Ok, so I didn’t trust myself to do my usual ‘review’ type post about this one. I’m not sure I can be trusted to say ANYTHING without gushing like a crazy fan girl. But I’ll try my best.
I’m not gonna lie, I was put off this book by all the hype. I’m usually the anomaly that ends up not really liking a hyped-up book and then I feel all disappointed and icky. That ‘what’s wrong with me?’ feeling when you stare at the mediocre 3 stars you’ve given something when everyone else has given it 5.
Well hell. This time I could breathe a sigh of relief. I LOVED this book.
There is something beautiful and refreshing about the realness to the characters and their interactions. It’s not a straightforward love story, but then, when is love ever easy? But it wasn’t outrageously ridiculous. Every twist and turn felt like I was reading a page out of my own teenage years! (minus the French boarding school..)
Anna is easy to identify with. She’s got her quirks and she’s wonderfully ‘average’ and that’s what makes her shine. She’s beautiful because she’s herself, and I think that is an important message for younger adults. For sure.
The setting is.. well.. it’s PARIS!
One thing I will comment on is this strange ‘degree of separation’ thing I felt while reading this. Within the book, Anna et al discuss in class the issues related to translated texts. And it stuck with me. Because when you think about it (too much) I’m a Brit, seeing through the eyes of an American, in France, talking to another Englishman.. It’s a weird process of interpretation.
This book surprised me by how much I became invested in it. The real world disappeared and I was loathe to have to put it down. I was also impressed with the ‘maturity’ of it. There are varying areas of maturity within YA literature, but for me, this was spot on. It was that small step further than simply being ‘teen’ but it was still obvious the characters had things to learn and work out about themselves and life.
A fantastic read. I went and got me the next two the day after. Stephanie Perkins has landed herself in my ‘favourite authors’ list just like that *clicks*.
Anna + Etienne FTW!! 😀