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26 Apr 2013

W is for... Where in the World?

So I recently finished Anna and the French Kiss. *Sudden gasp* I know what you're thinking.  I'm reading a contemporary... romance? She who gags and groans at romance to begin with and would rather be reading about psycho killers and ghosts because she grew up a tad weird?

But *le sigh* I loved the book.  What I really loved was the Paris setting.  Stephanie Perkins brings Paris right into the room with you as you read about Anna's adventure in France.  You're right there outside the Notre Dame and walking up the Eiffel Tower with her.  I've been to Paris so reading this book reminded me of all the memories I have.  Remembering how Paris looked lit up at night as I toured the city on a batobus.  Walking down the Champ-de-Mars at all times during the day and seeing it full of families, friends, and couples having picnics.  Entertainers all around.  I think if anyone asked me what my favourite book is that involved travel I would have to say Anna and the French Kiss.  Seriously, I need to go back to Paris. 

And there are fictional fantasy worlds.  Just like I love a good realistic setting I also love a well thought out make-believe world.  While I haven't read the series (yet) I do love the known world in Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.  The different kingdoms, the known families and their crests and mottos.  I find it amusing that in Westeros the accents sound so similar to what Northern and Southern accents can sound like in England. 

Any books where you've loved the real world or fantasy world setting?

11 comments:

  1. I LOVE Anna and the French kiss, it's amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

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    1. It's on my shelf for life. :) Definitely a book for keeps.

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  2. The ones that spring to mind are Discworld and Narnia. I wouldn't include Harry Potter because the Wizarding World there is really a world within a world. Hogwarts, Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, Diagon Alley, St. Mungo's, the Ministry of Magic, and Hogsmede are all places within our world, hidden from Muggle eyes by magic. I suppose in it's own way it's clever and fascinating, but it's not really a *complete* world in the same sense as Discworld, Narnia, Middle Earth, or Paris.

    ANNA seems to be a much-loved book by a diverse range of people. It might be interesting to see if I like it, considering I too am not really into contemporary romance, and I'm a guy (not to be sexist, but I think you can demonstrate statistically that *generally* more girls prefer romance than guys; marketing people certainly seem to acknowledge this), and I've never been to Paris. With all the odds stacked against it, would I like it? :)

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    1. I admire JK Rowling over her magical world but if someone asked me to name my favourite fantasy world I'd do the same as you and think of a world that an author has created from scratch.

      Hmm, it's tricky. I'm not really into contemporary romance either. I lean a bit towards fantasies, sci-fi, and horror in general. But I decided to give it a go and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of being a teen where your emotions can go all over the place and you're an unreliable narrator, not just in a book but to yourself as well. I thought there was so much more to the romance with Anna trying to settle in France and getting used to the culture.

      I think you would love the setting. Perkins creates a vivid image of Paris. There were a lot of places I didn't get to see so those little parts that made it into the book helped give me a bigger picture of the city. Setting was definitely a strength in this novel.

      Honestly, most of the people who have recommended this to me have been female. But I always think anything is worth giving a go, even if you're not the market or target audience. You never know. If you do try it out maybe don't go into it to find out if you'd like it or not but as a bit of research into a female teenage mind?

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  3. I loved this book so much, and I think a lot of that had to do with the Paris setting. Such a great city! It's been years since I've been, so I think I might have to take another trip there sometime soon. :)

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    1. I think I loved the book because of the setting as well. The whole city felt like an adventure and wondrous. :)

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  4. Narnia all the way, it got me as a kid and gets me still today.

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    1. I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at school and I was determined to get into Narnia through one of the wardrobes in my house. Never happened. It's disappointing but Narnia was so magical for me. :)

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  5. Great post! I would love to see Paris someday. The only foreign place I have been to so far is Matamoros, Mexico. I also have great respect for well-developed fantasy worlds.

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    1. I've never been to Mexico but I'd love to go! Someday I hope to travel a lot more in the future. A lot of my friends have travelled around Europe for a whole summer. It's something I've longed to do as well. :)

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  6. I loved the real world settings in Anna and the French Kiss and Just One Day because, even though contemporary romance hasn't been my thing in the past (although I've noticed that's changing...), the settings really take on their own life and become characters in their own right.

    As far as fantasy settings go, Middle-earth is always going to be a favorite. I'm also a huge fan of the setting in The Scorpio Races. I could actually feel the sea spray on my skin when Stiefvater described it!

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