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Blog Tour: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | Book-Inspired Candle + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | Book-Inspired Candle + Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for
THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite authors and I’m so obsessed with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS! I was so excited to read THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, which is the very first Stephanie Perkins book (aside from short stories) outside of the Anna-verse! I don’t normally read horror but I do enjoy books exactly like this — a little mystery, a little thriller, and pretty much a 90s slasher movie! I’m way too chicken to read scary horror but I do love the thriller murder-mystery!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | Book-Inspired Candle + Giveaway!Title: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: September 26, 2017 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Horror
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 9, 2017
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.


ABOUT STEPHANIE PERKINS

Stephanie Perkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss. She has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. Stephanie lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

BOOK-INSPIRED CANDLE: THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

I usually try to pick out specific scent descriptions in books, but when you’re reading a murder mystery like THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, so many of those scents tend to be… unpleasant haha! But not to worry — there was still plenty more to choose from even if they weren’t specifically mentioned.

THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE takes place in the fall, specifically around Halloween, and fall scents are my FAVORITE scents. The book also takes place in the cornfields of the midwest, so there are a lot of outdoors, fields, and corn inspirations to draw upon. The overall feel of this candle is Halloween in the midwest, with delicious fall spices cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, a touch of softer harvest fruits, fallen leaves, hay, and grain. It’s a lovely overall combination and I had so much fun making this candle for the book and one of my favorite authors!

FRAGRANCE PROFILE: 

Top notes: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg
Middle notes: fallen leaves, hay
Base notes: harvest fruits, grain

So what do you think?! Which scents do you think are the strongest sensory inspirations? Which are your favorites?


Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour stops for THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE! I’m smack in the middle so make sure you check out the posts that are already up and follow along with the rest of these amazing posts!

Week One:
September 18 – Mostly YA Lit – Author Q&A
September 19 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
September 20 – Peace Love Books – Review
September 21 – Lost in Lit – Book Photography
September 22 – Novel Novice – How You’re Going to Feel While Reading TSIYH
 
Week Two:
September 25 – Stories & Sweeties – Review
September 26 – In Wonderland – Book Photography
September 27 – Book Addict’s Guide – Bookish Candle
September 28 – YA Romantics – Horror Movie Quiz
September 29 – Twirling Pages – Author Q&A
 
Week Three:
October 2 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – 5 Reasons to Read TSIYH
October 3 – Oh the Book Feels – Review
October 4 – Andi’s ABCs – Author Q&A
October 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Event Recap
October 6 – YA Bibliophile – Top Fall Activities as Inspired by TSIYH
 
Week Four:
October 9 – ButterMyBooks – Author Q&A
October 10 – BookCrushin – Top 10 Horror Villains in Movies & YA
October 11 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review      
October 12 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Dream Casting
October 13 – Don’t Fold the Page – Review

GIVEAWAY

There are TWO exciting giveaways for my stop on the blog tour today! The first is through Penguin for a chance to win a copy of the book! See rules and details below and enter the first Rafflecopter form for you chance to win!

BOOK GIVEAWAY (from Penguin)

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 18, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 16, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 18, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CANDLE GIVEAWAY (from me)

The second giveaway is my own personal contribution to this blog tour stop for the candle inspired by this book! The candle giveaway is for one 4oz tin called “In the Killing Fields”. Open to US entries only. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Candle giveaway open from 9/27/17 through 10/3/17 . Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YA Aesthetics: Anna and the French Kiss

I have to admit that I’m not on top of my Tumblr game… But one of my favorite things to peruse on Tumblr is a little thing called the “YA Lit Meme” or “YA Aesthetics“. I haven’t seen much of it on book blogs outside of Tumblr but every time I see one, I pretty much fall in love.

In case you’re not familiar with the masterpieces on Tumblr, YA Aesthetics are essentially photo collages (as well as other representations — but my favorites happen to be the collages) featuring physical representations of prominent things in the book — important places, what a character might look like or wear, special objects, even quotes. I’ve been dying to try my hand at one of my own so I did my first attempt selecting images for Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins! I love putting together graphics and images so hopefully this will be something you’ll be seeing around more often here! *takes deep breath*   *crosses fingers*  Tell me what you think! 

YA AESTHETICS: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

anna and the french kiss

It’s far from perfect but hey, it’s my first one. I sort of love it though! Can’t wait to keep working on more for other amazing novels! 

And if you love collages for YA Lit, you should definitely check out What Sarah Read! She’s been creating photo collages for her reviews and they’re just lovely! I adore this one she did for PASSENGER by Alex Bracken!


What do you think of YA Lit Memes & YA Aesthetics? Have you seen some awesome ones on Tumblr? Which books do you want to see represented next?

