Top Ten Tuesday (on a Wednesday)

It has been a hot minute since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. I used to do them religiously but then just sort of stopped. Yesterday, I noticed the topic, Favorite Books Released In the Last Ten Years (one book for each year), and I really liked the idea of bringing some old favorites to light. Since I had a post for yesterday I figured I would confuse you all and post a TTT on Wednesday because why not.

 

2019

Girls with Sharp Sticks || Review

2018

Brooklynaire

2017

Tower of Dawn

2016

A Court of Mist and Fury || Review

2015

I’ll Meet You There || Review

2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe || Review

2013

Parallel || Review

2012

What Happens Next || Review

2011

Froi of the Exiles || Review

2010

Anna and the French Kiss || Review

 

That was harder than I thought for some years. I didn’t expect to feel so torn about some.

*TTT hosted by That Artsy Reader  Girl

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New to You (8): Wendy Reviews Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins {+ a giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Wendy from Book Scents. After years of begging I finally got her to read my all time favorite book (I have read it at least 14 times), Anna and the French Kiss! I won’t lie, I was nervous assigning this book to someone. It’s hard to hear if someone doesn’t love a favorite, but I can happily report Wendy did not let me down, and Anna didn’t let her down either. Come check out her review and enter my giveaway for a copy!

New to You (8): Wendy Reviews Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins {+ a giveaway}Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton Juvenile
Published: December 2, 2010
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-half-stars

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?

Anna and the French Kiss is one of those quintessential YA books that everyone seems to have read and everyone talks about! Except me! To be honest, I was worried that it would be too fluffy and I wanted to love it like everyone else! The fear of not loving it made me keep putting it off until my good friend Andi laid down an ultimatum on our friendship to have to read it. Just kidding!! I am so glad I finally read it though and I shouldn’t have worried about too much fluff at all!

Anna gets sent off to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year and she’s not happy about it. As she slowly makes friends though, she begins to fall in love with the city — not to mention a certain boy named Etienne. I have a terrible case of wanderlust and anytime I read books set in different locales, my wanderlust feelings flare. This was no exception! I absolutely loved seeing Paris through Anna’s eyes as she gradually goes out and explores the city and sights! She loves film and makes it a point to visit different theaters and I wanted to be there with her! And of course, how better to see a new city than with the swooniest boy at your side?

I LOVED Etienne so so much. I get it now, you guys! The British accent, that certain something that just grabs you from the first second you meet this boy! He is sweet, funny, caring– and has a girlfriend. This is that major something that tripped me up in this book. I couldn’t stand how long he was with that girl. She’s not actually IN the book a whole lot but I didn’t expect him to still be “with” her for the majority of the book! So that aspect kept hanging over me the whole time and I wish it wasn’t so!!

However, that aside, I really loved everything else. I liked how real the friendships Anna made at school felt. Sometimes in YA, certain aspects can seem below the age range but everything felt so authentic here. Anna’s thoughts and feelings were spot on for a teen senior. I really appreciated that! There is also depth in relationships, both familial and romantic, and much about finding yourself.

I really enjoyed this one so much! A combination of vicariously living abroad through Anna and a dreamy boy made for such a perfect YA contemporary. I can’t wait to read the rest of the companion books!

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 30, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Wendy for signing up for New to You and finally listening to me about my favorite book!

My Anna and the French Kiss review.

Have you read Anna and the French Kiss yet?

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Parallel Moments

When I was reading Parallel by Lauren Miller for the 3rd time I started thinking about other books and moments in them that could have lead to a parallel time line. Not always the big moments, but smaller things that could have changed the whole book if the character made a different decision. I mean I understand that decisions were made to further the plot, but what about those decisions that weren’t made? What would have happened if there was a different outcome?

