Saturday, January 8, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss and Other Adventures

I had the BEST time on friday night, going out and buying a whole stacks of books at the World's Biggest Bookstore (That is actually the name of the store, not some hyperbollic randomness by me). I had been researching books like crazy ever since I found the BEST website of all time, The YA Book Blog Directory. I have been desperate for a new YA romance for a long time now, and this website provides a seemingly never ending list of review blogs to choose from. Yheeee!

I have only made a small dent on the list, but already, so many rewards. There's a few that aren't my taste at all (science fiction blogs) and there's some that just have a different taste than me, that I'm sure others would love. But I'll link you all a few that fit me really well:

In the end, I picked out three well reviewed books to purchase (actually, I picked more, but Canada has the worst book stock, so half of them weren't available. And some of them weren't out yet.). First, Prom & Prejudice, by Elizabeth Euler, who wrote Lonely Hearts Club, which I absolutely loved. I didn't even know she had a new book coming out.

I also bought Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, a book I had never heard of, that I am mightly excited about,

And I purchased Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, a book that every single blog was RAVING about, but had completely missed my radar somehow. At first I was skeptical because the premise didn't sound GREAT. But seriously, every single blogger was going ape shit crazy about it, so I decided to give it a try

Yeah, so, I bought last night. And then I went out and got dinner and worked on some homework. And then at 8:00ish I picked up Anna, and well, I didn't put it down. Until three in the morning (which, by the way, I'm paying for now, as I am TIREDDDD). But man, it was just so good. Here's a mini review for you.

You didn't come to this blog for this, but I'll say it anyways. It was well written. Thoughtful. Anna was a very nice and cutely quirky (I love banana elephant) and felt really really real. All of the characters had real, interesting personalities, and no one felt like a cliche, which was really awesome. And, of course, Paris sounded so beautiful

Even though I didn't enjoy my time in Paris when I went there a few summers ago, I totally want to go back now and see what Anna saw.

Now, to give what you came for--THE ROMANCE, namingly a American/British/French boy who goes by the name of Etienne St. Clair (a hoitty toitty name, if you ask me). I love him. He's just so nice, to everyone. And he's funny. And unique.

Anna and Etienne have an excellent friendship throughout the entire book. It is full of tension and misunderstanding and jokes and everything a real boy-who-is-a-friend, but-I-kind-of-want-more relationship should be.

All of that made me very happy. I loved the last scene when (predictable ending spoiler alert!) they are just hanging out together. I wish every book had a scene like that. It is just so satisfying.

I love a good Getting Together scene, a la every romance of all time. And the scene where Anna and Etienne get together is really sweet. But it's so full of drama, and it's so expected and cliched. The last scene is so calm and beautifully simple. After all they went through they're just hanging out talking, enjoying each others company. One of the best endings I've read in a long, long time.

Those were all the good things which made up a mostly good book. I have a few complaints about pacing and length though. There was a lot of tension and build up, which was great, but by the end it felt like too much. Too much drama. Too much time. It felt like the author was trying to fill some page count quota, just spinning her wheels and throwing in plot points to waste time. I love some good sexual tension, but it was more than was needed. I wish a good fifty pages had been cut from the middle to end.

All in all, I liked this Anna and the French Kiss. I didn't LOVE it, like a lot of the bloggers out there seem to. But it made for a good friday night. I don't know where it'll rank in all time favourites, or even favourites of the last year. I need more time to figure that out.

Go and pick up a copy and figure it out for yourself (or, if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, borrow it from me, since I'm pretty sure I snapped up the last copy in the city. Sorry!). I'm heading back to homework (and the three others amazing books I bought!). See you later sisters!

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