A few months ago, I posted something about how I named some favorite books in the past after the first read and then when I pick it up again, I realize that I don’t really like them as much as I did during the first read. That post/thoughts made me a bit more careful about how I add some books to my favorites shelf. I wanted to make sure that the ones that make it there are the ones I like even if I read it over and over again. So I decided to start this little feature/challenge for this year: The Reread Factor.
The Reread Factor is about that: the reread. I pick some of my best reads from the previous year and reread them, and see if I still like them as much as the first time, and if they could be a book for the favorites shelf. Every now and then, I’ll be posting something about some of the books I found the time to reread, and I’ll talk about if I still liked it or not and what made me still like it or even dislike it after the second (or third) reread.
Note that the initial ratings I may have put on the book may change later on, but the first review will stay. Think of this as a follow-up review of sorts. :)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
First read in: December 2010
Anna and the French Kiss was one of my favorite reads in 2010, and I pushed this book to everyone who’s ever wanted to read a contemporary YA romance novel. I loved this book so much that I searched for Point Zero in Notre Dame when I was in Paris in August 2011 ((Too bad I wasn’t able to bring my copy of the book so I could have posed with it on my Point Zero photo)). I loved everything about this book, and I was on a contemporary mood early January so I decided to reread this.
Spoiler warning. If you haven’t read the book yet and you’re still planning to read it, skip towards the end, or just go to my review of Anna and the French Kiss.
Rereading Anna and the French Kiss was an interesting experience. It was familiar, and yet there were some parts I almost kind of forgot. There were some parts that I highlighted that I wasn’t even sure why I highlighted it. I suppose some of them were just really things that struck me, while others…I guess they were supposed to be funny but I’m not exactly sure anymore. Still, even if I knew what was going to happen, I anticipated so many things in the story: the first meeting, the conversations, the gifts and all the little moments that Anna and Etienne had together…and they all still made me smile.
Most of what I wrote back then still rang true on my second read: how easy it was to be immersed in Anna’s world, the side stories about cancer, absent friends and independence, and how the issues were addressed one by one at a given time frame with solutions that weren’t instant or too clean. Okay except maybe for the girlfriend issue, which I felt that maybe it was tied up without anything being heard from the other party. Was she just too tired to fight for it because it’s about to end anyway? Why were there no repercussions to what St. Clair did? Perhaps it would’ve been more realistic if there was one more encounter with Ellie…except that maybe it wouldn’t be as happily ever after if that happened.
On another note, the relate-factor of Anna and the French Kiss is still quite high, surprisingly. I won’t go into detail why (too personal, no need to bore you with that), but man, there were some sorta painful parts to read here when it started hitting too close to home. Interestingly, they weren’t the same parts that I highlighted on the first read. From my reading journal:
Still so good…the relate factor is still totally there, especially when Anna and Etienne were friends, but also not really. And how they kept on going at it without defining anything. WHYYYY.
Uh, yeah, I may have been more affected than I thought. ^^;
So is this book a favorite? Well…probably, but I have to admit that I wasn’t as in love with this as I was during my first read. But somehow, I wasn’t as enchanted with it as I was at the first time. A part of me is kind of wary that maybe a few years down the road, with more experiences under my belt, the book may not mean as much to me then as it does now and as it did in the first read. But that happens, right? However, it is still 100% swoony, and Anna will still be the one of the first books I will recommend to anyone who is looking for a feel-good and well-rounded romantic read.
Finally, I think this book just fueled my need to go back to Paris again to see the places Anna visited and make a proper wish at Point Zero. Someone bring me back there, please.