If You Liked… Anna and the French Kiss

One of my favorite parts about being a book blogger is sharing the books that I love with others. I absolutely love sharing my favorite reads and recommending them to others who are looking to fall in love with a new book!

12 BOOKS TO READ IF YOU LIKED ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

Every month, I do a read along with two of my best friends (Alyssa from Books Take You Places and Amy from Tripping Over Books). We read the same book together and each come up with a post as a part of our On the Same Page feature! This month we read Stephanie Perkins’ masterpiece, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and I’ve already reviewed the book (twice) so I wanted to come up with a different post to share my love of ANNA.

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is one of my favorite contemporary romances — no, THE favorite contemporary romance — and I’m always recommending it to anyone who’s looking to pick up a swoony contemporary! It usually has some good success (I do recommend carefully) so once my friend/family/whoever is done with the rest of the companions (if they so desire), I like to make sure I have a batch of new recommendations ready and waiting!


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IF YOU LIKED ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

Try… MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

MEANT TO BE is another one of my top-recommended contemporary books and one I always pair with ANNA. It’s about Julia who’s a BIT of a nerd and she goes on spring break with her class to London. Overseas adventures ensue, Julia ends up learning a LOT about herself, she makes some new friends and learns a thing or two about love and how it sometimes works in tricky ways. This book is nothing but adorable and I myself am anxious to re-read it soon!

Try… OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I read OPEN ROAD SUMMER last year and just fell head over heels for this book. I’m sure you’ll hear fans of Emery Lord praise her books over and over again for their friendships and it’s true — OPEN ROAD SUMMER has one of the best friendships I’ve read in a long time. The two girls are very different but they’re also very similar and I love that nothing can split them apart. Oh yeah, there’s also a SUPER swoony guy named Matt Finch (and you’ll also hear fans screaming his name too)!

Try… THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
Sarah Ockler seems to be a big fan favorite but this was the first I read of hers and completely fell in love. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and I fell head over heels for this book. It definitely had a more personal note for me with Jude and Emilio helping to fix up her father’s motorcycle because my husband is very into motorcycles (we have a chopper in the garage right now… Two, actually. He’s helping a friend fix up one) so that whole story line really meant a lot to me too!

Try… ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
ASK AGAIN LATER is another delight (by a delightful author). It’s the story of a girl named Heart (yes, that’s her real name) and choosing which possible date to go with. The book is split up into the two possibilities and we get to see each path if she were to choose Guy A or Guy B, so it’s not really sci-fi or parallel universe but it’s also a little twist on the everyday contemporary! I loved the tone of the book and the group of friends featured here and there is some great romantic tension!

Try… GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
GOING VINTAGE was the first book I’ve read by Lindsey Leavitt but I became an instant fan! I loved Mallory and how she handled every situation that she ended up in and Lindsey Leavitt is excellent at great family dynamics. The story was cute, I love that Mallory is a list-maker, and I could just really identify in so many ways. Add a cute romance in the mix and it became a quick favorite! I didn’t expect to fall so in love with this book but yet another that was just tons of fun.

Try… THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING by Claire LaZebnik.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This book was SO cute and so much fun. It’s actually a retelling of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (which oops. I haven’t actually read) and I just had so much fun reading the book. It’s about Franny who’s working for her aunt at Mansfield’s Summer Theater Program and through her new friends and surprising new summer romance, she ends up learning a lot about herself. I think this one would be great for fans of ANNA!

Try… THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

STATISTICAL (for short) is another great Eurotrip read! It’s a bit different and it’s been a while since I read it but I’d say it’s not AS “fluffy” but it’s another one I recommend a lot paired with ANNA! Hadley and Oliver are just adorable and their story is so much fun. It also takes place in only 24 hours which is something that is so neat and I love how you can feel the romance setting in even though this book only takes place in a day. Very cute book.

Try… JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

JUST ONE DAY is another all-time favorite contemporary by one of my all-time favorite authors, Gayle Forman! It’s another book with a European setting and I’ve never been to Europe but the feeling is just oh-so-wonderful! It’s so interesting to watch the main character Allyson grow and adapt as her trip through Europe and the meeting of Willem causes her to go on a journey of self-discovery. It’s another book that means a lot to me but actually quite in a different way than ANNA does!

Try… NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

NANTUCKET BLUE (and its sequel NANTUCKET RED) hold a special place in my heart. I related to Cricket in so many ways and I think fans of ANNA will really appreciate the story lines, the romance, and especially the lessons about friendship that are all prominently featured in this book. I’d say the tone is a bit more serious but not overly heavy if you’re looking for a breezy read and there’s some more travel involved! This time staying inside the US and out to Nantucket, but it’s great to get that getaway feel.

