The plot: Just before the holidays, hoping to find connection, Lily leaves a red moleskin notebook hidden on one of her favorite shelves in The Strand, a gigantic NYC bookstore, on a whim. Written inside:
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
Providentially her notebook is discovered by a young, jaded hipster named Dash. Dash's cynicism is the polar opposite of Lily's cheery optimism. They have an inspired exchange of notebook dares and confessions, so easy on a page to a faceless friend, before deciding to meet in person. They struggle to discover if they can connect in real life like they can in the pages of the notebook. I have a fondness for moleskin notebooks, old bookstores, stilted vocabulary and the possibility of romance...so it was almost a given that I was going to enjoy this one. A fun November/December read.
I kept running into gushing reviews of other books saying things like, "I loved this book almost as much as I loved Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins." I could only read that so many times before reading the gold standard of YA romance. While I don't know if it completely lived up to its glowing fangirl raves, I did love this story. Mostly because it was set in Paris with a boy named Etienne. After The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I already had a fondness for Paris, old film and another boy named Etienne, so it was easy to fall under the charm again. Anna Oliphant is an Atlanta girl who gets shipped off to a French boarding school for her senior year. She struggles with missing her real life, fitting in to a new culture, making friends and falling love with a boy who's already taken.
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