{ESC} BOOK TWO: HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE

Dear Reader,

I really didn’t think I would love this book as much as I did. Or that it would be as quick of a read. But I read it in one night and absolutely loved it.

It isn’t a story of any kind, but rather tips and insights for a Parisian lifestyle. Four French women came together and wrote everything from basic wardrobe and jewelry pieces to parenting tactics to books you should have on your bookshelf to how to make him think you have a lover.

I’ll admit, when I first started reading it, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I thought so in the bookstore, but within the first few pages, I read about how the Parisian woman is not a role-model, which is a disclaimer they have. But I kept turning the pages and asked myself, “why am I reading this? Why did I even pick this up?” I mean, this woman seemed so stand-offish and self-entitled. And not only could I never become her (I’ve always tried to be polite and kind to others), but why would I want to?

Nevertheless, I continued reading and slowly fell in love. Maybe it was the perfection of the author’s writing or the fact that it made me miss Paris, but I ate everything up. I mean, I stayed until until 2 just reading furiously and taking notes, writing down everything that I loved (I’ll probably make an entirely separate post later sharing them). And then the next day, I shared them with my sister and we marveled at its beauty together.

Still, I can see the beef that some people have with this book. I mean, there’s a section called “The ABCs of Cheating,” and the first rule is deny, deny, deny. Furthermore, the book is riddled with contradictions and startling claims made by these Parisian women. I’ll repeat: they’re not role models.

But there’s something to say about their message. They have many, but the one that most stuck out and resonated with me was their confidence. If the Parisian woman is one thing, it is confident. And I think there’s something admirable about that.

The Parisienne adores her imperfections, and never completely corrects. They’re not against plastic surgery or makeup or anything, but, as they put, “the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose: these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without before perfect.

More than anything, their beauty is underneath the surface.

“It’s her personality that sparkles like nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.”

So maybe I don’t want to cheat on my husband or act like a snob as often as I can, but I want to be strong, confident, and beautiful. In that sense, I want to be Parisienne.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. The song for this post is Flawless Remix by Beyonce feat. Nicki Minaj. Love.

{ESC} BOOK ONE: CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Dear Reader,

I actually forgot to post this review right when I finished the book (last Friday, oops), but better late than never, right?

So here’s what I’m going to do with this Empty Shelf Challenge: once I complete each book, I’m going to share my thoughts on it in a quick review-type fashion. Except I don’t make my reviews in the typical, “here’s the entire plot and prologue, here’s my list of pros and cons that I thought up whilst reading, and here’s my recommendation: do/don’t read this book” way. There’s nothing wrong with that sort of review, it’s just not how I do things.

You see, sometimes I don’t like knowing the plot. I’m very weird about spoilers (I mean I only get one chance for a book to make a first impression on me–one chance to read it for the first time ever! This can be a big deal.) and sometimes I like picking up random books in the library and check them out and read them without so much as perusing the back cover. That’s what I did with Rebel Belle and let me tell you, that was a surprise.

Sometimes the entire book is summarized in a paragraph on the back page and it’s almost like why even read the book in the first place? Of course there’s plenty of reasons to read a book after learning what it’s about, but all I’m saying is sometimes it’s fun to dive in without knowing a thing, and then everything‘s a surprise!

Alright, enough talk about how I’m going to review these books–I’ll just go ahead and do it.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I actually really loved this book. I picked it up in a random bookstore in Dayton because, well, that title. How could I not? And then I actually did read the back cover and it was enough for me to buy it. And I’m so glad I did.

It wasn’t as quick of a read as the books I’ve been reading lately (it’s 500+ pages), but by the end I couldn’t put it down. There’s just so many stories, so many characters to fall in love with, and so many twists that I didn’t see coming. It’s also much sadder than I expected. I had to put the book down a few times because some of the lines just broke my heart. But, without spoiling anything, I will say that it definitely has its heartwarming parts as well.

All in all, I loved this book–more than I thought I would. AND there’s a sequel. It’s expected to come out in 2015 but I can’t wait. I’ll definitely be picking up my own copy as soon as it’s released. This one was a solid four stars for me.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Miniature throwback for this feature song, but it’s just as good as it was in 2012: Bruises by Train feat. Ashley Monroe

PPS. I’ll be posting all of my 2015 reads on here, of course, but you can also keep up with me on Goodreads. Let’s be friends!