Try… BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This book was ADORABLE. It’s still YA but it was interesting to see the book begin when the main characters, Macallan and Levi, first meet as kids. The book delves a bit into a middle grade range but I only thought that extended its appeal to a younger crowd too… but I also really enjoyed it as an adult so I think the appeal is just that it’s a great book! I always, always love stories about best friends falling for each other and it reminded me of quite a few of my friendships!

Try… WHEN JOSS MET MATT by Ellie Cahill.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

WHEN JOSS MET MATT is a bit more mature than my other recommendations (it’s a New Adult book and has much more adult content) but it’s one that I think fits very well with ANNA if you’re looking for a book with a little more sexy times and in a college setting but with the same type of feel. I picked WHEN JOSS MET MATT for the awesome friendships and then tension that develops between the two main characters and its general light-hearted feel. I just fell in love with it and had SO much fun reading it!

Try… ON THE FENCE by Kasie West.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
Ohhh gosh, all of Kasie West’s contemporary books are just SO cute and swoony but I thin ON THE FENCE is my favorite so far! I just love books about tomboys and falling in love with the boy next door so this one instantly grabbed me! Kasie West just has a great knack for creating awesome characters, great families, solid friendships, and wonderful relationships. I just loved watching this book unfold and I am always ready to gobble up more from Kasie West! (You should also check out her paranormal duology, PIVOT POINT!)


I always have a blast picking out recommendations and these Anna read-alikes are some of my favorites! Which books would you recommend for Anna and the French Kiss fans?

Check out my review for Anna and the French Kiss and my re-read too!
Anna and the French Kiss Review // Anna and the French Kiss Re-Read

And if you love Anna and the French Kiss, check out Alyssa & Amy’s posts for our On the Same Page feature!
Alyssa: Anna and the French Kiss Quotes // Amy: Re-read Impressions

Looking for more recommendations? Check out my previous list of recs below!

 

My True Love Gave to Me – Various Authors

My True Love Gave to Me – Various AuthorsTitle: My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: October 14, 2014 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 16, 2014
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you're going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there's something here for everyone.  So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy.  You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love. 

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I love that these authors got together to put MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME out into the world. There are definitely some of my favorite authors’ works in here (Rainbow! Gayle! Stephanie!)  and I had soooo much fun reading all of these short stories (although some I wished would go on forever)! It’s hard to review a collection of short stories so I’ll just say a few things on each one of them!

MIDNIGHTS BY RAINBOW ROWELL

Sigghhhhh. Dreamy sighhhh. I just love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. Something about it just stirs up all of the butterflies in me and just feels so wonderful and comfortable and makes me feel like I’m coming home. MIDNIGHTS was a story about the New Years Eves that Mags and Noel share and their story just hit all the right places for me. I wished there could have been SO much more of this short story. It was truly perfection.
Rating: 5/5

THE LADY AND THE FOX BY KELLY LINK

I’ve never read anything by Kelly Link before so I had no idea what to expect, plus I think it’s REALLY hard to follow Rainbow’s beautiful story. THE LADY AND THE FOX was interesting but it had a weird feel for me… Like it was almost old and new all at once. I think this story could have been better (for me) if it was longer because I needed to really bury myself in some of the details and backstories a bit. Rainbow’s I wished could go on forever because I loved it and this I wished could go on longer because I just needed a bit more story to make that connection!
Rating: 2/5

ANGELS IN THE SNOW BY MATT DE LA PENA

I really, really liked this story! It was very different from the first two and I loved how the two characters — Shy and Haley — came together. I really liked Shy and really felt for him being away from his family and everything that was going on with his family during this holiday season. I really connected with this one (another one I wish there was more of!) and it was really interesting to get to know his character. I loved the male voice and I just really enjoyed this one a lot. And fresh snow! Sigh. It always gets me.
Rating: 4/5

POLARIS IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME BY JENNY HAN

This story was really cute. It definitely had a feel between Elf and The Santa Clause! The main character Natalie was adopted by Santa, lives at the North Pole with the elves, and has a crush on one of them. They don’t believe her when she says she’s kissed a real human boy before. The story is just sweet, very fun, and I love how it captures the spirit of Christmas and makes a YA story out of elves & Santa!
Rating: 3.5/5

IT’S A YULTIDE MIRACLE, CHARLIE BROWN BY STEPHANIE PERKINS

Oh, Stephanie. How does she alway write such wonderful and poignant stories? I just loved this one and everything it was about. The little romance was adorable and I loved how everything came together. It’s so funny because I never expect to find such deeper meaning in such short stories but yep, sure enough. Steph has it in there. Loved this one! Loved how it ended too.
Rating: 4.5/5

