The Cursed Book.
Although, not because of anything written in the book. No, this book is cursed because it took me over a month to have five minutes with it.
On November 23rd, it occurred to me that Canadian bookstores had been stupid recently, so I decided to order the book in. It was released on December 2nd, so I thought I would get, at the very least, the week that it was released.
How wrong I was.
After almost a month of angry thoughts, and abandoned revenge ideas my copy of Anna and the French Kiss finally arrived on December 21st. After which I did not have a chance to read it, or anything else, until after the 26th. My family takes Christmas seriously. Well, seriously in that good way, in that we use any excuse possible to get together to eat, drink, and be merry.
So, finally, on December 28th, I’m home alone, with nowhere to be and no plans for at least an hour. I grab my new handmade purple blanket, my purple book (I take the dust jacket off while I read) and sit down to read Anna and the French Kiss.
While reading the second page I notice a funny smell. And then I look up and notice that the living room is a little..smokey. I look toward the vent and see that black smoke is streaming out of it at an alarming rate.
Well, to make a long story short I put the book down on a table and left the house, taking only a pair of shoes and my phone with me, and had to stand around on the side walk for hours while the fire department decided the fate of my living arrangements.
Many hours later, after the sun had gone down, we were allowed in to pick up some clothes and such, and I remembered to grab Anna, now sporting a very unique odor, and finally read it through in my friends guest room about two days ago.
And I loved it.
At one point while reading it my sister asked me what the book was about and I stared at her for two silent minutes. It the great tradition of John Green, the book doesn’t really have a plot. There isn’t a mystery that needs to be solved, or a great emotional blockage that needs to be gotten past, or scary ghost, or whatever.
It’s simply about a girl spending her last year of high school a boarding school in Paris. The friends she meets there, the personal journey she takes, and, of course, the hot boy.
This book is really about a confused, teenage girl girl who goes on a journey to discover who she really is.
Which sounds so cliche, but I promise you it isn’t.
What I loved the most about this book was the attention to detail with the characters. None of the characters felt flat or uninteresting, even the peripheral ones. They all had multiple motivations and likes and dislikes and quirks. From an obsession with movies to an odd knitted hat (did anyone else see Jayne’s hat?) or nail biting.
Also, these characters, they were flawed. Intensely flawed. So flawed I wanted to slap them a lot of the time. Slap them and then yell and scream and shout at them. Even so, it was difficult not to love them. Especially when they could all be so passionate about things.
I especially loved St. Ãtienne’s relationship with his mother, and Anna’s relationship with movies. Both were endearing and spoke of a buried, innate truth of each character. The “mama’s boy,” and the girl who just wants to be alone in a dark room.
Their romance is one of misunderstandings and miscommunications. Now, this isn’t generally my cup of tea. Whenever I read or watch a romance of that kind I can’t help but think any “real” people would just talk for five minutes and it would all be sorted. And I definitely started to feel that way near the end. I just wanted to strangle Anna and Ãtienne. But mostly, their reasoning for not talking about was sound and it didn’t bother me too much.
So, if you’re looking for a book that is funny, romantic, and feels so very real I highly recommend this one.
At it’s core, it’s about two people trying to figure where “home” really is.