This idea lead me to contacting some people that I know loved Parallel when they read it and I asked them to come up with a book where they think things could have turned the story around drastically. Lauren (Bookmark Lit), Ashley (Nose Graze), Jaime ( Fiction Fare) and myself have all picked books and moments in each book where we think things could have changed if something different happened. I am warning you, SPOILERS MAY BE INCLUDED in from each book so tread carefully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Lauren: THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This is such a fun prompt! The only bad thing is my bookish memory. For the life of me, this is the only book I could come up with. Heads up to people who haven’t read it yet – there are some fairly big spoilers from here on out. The premise of this story is that Tim starts falling for Alice… right when he learns that he apparently has fathered a child. This girl that he doesn’t remember comes out of nowhere with a baby and basically says “surprise!” From the beginning, I thought this was sketchy. I don’t see the point in writing a book if the entire premise can be washed away with ONE simple conversation… or in this case, paternity test. Throughout the story, Tim automatically assumes the child is his because of his features (cleft chin, red hair). It’s a fairly safe guess because they do look the same… but still. I always wonder what could have happened in the rest of the book if Tim just took a paternity test early on, instead of growing attached to the child. I can see why Fitzpatrick included that plotline for the book because Tim had A LOT of growing up to do. But, if he had just taken the test, maybe she could have moved the story in a different direction.

In reality I see that sometimes this is how things go and knowing Tim this is why he would just act without thinking it through first.

Ashley: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

I’ve decided to go with The Winter King by C.L. Wilson. At the beginning, Khamsin’s brother Falcon goes to Wintercraig to “negotiate treaties” with the king, Wynter. This trip ends up setting the stage for the whole novel because Falcon ends up running away with the king’s betrothed, murdering the king’s brother, and stealing an important book from their kingdom. The story that follows is the revenge over that act.

Khamsin wasn’t given the chance to go with him, but I wonder what would have happened if she had. If she’d gone with him, there would be two possibilities: either she knew about the plot to steal the book or she didn’t. But let’s say she did. Stealing the book was the least of the king’s rage; he mostly took his revenge over the death of his brother and heir, and running away with his betrothed. If Khamsin knew about Falcon’s goal to steal the book, I bet she would have at least tried to talk Falcon down from the awful things that came as a result of stealing it. Maybe she could have convinced him to not take the king’s betrothed. Maybe she could have helped him come up with a better idea other than using murder as a distraction to cover his theft. Maybe that would have spared the king’s brother’s life. Sure, Wynter may still have been pissed, but I don’t think his reaction would have been as strong as it was otherwise.

Had the king’s brother not died and his betrothed not run away with Falcon, the huge war may never have happened. Khamsin may not have been forced to marry Wynter to help end the war. Khamsin may have lived out the rest of her days in Summerlea. Although, despite saving the kingdom from war, I imagine Khamsin would have enjoyed this alternate life a lot less than the one she actually got in The Winter King!

 Jaime: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

I’m not going to lie… part of me just wanted to use The Kiss of Deception for this feature and say that instead of taking off right before her arranged wedding, she simply stayed and got married, but … well I think that we might not have had that amazing story if that was the case.

So instead, I turned to one of my favorite books The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett.  This book you guys… it’s beautifully written with unique characters and so much banter and swoon! But as I was rereading this, I realized that there are quite a few moments where our main character Bex has to make a choice about something that could totally have changed the outcome of the whole story! Instead of going to see Willy and asking about Jack does she go straight home… Instead of finding him at the Zen Center does she decide to forget about him and move on?  These are all things that could have definitely changed the outcome of this story, but I decided to go with something I think that had a bit of a smaller part of the story but a much bigger impact. At one point, Bex turns to her brother Heath for some advice and in doing so she had to explain what Jack was doing and who he was.  That one choice has a profound impact on the last third of this story for so many reasons because it causes Jack to admit some things to his parents, it causes a rift between Bex and her mom, and it causes Bex to focus on a different aspect of her scholarship project.

Had Bex not divulged the information to Heath, so many things may have happened differently.  Sure, Jack and Bex may not have had to contend with angry parents, the threat of separation or a slight rift in their growing relationship… but I also think that Bex wouldn’t have had the opportunity to mend the relationship with her father or expand her art in a way that impacts as many people as it does when all is said and done.  So they would have had fewer bumps along the way, but Bex would be struggling to make college a possibility, Jack would have the things he had done still hanging over his head and they would still be dealing with family issues that were causing so much stress in their lives.

I definitely like the way Bennett wrote it instead!