YOUR TEMPORARY SANTA BY DAVID LEVITHAN

This was definitely a little bittersweet but I loved the sentiment behind it. It was really interesting to see the family dynamic unfold in such a short story and I really would have loved to read more of this one too. Each person is not without their flaws and it was really great to see this cross-section of characters come together to keep a little girl’s dream of Santa alive, all the while trying to hold together their own dreams.
Rating: 4/5

KRAMPUSLAUF BY HOLLY BLACK

Man, I loved this one. I personally haven’t read KRAMPUS but my besties Alyssa & Amy have (and love it) so I was happy to read a little piece of Krampus through this short story. Krampuslauf was all about friendship, loyalty, and honor – including a little traditional Krampus justice. I loved the touch of magic and the feeling that there really can be magic in the world if you’re open to believing.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE, SOPHIE ROTH? BY GAYLE FORMAN

How very Gayle. I just love how she brings so many things together in one story so effortlessly (or maybe it just seems effortless). Gayle’s stories always seem to follow the vein of finding your true self and being happy with what you are, who you have, and where you want to go. So many times I’ve related to these things and I love the college setting for Sophie Roth. It’s such a big starting point for so many people to go and truly start becoming who they really are.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

BEER BUCKETS AND BABY JESUS BY MYRA MCENTIRE

A cute little story with Southern charm about a troublemaker and a pastor’s daughter. I really enjoyed this one (though always thrown off by a female author writing a male POV when I don’t expect it! Still love) and it was a riot to see Vaughn the perpetual mischief-maker try to bring together a Christmas pageant. I also love that not everything is what it seems in this story… Lots of ideas that your assumptions about people or what you see on the surface is not quite what a person’s character is truly about.
Rating: 4/5 stars

CHRISTMAS, CA BY KIERSTEN WHITE

Oh, I loved this story. I half-expected this to have another hidden magical meaning (like real elves or a real Santa) but it was definitely more just a story of the characters making the magic for themselves. I really loved seeing these small-town characters start to find their way, and somehow all of these Christmas stories end up being the main character finding out that what he/she thought ran far deeper than they thought. It was so heart warming and really very dynamic for me. I could just picture myself in Christmas, CA.
Rating: 4.5/5

STAR OF BETHLEHEM BY ALLY CARTER

That was such a sweet story. I love the Ally Carter feel to it and how much fun! The concept was great and I loved the way it ended. The setting was wonderful (I love books set in the middle of nowhere) and I absolutely loved the characters – from “Hulda” to Ethan to Aunt Mary. I think this was one of my favorites! I just wanted to read an entire book and I was even already picturing it as a movie haha!
Rating: 4.25/5

THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR

Wow, this was wonderful. It actually took just a little bit to get into but I really, REALLY ended up loving it. It had a bit of a Daughter of Smoke and Bone feel (well, that’s all I’ve read by Laini Taylor) and yet still very much original. I loved Laini’s writing and I absolutely adored where this story went. It was such a beautiful tale and I really just dreamily sighed at the end of it. Outstanding.
Rating: 4.5/5

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Anthologies. I actually haven’t read many anthologies! Usually the novellas or short stories I read are part of a series and that’s why I pick them up. I love that these were all bound up together and even more so, that the authors took the time to team up for this.
Left Me Wanting More: Flow. Some of the stories didn’t really flow well from one to the next. I mean, of course that has to do with personal taste as well, but it was really hard to go from kicking it off with Rainbow Rowell (LOVED that one) into Kelly Link (sorry Kelly) which had a very, very different feel and totally different focus all together. I think they could have been arranged a bit differently to give the overall collection a better flow.

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

This collection was so much fun. I really loved getting twelve different Christmas stories and I wished some of them could have gone on for much longer! It’s the perfect book to read bit by bit during the holidays.

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BOOKS LIKE MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        top ten clues you're clueless       stardust

Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: August 14, 2014 by Penguin
Source: Amazon
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 28, 2014
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, My True Love Gave To Me

    From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

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With ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS being one of my all-time favorite books, especially after my recent re-read in preparation for ISLA, I felt a lot of pressure to fall in love with ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER the way I did with ANNA. I enjoyed LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, but no book has really hit so many feelings and perfect moments and got those perfect couples just right like ANNA did so I was a bit intimidated with the last book in this set of companions.

