark with the Eiffel tower on it. Now Paris and London are on my Bucket list. And don’t get me started on my search for a box of macaroons.
There was only one time when I felt some disappointment about the book. Did the end situation of Anna and Etienne sound familiar to anyone else or is just me?
(As in the exact scenario of Etienne and Ellie) Because of that I felt a little worried for our two main characters. Maybe that’s just me though.
If you haven’t picked up this book yet, what are you waiting for?! Don’t hesitate like I did, you’ll miss out on a really good read. You’ll swoon over Etienne, cheer for Anna, crave food you’ve never even had before and probably fall even more in love with the book itself than just the cute British boy. I highly recommend this book 🙂 I personally can not wait to read the next two books!