I've said more than once that I'm not a big contemporary lit reader, but so when I first heard about Stephanie Perkins' debut novel Anna and the French Kiss, a YA contemporary novel about a girl moving to Paris to go to school and meets a cute British guy, I was inexplicably drawn to it.
Somehow. Beyond all reason. Impossibly.
And I don't read chick lit. My sister, when she does read something that isn't environmental science related, reads chick lit. She enjoyed all the Shopaholic books, she liked the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. She reads chick lit. And I don't.
But this book.
I can't explain it. Maybe it's the cover that says chick lit but not necessarily chick lit (no bright pink, sorry if you think I'm stereotyping). Maybe it's the soft blues and greens. Maybe it's that the hardcover is a dark purple. Maybe it's the Eiffel Tower in the background. Maybe it's that I loved Rachel Hawthorne's A Year in Europe: Three Novels when I was in high school, three books about friends from Texas who spend a year in London, Paris, and Rome on an exchange program.
Maybe it's the cute guy that Anna has a massive crush on.
Who knows. All I know is I started to covet this book, and that was in July 2010, almost six months before I actually read it.
Then came the December 2010 release date and the book did not appear in bookstores.
I live in Canada, which has the same release dates as the US (for the most part, there are rare differences). This was one of those rare instances. I believe the US release date was a Thursday, but in Canada is was the next Tuesday. Books always come out on Tuesdays up here. I stalked the Chapters/Indigo website (it's Canada's big box bookstore, no B&N or Borders up here) and no store in the area had it (I just checked and still, no store in the area has it). It wasn't until after Christmas that I gave in and ordered it online with a birthday gift card (December 26, if you were curious), but that was when it hit the 'ships in 1 to 3 weeks' stage. Which sucks. I think this is when I seriously started stalking our mailbox.
It came in early January. I read it. I loved it. Read my review if you don't believe me.
Now Lola and the Boy Next Door is coming out at the end of September. And again, I got that pang of 'dude I so have to read this so give it to me NOW.'
Or the guy, cause he's totally hot. Read Kiersten White's blog to learn a secret about the cover. ;)
Her name is Lola. Awesome. His name is Cricket. More awesome.
It's like the summary hooks me, the cover totally whacks me over the head, and the book turns me into a totally gushing mess.
And I've only read Anna once. Once.
Oh, Stephanie Perkins. Why have you done this to me? I used to love reading books about vampires and werewolves and angels and demons and faeries, but your books have none of that. They've got normal people dealing with normal crap and normal school, and beautiful sightseeing in gorgeous cities I've never been to. After reading Anna I wanted to curl up on my bed and hug it and pet it and hope I was a teenager again so I could go to this school and be just like Anna.
Look at what you've done to me. I'm jealous of a girl in a book. *sigh* She can keep Étienne, of course. I'm sure I could find my own guy.
If you ever appear in BC or Washington state for a signing or book event, Stephanie Perkins, I imagine I'll be there to ask you what you've done to me and if you could keep doing it.
I think tomorrow I'll sit with my broken ankle and revisit Anna's year in Paris. ;)
*pause* Can you imagine what I'll be like when Lola comes out?? Or what I'll be like when Isla and the Happily Ever After comes out?? *faint*