I was so grateful to be able to borrow the ARC from Carolina from Book Problems (thank you again!!) and I immediately dove in. Right off the bat, I noticed a big difference between ISLA and the first two books, which was neither good nor bad… Just different. Anna and Lola both have an instant chemistry (Anna after just meeting St. Clair and Lola after reuniting with Cricket) but ISLA really jumps right into the meat and potatoes of the romance. We know from Isla’s narration that she’s had a long-time crush on Josh and re-readers of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS are able to see snippets of moments that Isla mentions in her narrative, which I always love and think is incredibly exciting! Readers don’t have to wait long for the meet-cute that brings Isla and Josh together again, the summer before senior year is about to start (in fact, it’s the first thing that happens in the book) and immediately the two start to hit it off.
For me, the immediate transition from crush to full-on relationship felt a bit rushed. I know, I know, Isla has been crushing on him for years, right? But as a reader, I didn’t get to see that point of view. I was missing all the build-up, the feelings, the missed moments, the locked eyes, the beating hearts — all of the amazing tension that happened like it did with Anna and St. Clair. Of course, I know the books won’t all be the same and they can’t ALL follow the same romance pattern, but I did feel like I was missing a lot of the build-up that I love seeing so much in new relationships.

The whole story of ISLA was definitely different than the other girls, which I really enjoyed. She’s a year younger than Anna and St. Clair so she always saw their group of friends as sort of the… well, popular kids for lack of a better term. She really admired their group and having a huge crush on Josh, always felt like there was no way to crack that close knit group. She also has a best friend from both home and who also attends SOAP who has a mild form of autism (falling under the umbrella of Asberger’s) so it was really interesting to see their relationship as well as how that affected Isla’s romantic relationship having a male best friend, once that started to form. I really loved the way Stephanie Perkins handle all of this and thought it could not have been pulled off better. It was really great to see that kind of friendship and whereas Anna and St. Clair had a friendship that we all rooted for to turn into a romance, Isla and Kurt really are strictly friends and Kurt is never jealous of Josh in a romantic way. If ever feelings are hurt (which you know will be inevitable), it’s just because he misses his friend who he’s used to spending all of his time with, and I really loved that.

This is the hard part to review because it just kills me… I didn’t really quite connect with Isla and Josh as much as I had hoped. Isla felt a bit too insecure for my liking. She sabotaged herself too many times and I can understand being afraid to talk to someone, to take a chance, to put yourself out there, to take the next step… But I felt like it happened a lot in the book and there was one specific time where it was just so frustrating that I got upset. She’s a very smart girl — the top of her class — but not always the most social girl. That never bothered me since I’m not the most outgoing person myself and often feel awkward or shy in public… But the self-sabotage really just pained me a little bit. I felt bad for Isla and at the same time I wanted to shake her and tell her to cut it out!
I also didn’t connect to Josh as much as I wanted to. I heard some great things before the book about how swoony he was and people loving Josh more than St. Clair (though for me, I don’t know if ANYONE could ever top St. Clair) so admittedly, I was expecting a lot. I really liked Josh but he felt very different from the best friend Josh that I knew in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, perhaps because I really just didn’t know that much about him at that point. Josh has his own past and skeletons in his closet to deal with and it doesn’t make for an easy time with school or with Isla. I liked Josh, but I just couldn’t fall in love with him. I kept waiting for that chemistry to hit me like a ton of bricks and I just didn’t ever really FEEL the spark or the butterflies.

The ending of the book was just perfect in every way. MY FAVORITE PART happened at the very end (like, OMG best thing ever) and it was so great to see everything really wrap up and also tie all three books together. Despite a few qualms as the book progressed, I really loved the way everything wrapped up and I was able to see exactly how much Isla and Josh had both learned from the experiences they went through. There was one small thing that I thought didn’t have to be taken THAT far, but that’s a spoilery thing and reveals how the book wraps up so I can’t really expound on that in my review! Overall, I really enjoyed ISLA and zipped right through it, but ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is still the clear winner of my heart!

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

isla updates

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Isla // Character Obsessions: School, Josh, Kurt, traditions.
Isla is a smart girl. She’s very practical and is usually the voice of reason amongst her family. The only time she really takes a chance is with Josh and after what happens once they’re together. She has some big insecurities that tripped me up a bit, simply because they were hard to read. I mean, I know I’ve had similar feelings so maybe that’s why it was hard for me? But it wasn’t just that they were present, but that they persisted even when things were good. Anyway. I didn’t connect with her as much as I had hoped but I really loved seeing the Isla from the beginning and the Isla from the end and seeing how much she grew as a person and how much she taught herself.
Josh // Character Obsessions: Art, projects, relaxing, going after what he wants.
Josh was… nice. I just didn’t ever connect with him. I think it was harder because he was so outgoing when he was with his friends, but with Isla, he seemed much less vocal and a lot more… well, not physical, though they were a more physical couple than previous Stephanie Perkins characters… But I just didn’t feel like he SAID as much and much Isla, I felt like I kept trying to get into Josh’s head and just couldn’t.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Stephanie Perkins. Even though ANNA remains my favorite of the trio, I’m pretty sure any Stephanie Perkins book is still an auto-buy for me! I just love all of the feelings (not just romantic FEELS but the way everything really make the reader think and reflect and relate) and how every book really comes together just perfectly.
Left Me Wanting More: Chemistry. I’m sure many readers will just KILL ME over this, but I just didn’t get the chemistry between Isla and Josh. Maybe I still had an Anna/St. Clair hangover because those two honestly do just kill me a little… But I never quite got in the groove of Isla & Josh 🙁

Addiction Rating
Read it!

