I thought I'd start a feature on the blog about books I love. It'll focus primarily on YA books, since that's mostly what I read...but every now and then I'm sure I'll throw in other genres since I do manage to find my way into other sections of the bookstore every now and then!
So. I know I already touted my love for Anna and the French Kiss in an earlier entry. But that was before my NEW BEGINNING! :)
And besides, I love this book so much that I just can't say it enough. Anytime anyone asks me for suggestions of a good book to read, I start with this one.
Author: Stephanie Perkins (naturalartificial.blogspot.com)
Summary (straight from the flap): 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 not too pleased 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 friends, including the handsome Etienne 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 been waiting for?
*One thing- I NEVER would've picked this book. I didn't think I liked YA romances. I stumbled across the author's blog and liked her so much that I thought I'd check her book out. And obviously, that worked out well.
Why I loved it as a reader: Again, I know I said it already, but Etienne St. Clair. He is such a crushable love interest....and British. And Stephanie does a great job every now and then of reminding us that he's got the hot British accent by adding in details like, "Eh-t-yen says my name like this: Ah-na." and "St. Clair pronounces it die-rections..." As a die-hard member of the "If you have an accent you must be hot" club, I loved those little reminders!
Why I loved it as a writer: The PACING. Oh my gosh. I read this book over and over and over again just to remind myself what fantastic pacing looks like. There was never a part of this book where I started to skim things in a hurry to get back to the action. I didn't want to miss a beat. Part of that has to do with Anna's great voice also. It's fun being in her head. Whenever I'm working on my current work-in-progress, I'll actually think of Anna and remind myself to pay careful attention to pacing. I really think pacing is one of the hardest things to get right. There are several books out (even some that I love) that I find myself skipping pages as I read because I just want to get back to the scene or whatever it is that I'm missing. If a book is perfectly paced, the reader won't even notice things like that.
Huh? Oh. Oops. I started looking for my favorite line and got caught up in reading the book again. AGAIN. You have to read this book, you guys.
This is so hard.
Ok. FAVORITE LINE: For the moment, I'm going to pick the one that keeps popping in my head and making me laugh. It's from an email that Etienne sends Anna while they're on Christmas break. Anna had previously emailed Etienne to let him know that her dad gave her a gold ring in the shape of a heart for Christmas. Etienne's return email:
Subject line: HAHAHA!
Was it a PROMISE RING? Did your father give you a PROMISE RING?
I just loved that. And imagining it in his British accent is even cuter. He's so dang ADORABLE. And I love the flirtation between the two of them. Sigh.