Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Synopsis

Anna has everything figured out – she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere… Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

My Review

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” 

Is “Anna and the French Kiss” the right book for you if you’re looking for something unique that you’ve never read about before? No, it’s not.

Is it the right book if you’re looking for a book without any clichés? No!

Is it the right book if you’re looking for something that will make you feel good and smile a lot? Hell yeah it is!

Anna and the French Kiss is an incredibly quick read and you could easily finish it in a single sitting because it’s so addictive. You just won’t want to put it down anymore, it’s literally the definition of a “feel good” book. Reading AATFK will make you immediately want to go to Paris to find your own St. Clair and visit all the places that are mentioned in this book. I’ve already been there a couple of times before and have been to most of the places mentioned in the book, but even I just want to go back there right now to revisit all the places Anna and St. Clair have been to.

But the book will not only make you swoon over their perfect love story, but it will also make you laugh a lot and will conjure a smile on your face which you won’t be able to easily wipe off it again. It will also teach you a little about history because St. Clair is obsessed with it (not in an annoying way though). I’m serious, I’ve actually learned a thing or two about French and American historical figures and Parisian history. But one of my absolute highlights is Bridgette’s, who is Anna’s best friend, obsession with unique words. I mean, did you know that “Callipygian” means “having shapely buttocks”? You didn’t? Well, neither did I but now we both know and I’m loving it!

In my opinion, you also don’t have to be thirteen or fourteen to like this book. I was fourteen when I read it for the first time and just reread it at the age of nineteen (a few days away from turning twenty) and I actually enjoyed it more than I did when I read it for the first time. That might also be due to the fact that I just needed a book like this but I just feel like you can never be too old for it. It’s just so incredibly cute and sometimes everyone needs something like it. It’ll make you incredibly happy and I just have to give it 5 out of 5 stars for how good it made me feel once again!

Have you already read “Anna and the French Kiss” and did you like it? 🙂

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Synopsis

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

My Review

“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” 

When I first heard about “The Night Circus” I had to immediately think of the “Cirque du Freak” series by Darren Shan because the German version of the books is called “The Midnight Circus”. I absolutely loved that series as a child, so I was completely down for this book. Also, literally everybody on BookTube, Bookstagram and Goodreads was going on about how amazing “The Night Circus” is and I just couldn’t ignore the hype any longer.

Due to all of this, I had very high expectations for the book and was scared that I would be disappointed. But don’t worry, before I even tell you about my thoughts on TNC, I can already tell you that my expectations were exceeded and I absolutely loved this book! It’s definitely become one of my all-time favorites and I’m so, so glad I finally decided to read it. So, thanks to everyone who recommended it to me!

The Night Circus tells the story of the “Cirque des Rêves”, the “Circus of Dreams”, and takes you into its magical world. Contrary to what I thought, this book doesn’t include vampires, werewolves or other fantasy characters but it’s solely about magic, illusions and also a little about psychics. The circus has an illusionist, a fortune-teller, a contortionist, someone who can see the future in the stars, someone who can see your past just by looking at you and much more. It’s a world you can immediately get lost in and which allows you to forget about your everyday life for a bit. This is also due to the fact that Erin Morgenstern’s writing is flawless. I immediately fell in love with her writing style and the way she managed to describe this world so perfectly, you feel like you’re not only reading the book, but you’re actually a part of it. It’s amazing.

Unlike a lot of other books, TNC covers a large period of time (round about 30 years) and it often jumps to the year 1902 in-between chapters. That might be a little confusing at first but 1902 is a year that is very important to the book and everything will soon make sense and won’t confuse you at all. Instead it’s fun to see how, if you pay attention to details, you can find some things that hint at ‘past events’ that happened during the time you’re actually reading about at that moment which is a lot of fun. Another thing that confused me at the beginning of the book was that there were some snippets written in second POV. Actually, I hate that POV and it’s a reason for me to immediately put a book down and stop reading it. But in this book, it puts you in the position of someone who visits the circus and since those snippets are short and there are only about 10 of those scenes in the book, it isn’t too much and instead makes you feel even closer to the circus. Also, at the end of your visit you find out about things that’ll interest you after having read the entire book which just made TNC even more awesome. I just love how Erin Morgenstern managed to connect the normal story line, the time jumps and the little snippets about the reader’s visit in a way, that makes this entire book so perfect.

