Book: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
I'm not usually much of a romance reader, but this book has received so much universal adoration that I had to give it a try. Plus, a fluffy romance book is a good read while travelling.
I've been describing this book to friends as "like a very smartly written chick flick", and now that I'm finished I think it's a very fitting description.
The story is a bit slow to start, but fantastic once it gets going -- it's a sweet, complex story of an American trying to find her way in Paris and all the interesting friends she makes in her year there.
It doesn't shy away from anything, delving head-first into fascinating character personalities and friendships, detailed backstories, and teen issues.
I'll be looking forward to picking up "Lola and the Boy Next Door" when I've whittled down my to-read piles.
Stephanie calls a 'Love List' a list of those ideas that sparked the fires of my mind. The Love List for ‘Rebel Against Heaven’ is not quite a happy and light as Stephanie's, which is probably to be expected when it's not a light or fluffy novel. But it's fun to remember all the things that stirred my passion for the story:
- Showing an extremely damaged, hurt and angry character fight to redeem himself. This is definitely one of the core concepts: a ticking timebomb of a guy who’s about to self-destruct and bring everyone else down with them.
- Nice suits
- English accents. Early draft Tyler was extremely posh, stilted middle class. Now he’s still middle class, but coarser and angrier.
- Angst. Lots of angst. Buckets of the stuff.
- Japanese Anime
- Christian mythology and the non-canon works that expanded the world (Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost and the Book of Enoch)
- Flying (and the theoretical science behind it)
- The ‘Murmuration’ video
- Complex romantic relationships and friendships, something different from the tired love triangle set-up.
- Lots and lots of My Chemical Romance songs. (I REGRET NOTHING.)
And here's the love list for the work-in-progress I like to refer to as ‘ giant robots and the girls who fix them’. It's bound to get longer (and, knowing me, darker) as the story evolves:
- A very different kind of monster
- Badass ladies doing male-dominated jobs
- RAF Kinloss
- Computers and the IT industry
- GIANT ROBOTS
- Scotland, the sea, and the Western Isles
- Scottish accents and Gaelic
- Creepy manipulative, controlling YA love interests getting the punch in the face they deserve.
- That self-assessing, self-dissecting part of being a teenager where you’re trying to figure out what defines you and how the rest of the world will see you.
Looking forward to seeing all the other love lists being posted today. :)