Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: 2010 by Penguin
Reminds me of: Die for Me Series by Amy Plum
Stephanie Perkins is doing big things and with the much anticipated release of Isla and the Happily Ever After I finally decided to hop on the bandwagon and give her novels a go. I was so happy I did. With summer around the corner, its novels like Perkins’ I’m on the lookout for. The easy, happy go lucky type. The sort that makes you lose track of time and your surroundings. You’ll smile and blush and giggle out loud.
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
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 not speaking a word of French, Anna meets 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 waiting for? Source
Oh my God Anna. She is such a fantastic protagonist. Her sarcasm is so real and relatable. She doesn’t sugar coat things, she’s not blunt and has it in her to take any joke one step further. I just found her so different to any other heroine in such a fantastic way. Like when Anna jokes about pregnancy and her virginity while rubbing Victor Noir’s shiny wang… that scene had to have gotten at least a smirk out of you. She really makes you feel things – whether it be homesickness or frustration – one of her shining qualities is connecting with the reader.
I did like St Clair… and I didn’t. That’s the point. You’re meant to be conflicted over him because he represents the complexities in life. He’s the insight behind decision making and evidence that each choice has a consequence. I’m thankful to Perkins for creating a character like St Clair because he is unique. Ellie as a barrier between Anna and St Clair is touchy territory and I think that’s why we don’t see this sort of scenario in every YA novel. Yep he’s flawed and yep he’s put himself in a shitty scenario but I was so happy he had a voice we got to hear behind his thought process. He’s human and we all make mistakes, so for that I really respected his character.
The Parisian setting reeled me in immediately. Her descriptions are so picturesque that the book is almost an escapist read. You are teleported to every touristy location Anna stumbles across. I definitely have a list of places I’m ready to see next time I’m in Paris based on the book.
It’s not just the touristy locations I adored. THE FOOD. I got so hungry reading this book. I have this divine picture of a baguette stuffed with cheese and olives stuck in my head days after finishing the novel. I did read about 75% of the book on a Sunday afternoon, and every time a cup of coffee was brought up I had to go refresh my own. There’s some sort of subliminal advertising in this book…
Writing this review made me want a sequel. However, that’s not the point of the book. It’s a brief snapshot into a period of the characters lives. Any further and there would have to be more conflict and I’m pretty content thinking St Clair and Anna live happily ever after.
This one goes out to all YA romance fans. It’s a pretty generic recommendation, but it’s hard to pin point a precise audience for such a fun read.
Let me know if you’ve given Anna’s story a read! I’m excited to give Lola and Isla a go next.