You must read the last book in this trio of wonderful contemporaries! Despite the missed connections for me, it was still a really nice, solid read and I did enjoy it! If you’ve read the first two, you just need to see this one see the companions through as well!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 Nantucket red    just one day

Re-read: Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Re-read: Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: December 2, 2010 by Penguin
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 26, 2014
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me

    Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
    But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss
?

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DEEP BREATHS. DEEP BREATHS. Because I know I fell in love with this book when I first read it but I forgot exactly how in love with it I was until I read it again this year as a part of the #IslaIsComing Read Along (and blog tour)! How I managed to write a coherent review for this book the first time around is beyond me and how I will manage to do it again… Seems impossible.

Okay, first… Let’s talk about Anna. I still feel quite a bit of a connection with her and I just see so much of myself in her character! The whole movie review blog, the way she reacts to things, the way she talks, the way she cares about her family… They’re just all things that I relate to and I still feel like Anna is one of my favorite female leads of all time. I love how much she grows in this book from not wanting to put herself out there (for being in/exploring France as well as with new friends and crushes) to feeling okay — even confident — to take risks and do things on her own. She’s far from perfect but she’s willing to admit her mistakes when she recognizes them and she does try to be a good person.

I’ve come to the realization that the reason I connect so much more with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS versus LOLA or even ISLA is because of the romance between Anna and St. Clair. It’s not even just their romance but how it develops. I LOVE the best-friend-turned-boyfriend concept and I was discussing with Sandie after we had both read ISLA how Anna and St. Clair just have this instant chemistry and it just never felt forced. They both had an instant attraction to each other but they had a great friendly banter and camaraderie that was at the core of their relationship so it never felt like insta-love even though they had just met. This romance really just combined everything I love in a romance: a great friendship, a slow burn, and a forbidden aspect. Put all of those together in ANNA and I was just constantly falling in love and tearing my hair out watching their interactions — and it’s a re-read so I already know how it ends!

What makes this book so special to me in part is the connection I made to the characters but I think a big part of WHY I connected is because Stephanie Perkins just wrote them so well. Each character — but especially the two main characters, Anna and St. Clair — all felt incredibly real. Anna and St. Clair feel like real people and not just characters in a book. I feel like I lived part of the book and other parts feel like I’m reading about my best friends. I really was just able to put myself into the book at any given time and it felt like home, despite the fact that I’ve never been to France or even anywhere in Europe at all.

I don’t know how she does it, but Stephanie Perkins is amaaaaazing at infusing this book with ALL THE FEELS. Honestly, almost all of my status updates as I was reading had some sort of capslocked words or flailing. All of the butterflies and tender moments and perfect quotes all come together flawlessly. Nothing felt like it was overdone. Everything fell perfectly into place. Not all moments were perfect and each character had a bit of their own ugly moments that everyone in life must go through to learn about each other and to learn about themselves.

What more can I say about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS except the fact that this has been by far my favorite re-read ever. Picking up this book again has solidified it on a list of my all-time favorites and I think I can say after re-reading that it’s easily my favorite YA contemporary novel that I’ve read so far. This book is the tops, my friends. For me, it doesn’t get any better than this.

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

anna

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Anna Oliphant // Character Obsessions: Movies, home, Toph, friends.
I wish Anna was a real live person. We could get along SO well. I honestly would just love to stick myself in this book and be best friends with Anna. I think we would totally hit it off and be the best of friends… until I try to steal St. Clair from her 😀
Etienne St. Clair // Character Obsessions: Art, friends, having fun, his mom.
Can I just say ALL THE SWOONS and cover it? No? Well, okay. St. Clair just has that confident swagger but not swagger in a cocky way because I hate that. He’s just a confident person and that’s just an attractive thing. He’s funny and supportive and emotional and kind and basically everything any girl could ask for. He just makes me swoon.

