So glad I picked up these books after reading The Darkest Minds because I needed something happy and light!
Describe Stephanie Perkins’ books in one word? Delightful!
I found them to be fresh and fun, humorous and captivating. She masterfully builds the romantic tension and so satisfyingly ties things up.
It’s Anna’s senior year and her famous author father has sent her to a boarding school in Paris because he thinks it will be better for her. She knows nothing about the language, the people, and is terrified to go outside. Luckily, she meets Meredith, her neighbor, and Mer’s friends, Josh, Rashmi, and the boy everyone loves, Etienne St. Claire. Her new friends help her get through the culture shock of adjusting to another country, and St. Claire is the best of them. He keeps popping up and showing her around parts of the city, making Anna think he might be flirting with her even though he has a serious girlfriend. Anna doesn’t want to ruin any friendships and neither does she want to break anyone up, but when her friends back home move on without her, Anna turns to St. Claire as her best friend to give her strength to make it past the hurt and betrayal. That’s when things spiral out of control as Etienne and Anna can no longer hide their feelings and the consequences push them out of their comfort zones and possibly break their friendships apart.
Funniest quote: “Happy Thanksgiving,” [St. Claire] says, handing me a ticket. “Let’s see some dead people.”
Lola has been dreading this day for the past two years, the day when Cricket Bell and his twin sister, and famous ice skater, Calliope move back in next door. After Cricket rejected her, Lola doesn’t want anything to do with him. She’s got a rock star boyfriend and her own talents in fashion, but Cricket just won’t leave her alone. Despite being enrolled at a nearby college, he keeps coming home and waltzing into Lola’s life like he belongs there, baking pies with her fathers, who ironically like him, and saving the day when she least expects it. Lola doesn’t want to be hurt again, but she can’t deny that he’s trying to win her back. He seems to have changed, finally coming out from behind his sister’s shadow and sincerely wanting to be her friend to make up for his absence and mistreatment. Lola doesn’t see any reason to not be his friend, even though her boyfriend would be pissed, and maybe she needs him…she just can’t figure out if she needs him as a friend or if they’re supposed to be something more.
Funny quote (and one that reminds me of my 6′ 6″ cousins):
“Cricket, you’re . . . tall.”
Which is, quite possibly, the stupidest thing I could say to him.
Cricket Bell was always taller than most boys, but in the last two years, he’s added half a foot. At least. His slender boy–once skinny and awkward, despite his graceful movements–has also changed. He’s filled out, though just slightly. The edge has been removed. But pointing out that someone is tall is like pointing out the weather when it’s raining. Both obvious and irritating.
Isla (“Eye-la”), whom we met in Anna’s story, has had a crush on Josh for three years, and despite living near him in New York and seeing him at their school in Paris, he hasn’t noticed her much. Not until she boldly waltzes into their coffeehouse one day during summer break, high as a kite from her wisdom teeth removal surgery, and talks to him. Despite their afternoon possibly being the most wonderful thing ever, it mortifies Isla and she doesn’t see him again for weeks until she’s back at school, where they coincidentally keep running into each other. With Josh’s friends graduated, his academics plummeting, and his political and very public family, Isla sees that she might be able to offer him her friendship, at least, that is, until he awkwardly confronts her about her relationship with Kurt, who also has high-functioning autism and is actually her best friend. Isla and Josh begin dating, and all of a sudden, everything is tough to balance. If Josh steps out of line any more, he could be kicked out; Isla’s grades begin falling, just a bit; and Kurt doesn’t seem to want to be around her anymore. Maybe their whirlwind romance was just too good to be true…
When the sunlight streams in through the windows, it’s the happiest morning of my life. We’ve shifted in the early hours, but our legs are still hooked together.
I stare at his adorable, sleep-rumpled hair and his long, lovely spine. He smiles at me languorously. With contentment. I scoot in closer for a kiss. “Mm,” he says. “Is next weekend too soon to do this again? Switzerland. Let’s go to Switzerland.”
“You’ll be in New York next weekend.”
His smile falls.
“Next-next weekend,” I say.
“Deal.” He brushes my hair away from my shoulder, leaving it bare. “So. Tell me. Who’s the better bedmate? Me or Kurt?”
“I knew it.” He kisses my nose and hops out of bed. “I’ll be right back.”
“Hand me my phone? I wanna double-check our departure time.”
Josh digs it out from my bag, tosses it to me, and goes into the bathroom. The door shuts. I flip the volume switch from silent to on. The screen illuminates. My heart stops.
“No,” I whisper.
Twenty-nine new messages. Kurt. Nate. Hattie. The school. My parents.
Stephanie is currently working on two books out next year, one a short story YA compilation follow up to My True Love Gave to Me and the other a YA horror book! Check her out here. You can also get signed copies of her books from Malaprop’s bookstore in Asheville, NC. I just love that NC has such a fantastic author!
For a great interview with Stephanie, head on over to Goodreads!