The Night Circus is also a very quick read because, like I’ve said before, this book just immediately allows you to get lost in a world that you won’t want to leave again any time soon. You can easily read the book in less than a day or maybe even in one sitting. It’s also a very gripping read and not predictable at all. Until the very end, I didn’t really know how this story would end. There were always new surprises waiting for me. You will also quickly fall in love with the characters. Erin Morgenstern doesn’t immediately reveal everything you need to know about them, instead you slowly learn more and more about them and you can never be certain if the character you absolutely love might be a character you’ll hate in the next minute. Of course, TNC also includes a beautiful love story that’ll make you smile and maybe even cry.

All in all, The Night Circus is an amazing book and it has officially become one of my all-time favorites. I only finished reading it a couple of hours ago but I already want to reread it. Erin Morgenstern has created a masterpiece that everyone should read at least once in their life; I’m definitely going to force my friends and family to get themselves a copy of TNC. It’s a book that will make you wish for magic and the “Cirque des Rêves” to exist so that you can get lost in its tents for a couple of hours.

5 out of 5 stars for The Night Circus and if anyone asks me for my all-time favorite book now, I might finally have a proper answer for them.

Have you already read “The Night Circus” and did you like it? 🙂

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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Synopsis

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

My Review

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today.
And the truth is, you never really know.“

If I had to briefly describe this book in a single sentence, I’d describe it as Mean Girls meets something that’ll make you thoroughly think about how you’ve been treating the people around you. But I’m talking about the original Mean Girls movie here, and not about that horrible second part they produced a couple of years later, because “Before I Fall” was truly a great and inspiring book.

“Before I Fall” tells the story of Samantha Kingston who is in a fatal car accident with her friends. But instead of dying she suddenly wakes up in the morning, on the day of the accident, and can relive that day once again. This happens several times over the course of the book and she has the chance to change some of the things that happened to try to make them right again. Sam herself is your typical “mean girl” you know from high school chick flicks but probably also from real life (though I can’t judge that since I grew up in Germany). Over here we have a different school system and the whole popular crowd that “rules” the school thing is nothing I’ve ever heard about over here. However, even I remember a time in-between seventh and ninth grade when I had my group of friends in my class and there were people we were sometimes making fun of and that we excluded from our group. Back then we thought it was funny whilst today most of us, including me, are not proud of how we treated them. But while you’re acting that way you don’t actually realize that you might be hurting someone with your actions and just think that they’ll forget about it as fast as you do which they don’t. Instead your actions might leave deeper wounds than you can imagine; wounds that might never fully heal again. “Before I Fall” is trying to show what those actions can do to victims of bullying and how oblivious the offenders are to the impact of their actions.

From my younger sister, I know that even at my old school, bullying has become a bit of a normal thing again. Kids these days are losing respect for not only adults but also for people their age. Back when I was in 8th grade, we read “13 Reasons Why” which is also dealing with bullying and the consequences it can have. I remember that it actually made some people think about things they’ve done in their life and led them to trying to make things right again before it might’ve been too late. I think “Before I Fall” is a book that could provoke the same feelings in some people and would also be a good book to read and talk about in schools. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be gripping enough to also be interesting to younger readers that might have to read it for school. Reliving the same day over and over again to me sounded like a plot line that could fast become repetitive and boring; but Lauren Oliver managed to change things up in such ways that every single day was interesting in its own way. She changed things that I just didn’t expect her to change at all which even made me laugh out loud a couple of times even though the chapters each ended with the same horrible event happening; it was just always a little different from how it was in the previous chapter. The book also shows the reader how complex the web of problems is which Sam and her friends have spun with their actions without even realizing it. Every time I thought I’d finally understood someone’s story, and knew what Sam had to change to make things right, I was immediately proven wrong again. Most of the times things aren’t just made good again with a simple apology. “Before I Fall” shows you this in a very gripping and moving way. It’s a very realistic book which is especially shown by the ending of it which indeed makes one gulp and be silent for a couple of minutes.

All in all, “Before I Fall” is a great book that shines a light on a very important topic. It’ll make you think about how you’ve treated the people you’ve encountered in your life and reading it may be an eye-opening experience for some people. Lauren Oliver has a great writing style and “Before I Fall” is a book you can easily read in less than a day which also makes this book perfect for younger audiences. 4.5 out of 5 stars for this book!

Have you already read “Before I Fall” and did you like it? 🙂