Monday, August 22, 2011
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Second Question: When can I go back to Paris?
I love this book for so many reasons. But first and foremost, I love it because I love France, and this book does it justice. I spent 18 months in and around Paris several years ago, and quite frankly I fell in love. Not with some gorgeous male lead with fabulously messy hair, I fell for the country, the culture, the magic in the air. But reading this book took me back. Too bad it only lasted two days--because that's how long it took me to read it.
I heard about this book over a year ago when it showed up in the deal news. A young girl going to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year...how awesome. I thought, "I gotta read that!" At the time, I was writing a novel set in France, and was way excited about it. But then I forgot, or got sidetracked, or stuck in quicksand, or whatever. You know the feeling.
Then, during last week's WriteOnCon, agents, editors, and authors kept bringing this book up. They talked about what a great first page it had, what distinctive voice it had, and how good the pacing was. I went out and bought it that night.
What I loved most about this book was that it transported me. I used to walk up and down those same Parisian streets everyday, and I was there all over again. Even though I was sitting on my back lawn watching my kids play in water for two hours (sweating in the 110 degree sun)...I felt like I was in Paris in Spring. I could taste the macaroons and eclair pastries. I stood in awe of the looming Notre Dame and the shimmering Seine river at night. And I could even hear the opera lady outside the protag's dorm room. I had a similar situation when I lived there, but with an accordion and a drunk neighbor.
I could actually go on and on about this book. I loved the romance, the feeling of falling in love. I loved the depth of the characters. I loved the writing and the trust I developed in the author that she wasn't going to let me down--and she totally didn't. I loved the comparisons of France to America-totally spot on. And I loved the adventure of it all. Well done Mademoiselle Perkins. Bien fait et felicitations!