Tag Archives: Etienne St. Clair

Stephanie Perkins NYC Meet & Greet

12 Jun


Saturday, on what would have been just a boring and disgusting rainy day in NYC, I went to one of the best author/blogger events I have ever been to!

I started my weekend pretty bummed out about missing one of my other favorite author’s only nearby US appearance, due to transportation issues. It’s not always easy to get outside of the city when you’re car-less, and trains can get costly and complicated. Thankfully, there was still some hope left for my Saturday!

I’d read on twitter the day before that “Anna and the French Kiss” author Stephanie Perkins was coming to NYC, and would be having a meet and greet with fans uptown. So roomie Jenn and I made the rainy trek up to Bryant Park to meet up with Stephanie, and some fellow blogger friends of mine.

The park was out, so after wandering around a bit, we found a local Cafe with a large basement seating area to hang out in. A few fans drifted in and out, but total there were around 15 of us. It made for quite an intimate gathering, and we were able to ask Steph about her books, characters, future projects, and her writing process.

3/4 of our group.

Stephanie is absolutely adorable in person. If you like her quirky, fun characters, after meeting her in real life, you will fall in love with her even more. She’s very big on hugs, and has a contagious, goofy laugh. Chatting with her feels like catching up with an old friend.


We learned that she is in NYC doing research for “Isla and the Happily Ever After”, her 2012 release. Nothing has been officially announced about her next project after Isla, but she did say that she has an idea already planned, and whatever she writes will most likely be a stand alone novel.

That revelation earned quite a few satisfied comments from those of us in attendance. EVERYONE agreed that sometimes, there are just too many series in the YA world, and that stand alone novels are highly missed.


We also got to hear about how meticulously researched the world-building in her books are. She was still working as a librarian while writing “Anna”. So Stephanie said she checked out every single fiction, non-fiction, comic, and children’s book she could find about France. She also watched every French film she could get her hands on, and analyzed things as detailed as what went on in the background scenes behind the actors to find out how the French lived their lives.

Rachael’s coveted copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. We all wanted to steal it from her! (Lola takes place in San Francisco, where Stephanie went to college.)

One of my favorite moments of the day: a fellow attendee compared Steph’s work to Jane Austen. You should have seen her face! She was shocked, but I have to say that I think the comparison is spot on. I can’t think of any other contemporary YA writers who capture the same feel of Jane’s work, yet also modernize a story in their own way. One of the reasons I love Stephanie’s writing so much is because it feels so REAL. I can imagine saying and doing the same exact things her characters do were I in their situations.

Me clutching one of my most anticipated 2011 reads! It was really hard not to pet this book.


After our big group discussion, Stephanie took time to sign our books, and chat with everyone individually. A few of us posed for photos with her as well.


Steph and some new friends!

Signing books.


Talking with roomie Jenn. They have a TON of mutual friends, from the Harry Potter fandom and Wizard Wrock worlds.

Steph and Damaris.

With Mitali.

Steph & Jenn again.

Me and Steph. She’s so cute! And I look like a total nutter here. Thanks,rainy weather!

We had a brief chat about her bff Kiersten White’s “Supernaturally“, (which I’m reading now) and whispered about how awesome her favorite character in that book is.

Soon, it was time for Steph to go meet up with a friend. So we all said our goodbyes, and thanked her for an awesome time! Seriously, I don’t know many authors who would set up a spontaneous meet and greet with their fans during a whirlwind, last-minute book research trip. 😉

Before she left, I photographed Steph’s crazy cool outfit for one of the fashion websites I shoot for. I’ll definitely be posting a link/photos once this week’s street style goes live on their site.

Thanks again to Stephanie for totally making my weekend, and making time for all of your fans. You were beyond awesome, and I hope some day soon you can make it up to NYC again! I had so much fun meeting you, and making some new blogger and publishing friends. ❤

And to everyone else: If Stephanie comes to your town this year, GO!

All Photos ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.
See the full album here.

Top 10 of 2010: Anna and the French Kiss

29 Dec

Anna and the French Kiss

“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. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?” Via Goodreads.

I haven’t been running my “best of 2010” book posts in order, but it’s safe to say Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins, is my #1 pick of 2010.

I stopped reading most contemporary YA romance novels a few years ago. When I read, I want to escape reality. So paranormal and fantasy books swiftly took over my reading list. I’m so glad I broke my self-imposed rule to read this book! I’d been hearing nothing but good things via twitter posts from authors I admire (Like Kiersten White, and Rachel Hawkins) for months. So when I found Anna on the shelf a month early at the Strand in NYC, I was ecstatic…Then I let it sit on my shelf for a month. I’m a firm believer that books “choose you” when it’s the right time to read them. The blizzard that struck the Northeast the day after Christmas ended up providing me with the prime reading opportunity. Now that it’s made my best of 2010 list, I’m a bit mad at myself for not reading it sooner!

The story is so incredibly well written, honest, and REAL. Stephanie Perkins has perfectly captured what it feels like to be a teenager, and unsure of yourself or your heart. Anna is cute, smart, and has the strength to stand up for herself. Against her better judgment, she falls hopelessly in love with her (taken) new best friend Etienne St. Clair, but refuses to let him walk all over her in the process.

As for St. Clair? He’s gorgeous, charismatic, and funny, but not too perfect. From his physical appearance (he’s short, and has some crooked teeth) to his behavior (his inability to dump his girlfriend for Anna, running away from his problems), he’s a wonderfully flawed love interest.

The romance development is slow, almost painfully slow. But the story is even sweeter for it. There are dozens of accidental touches—like knees brushing in a dark theatre– before kissing comes in to play. Plenty of obstacles stand between the two lovers: a girlfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a handful of misunderstandings. And of course, time–they’re only in Paris for a year. Rather than being “soul mates” (gag) whose world revolves around their lover, Anna and Etienne get to know each other gradually over the course of that year, before realizing they’re in love. Together, they bring out the best in each other, like true love should.

Unlike a lot of books I’ve been reading lately, even the secondary characters are fully developed. From Anna and St. Clair’s circle of friends, to St. Clair’s mother (whom we never even meet!) to Anna’s little brother. I felt like I knew each of them, and was right there in the middle of the action with them. And the action just happens to be non-stop. There isn’t a single dull moment in the entire book, which had me hooked by the second page. I can’t wait to read the two companion novels “Lola and the Boy Next Door” and “Isla and the Happily Ever After”, which come out in 2011, and 2012 respectively. After reading Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins has definitely been added onto my favorite authors list. Not only is her book amazing, she has an adorable blog, with stories from her life, and trials of getting her work published. She’s so open and honest about it all, it’s like reading the blog of a close friend.

Anna and the French Kiss is the one book of 2010 I’ll be recommending to every reader I know, regardless of age, sex, or “preferred reading genre”.

It’s just that good!

Anna and the French Kiss is available now from Dutton.

5/5 Stars.