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Kept Me Hooked On: The best. contemporary. ever. I am so glad I re-read this book. It was amazing to re-read it and have just as many feelings and maybe even more so since I was already invested in this story! I think I may need to do a regular yearly re-read of this!
Left Me Wanting More: Anna & St. Clair, all the time. I could read about these two forever. I just love their chemistry and their connection. Stephanie Perkins really knocked it out of the park with this couple.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

If you haven’t read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS yet, even if you’re not a contemporary reader, DO IT. It’s so swoony and so lovely and so wonderful and I can’t imagine anyone hating it (although I’m sure SOMEONE does, but we may not be friends for that reason (just kidding (kind of)) so if you haven’t read it yet, you absolutely MUST!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 open road summer    on the fence

Quote Crazy! Anna and the French Kiss

I am SO excited to be hopping on this blog tour of features for the Stephanie Perkins books, especially since ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is one of my favorite books OF ALL TIME. In fact, I just re-read it the other week and I can tell you that it’s even better the second time around (or if you’re Andi, the ninth time around)! A special thanks to Andi’s ABCs, The Perpetual Page Turner, Cuddlebuggery, A Bookish Sinister Kid, and Paper Riot for hosting this read along and series of events! I was honored to be asked to be a part of these special features and it took some thinking about what I wanted to do, but when it came down to it, I had to make a post in dedication to one of my favorite things about ANNA — the quotes!

Stephanie Perkins has some amazing lines throughout ANNA and it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with the book (another big one being Etienne St. Clair, of course)! I’m always toying with the idea of making quote art but lately just haven’t had the time to sit down with Photoshop and come up with some ideas so this was the perfect time to get in touch with my creative side and be able to share this quote art with you as well!

Feel free post, share, or print these– whatever you want! — but if you do share on the internet, please do credit me as the source 🙂 I didn’t want to tag the pictures with a little copyright because then they’re just not as pretty so just the tiniest mention would be appreciated, pretty please!

Without further ado, some of my favorite quotes from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS!

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 “French name. English accent. American school. Anna confused.” — I just love this quote SO much and I remember when I read this book, it was one of the first that really made me fall in love with Anna!


 

PARIS

“Welcome to Paris, Anna. I’m glad you’ve come.” — St. Clair to Anna. OMG he’s EXCITED she’s in Paris. THE FEELINGS BEGIN.


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“Boys turn girls into such idiots.” — Said by Anna. And ain’t it the truth.


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“Is it possible for home to be a person, not a place?” — Said by Anna and another one of my favorite quotes ever. It was one that really hit home with me too.


JOIN IN THE READALONG!
hosted by
Andi’s ABCs, The Perpetual Page Turner, Cuddlebuggery, A Bookish Sinister Kid, and Paper Riot!

Just click on the image above and it will bring you to the full read along schedule! The ANNA read along is almost over, but if you read quickly, you can still join and hop on for LOLA and ISLA too!

 

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: September 29, 2011 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 3, 2012
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me

    Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Breaking It Down Further: Lola Nolan is happy. She has two parents who love her, a killer-hot boyfriend, and a love for fashion and flair that keep her life interesting. That is, until the Bells move back in. Next door. Where they used to live. And now Lola has to once again face the mean and snobby Calliope Bell, and her twin brother Cricket – the “one that got away” and broke her heart when they moved without a word. Now that he’s back – and Lola’s still dating Max – what happens when feelings resurface and they once again meet face to face?

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I had a right to be a bit reserved when I picked up LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. There was no way this could be better. And at least for me, I was a little right. Anna was me. I was Anna. I just got her and then throw in a European romance and hellooooo. Heaven!
But Lola is a character. She’s kind of my antithesis — Not in a bad way. Just everything I’m not. Outgoing, into fashion, noticeably unique, bold. She lives on the other side of the country, she has two dads who adopted her from her irresponsible birth parents. She’s dating an older guy who’s also a rock star. Just none of that was really easy for me to relate to. It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong – Lola is a lot of fun! It just took me a while to warm up to her and figure out the depth of her actual character, a lot of which I don’t think really came out until we got more involved with Cricket.

Small complaint #2: I don’t like unusual character names. Lola. Cricket. Calliope (although that one’s not as bad). It just really takes away from the story feeling as “real” as it could be and puts me farther from connecting with a character.

Okay, that being settled — I loved Cricket. I felt so bad for him in the beginning where he’s clearly still into Lola and she’s clearly not in a healthy relationship with Max and the whole time I’m like, “Come ON just dump your stupid boyfriend and go be with Cricket!!!” He’s so cute and quirky in a more relatable way to me than Lola was (although I really did warm up to her – especially when we got to see her “natural” side on a few occasions).

I think the beginning was a little bit slower for me than the second half of the book. We got a little more tension and it really took off for me and the ending was SO cute. Another great Stephanie Perkins book! I can’t wait until she has more books coming out!