Andi: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

There is a moment in Anna and the French Kiss where I think things could have changed drastically for Anna and St. Clair. They are in a weird place right before Christmas break. They are being super snippy and awkward with one another. So much so that their friends comment on it. Trying to be better they realize they are on the same flight from Paris to Georgia so they decide they will travel to the airport together. When St. Clair knocks on Anna’s door there is no answer and he thinks she has left. In fact she has overslept and wakes up with his knock and they scramble to get to their flight on time.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Anna never heard St. Clair knock and she never made that flight. They were in such a weird place and that flight changed everything between them in a way I can’t really say (you have to read to find out). It was a minor point that was pivotal for their friendship and if it never happened they way it did, where would they be? Would they have gotten back on track when they got back to school or would things still be strained and awkward? I tend to believe it would have been okay, but you never know in a parallel world.

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Like the quote in Parallel says:

Your path will change. Your destiny doesn’t.

A huge thanks to Lauren, Ashley and Jaime for helping me out. This post was a lot of fun.

Do you guys have any moments you can think of in a book that could alter a characters path but not their destiny?

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Book a Date with Me…for reasons

Welcome to the newest feature on Andi’s ABCs, Book a Date, a post about something you are excited for that is releasing in the future. It can be a TV show, a movie (in the theater or out on DVD), a clothing line, a video game, a graphic novel, and of course a book. Actually it can be anything you want.  If you would like more information or would like to sign-up you can click HERE.

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You may be wondering why you are getting me for the THIRD TIME for Book a Date. Well the answer is simple, my blog, my rules. 🙂 No but seriously, there is something major that I’m really excited about and I needed to share.

So some of you may know that I sort of like this little book called Anna and the French Kiss. I mean I have barely read it , own like NO copies , and own like no merchandise that reminds me of it. It is just a book that had no impact on my love of reading of anything of the sort. It is just there. I barely remember what happens in it…Okay, who am I kidding? I can’t keep this up. I’ve read Anna 14 times, own 23 physical, 1 eBook and 1 audio and I have a ton of merchandise, a wall print, a signed piggy bank, canvas paintings and a tank top to name a few things.

But the one thing that I haven’t had happen…I’ve never got to meet Stephanie Perkins. I have probably about 18 signed books from her, but I have never actually got to introduce myself and be totally awkward while I do. Well my friends that is about to change.

If you recall my first Book a Date I mentioned I was going to NYC June 2-4 and that I was thinking about going to Book Con. While I have decided that I am going to Book Con (HOPE TO SEE SOME OF YOU THERE!) on Saturday the 3rd. But the highlight of that day will be when I get to actually meet Stephanie FREAKING Perkins! Yup, you heard it right, Anna and the French Kiss’s biggest fan is going to finally get to meet the author of her FAVORITE book. Honestly I still can’t believe it is going to actually happen. I first read Anna in 2010 so this is like almost 7 years in the making. I can barely contain the awkward in me.

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I’ve Booked a Date. Now it’s your turn. Sign-up HERE.

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The Art of the Reread – The Books

Back in January I mentioned my love of rereading and some of the books I planned to reread this year. It has been 2 months since that post I have already reread 4 of the 7 books on that post.

Honestly I just can’t help myself. I get a book in my head, a book that I loved, and I can’t get it out of my system until I’ve read it again. And sometimes that doesn’t even work. I’ll Meet You There is an example. There are many times someone will say the name Josh and I immediately want to reread that gorgeous book. Truthfully, I just reread it and I want to do it again already (so if you haven’t read it, do it for me please!)

Since it is only March and I have read 4 of the 7 on my original list, I figured I should add a few more to go with the original 3 that are left:

Original 3

New Editions

The Sea of Tranquility: This is one of my favorite NAish books. The characters and the story break my heart but I love it all the same.

Something Like Normal: When ever I reread I’ll Meet You There I feel the need to read about Travis and Harper all over again. This Trish Doller book is one of my favorites.

What Happens Next: I still think this book is one of the most underrated books I have ever read. It is so great and it makes me sad that fewer and fewer people talk about it. Corey Livingston is the best!

Froi of the Exiles: Ah, the book that almost wasn’t. Probably my favorite books in the Lumatere Chronicles. When I reread this beast it will be on audio because the audio is fantastic.

The Program: I recently just did a post on why you should read this series. I finished The Adjustment not that long ago and I feel like I want to read all the books now. Stay tuned in the fall for when I plan to do a readalong.

What books do you think you will reread? Have you read any of these?

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