Tag Archives: Paris

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

28th March 2012

*I picked this up at my local library.

Anna’s slacker dad is a writer, and because he thinks he’s hit the big time, he wants his daughter educated in Europe. At boarding school. For her senior year. Anna has to leave her best friend, her crush, and her baby brother back in Atlanta to start over in Paris.

If that isn’t bad enough, Anna doesn’t speak French and knows no one. Her neighbor Meredith hears her sobbing into her pillow the first night and tries to cheer her up, introducing her, over breakfast to Rashmi, Josh, and Etienne. Etienne is a true international – British accent, French name, American upbringing, and Anna realizes maybe boarding school in Paris isn’t so bad.

Why did I pick this up? When I began blogging, I think everyone and their momma read this book. When I was at the library a couple of weeks ago, I just wandered around and happened to find this one.

Did I like it? I’ve got to be honest, this book was so fun. When I was in high school, I would have adored this book. Even as an adult, it was still really fun.

What was Anna like? Anna is fantastic. She blogs on film and wants to be the first famous film critic. Once Etienne shows her how many theaters are near the school, she is in heaven. She is a senior, so of course there is some high school drama, especially since her best friend is an ocean away.

Why are people so crazy about this book? Honestly, because this book is set in Paris, I think the idea of young love in the City of Lights is a bit too good to pass up.

Who should read this? Anyone who wants to feel the freedom of being young again without the angst. 🙂

An Accident in August by Laurence Cosse’

12th July 2011

*I received this galley from the publisher. An Accident in August is available 08/30/11, but you can preorder here.

When Julia with Europa Editions contacted me about reading and reviewing An Accident in August by Laurence Cossé, I was excited because it would be my first review copy from Europa Editions. I was also slightly unsure because the premise was based on the accident wherein Princess Di lost her life. Though I typically love fiction based on fact, there are some topics based on real events of which I am not wild – 09/11 and Princess Di’s death are two. However, I had heard quite a bit about Cossé and thought I’d give it a try. I am so glad I did.

An Accident in August is not about Princess Di. Instead, Cossé focuses her story on the theory that a slow-moving vehicle at the mouth of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel was the proximate cause of Princess Di’s fatal accident.

The story opens with Lou, sitting in her car parked in her garage, shakily replaying an accident she had on her way home from her job in Paris. She was driving cautiously through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel when a vehicle came up quite suddenly behind her, striking her and then ricocheting into the tunnel wall. Lou speeds home, shaken up and not thinking rationally. After all, the accident wasn’t her fault.

The next morning, Lou listens to the radio and understands the occupants of the car were none other than Princess Di, her companion Dodi, their bodyguard, and chauffer. From that moment on, Lou is panicked, knowing she should go to the authorities, yet desperate to avoid the scrutiny she knows will come, and her actions, though seemingly well-thought-out and rational, bring her ever closer to the brink of ruin.

This is the sort of book that only a brief synopsis will prevent giving away vital pieces of the plot Рand there were a lot of scenes that caught me by surprise with their intensity. Coss̩ (along with the translator Alison Anderson) has created a taut, quietly-suspenseful story about the nameless, faceless characters in a tragedy Рthose to whom we never pay much attention but whose lives are irrevocably altered. An Accident in August is riveting, tense, and thoroughly unexpected.

jenn aka the picky girl

P.S. Prepare to do some Googling, if like me you like to find the truth behind a story.

**Cross posted at the Europa Challenge Blog**