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Lola Nolan: Like I said, I was slow to warm up to Lola just because she was so the opposite of me in so many ways, but once the story got going and I learned more about her, more about her character’s feeling and insights, I really liked her a lot. I think she really matured throughout the book and I’m just glad she finally came to her senses! And yay, she likes Pushing Daisies! 10 points for that!!
Cricket Bell: Oh, he was so stinkin cute. I liked how we went from Etienne St Clair in Anna – who really had a lot of the same sense of humor and personality as Cricket in many ways – to Cricket Bell who is similar yet so completely different. It was the warm feeling, the sense of home and the first love that just made me long for this relationship to work. Ugh, those first-love-coming-back-into-your-life stories just kill me!!!
Nathan and Andy: I’m super sorry if this is stereotypical and insensitive of me, but I couldn’t help but see Lola’s dads as kind of a Cam-and-Mitchell-relationship on Modern Family. That’s the most prominent family dynamic I have in my mind as two gay men raising a daughter so it just stuck. It actually enhanced the story for me because I love the show and it was nice to be able to have a feeling of the characters that was so familiar, even if it may have been wildly inaccurate from what Stephanie Perkins was aiming for!

QUOTES

p55: “It’s easy to talk about the things we hate, but sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why we like something.

p185: Lola: That was both ridiculously easy and way more complicated than it should have been. Cricket: (he smiles back) That’s my specialty.

p281: (Cricket) “And maybe some people thing that wearing a costume means you’re trying to hide your true identity, but I think a costume is more truthful than regular clothing could ever be. It actually says something about the person wearing it.”

p333: “I am trying really hard not to use the word ‘fabulous’ right now,” Andy says
That one made me laugh out loud!

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Read it!

LOLA was definitely cute and I loved reading another Stephanie Perkins book! But it didn’t hold a candle to ANNA for me!!

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Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publishing Info: December 2, 2010 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 29, 2012
Related Posts: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me

    Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

bookreview1

Why did I wait so long to read this!? ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS was adorable, moving, meaningful, and an overall great love story. After finishing, I immediately added it as one of my favorite books.

I was a bit hesitant about the book in general at first because I don’t do well with foreign countries that I have no grasp of. I was a Spanish student, all the way, down to picking that as my major (with no specific career in mind) so give me a Spanish-speaking country any day and I’ll follow along! For some reason I have some sort of unintentional apathy towards France. I didn’t know the language, didn’t really care for it, and the country itself didn’t have much appeal to me. Maybe because I knew so little about it and everyone else seemed to love it. ANYWAY (I’m rambling), I was unsure how I’d feel about this taking place in Paris. But that’s the beauty of it — so is Anna. She was a Spanish student as well (although I was more a Meredith as far as languages go — Anna didn’t really latch on to any foreign language) so she was so unsure of herself in Paris. The culture, the food, the people — none of it was familiar to her – and THAT’S where I made one of my stronger connections. I felt like I totally related to Anna! She was the perfect MC for me to hang onto, even down to the neatness/organization, the way she approached her crushes, and oh wait, she has a review blog? For movies, but still. I think if Anna were a real person, we were bound to be BFFs.

I absolutely fell in love with the love story as well. It’s SUCH a sticky situation when you have a crush on someone who’s taken — I mean, come on, I’m sure it’s happened to a lot of us! Where do you draw the line between friends and…. something more? No one likes cheating or helping someone cheat, but when you have the affection for someone, it’s hard to say no, and I loved seeing how Anna and Etienne handled the situation. They didn’t always do it in the best of ways, but that was part of the learning process, and really, that’s just how life works. We all work our way through tough spots the best that we can and it’s not always the best way, but it all works out in the end.

character_breakdown1Anna Oliphant: Seriously, was she half based on me? Okay, so I never went to boarding school – or even a foreign country for that matter — but I saw SO much of my personality, traits, and habits matching up with Anna’s. It made the book so incredibly enjoyable when I related that much to the main character.
Etienne St. Clair: Hello, dream boat! I think part of the reason I liked St. Clair so much was that he really didn’t seem like a teenager haha. True, he didn’t always handle things maturely, but honestly we adults don’t either. He had such a great connection with Anna even as friends and I LOVE the boy/girl best friend relationship in books. And I especially love when that best friendship turns into romance. It was such a fun relationship to watch as it developed.

QUOTES

p16: French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.

p37: I’m such a wuss. I’d rather starve than order in French. “Oui oui!” I’d say, pointing at random words on the chalkboard. The Chef Handlebar would present me with something revolting, and I’d have to buy it out of shame. Of course I mean to order the roasted pigeon! Mmm! Just like Nanna’s. 

p85: “Huh?” I have such a way with words.

p246: This is how much I want to prove to my brother that I love him – I’ll sit through Jar Jar-freaking-Binks.

p250: Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?

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BUY IT… NOW!

Wow, I just loved this. This book felt like it was made for me and it was just so much fun to read. I absolutely fell in love.

book_recommendations1 BOOKS LIKE ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS

(click on the cover to see my reviews!)

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