Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Review: Blame it on Paris by Laura Florand

So, finally a review!!!

Okay, so as I said earlier, I got this book after reading Tara Marie's blog. I was looking for something to read and this just seemed to be it. I didn't even hesitate about the fact that the book was in trade paperback format, therefore more expensive, and that I wasn't supposed to go into a bookstore. That, dear friends, tell you how much I wanted this book, because the premises sounded so good and funny, and seriously, I don't regret at all. Money and time well spent!

Blame it on Paris by Laura Florand: 4.25/5
published by St. Martin's Press in October 2006

Laura is to complete a year of study in Paris before starting her Ph.D. back in the USA. However, to Laura, Paris isn't such a dream city... Once, helping out a friend, Laura goes out and eat at a restaurant where she meets this cute waiter, Sébastien Florand - her future husband. After many eatings at the restaurant, lots of urging from friends, Laura finally gathers her courage and asks him out to a party. Although he couldn't come to the party, they did start dating... This led to a long-distance relationship, two big families, two different cultures, lots of goodbyes, fretting, love and eventually, to four wedding ceremonies.
Genre: contemporary romance/semi-autobiographic novel
Series: none (but I wish!)

Review: Oh man, I really liked this book! You basically follow Laura and Sébastien's realtionship, the good and the obstacles in a very humoristic way. I really liked the relationship - esp. since it's a real one- but to see the culture differences between Laura and Sébastien, as well as the two families was quite hilarious and entertaining.

Characters - I have to admit that Laura sometimes annoyed me with her insecurities, but given this is a "real" story and not fiction, I can understand and sympathize with Laura's insecurities. Seriously, I'd have acted the same way :D Other than that, Laura really has a strong voice and her thinking pattern is quite unique, which provides lots of funny moments and many laughs. Since this is a first-person novel, this is Laura's story and so, it's harder to comment on Sébastien. I liked his personality and he can be very romantic at times... In addition, if he looks anything like on the cover, yummy. Laura sure is a lucky woman.

In addition, both families were highly entertaining! It's funny how the dynamics of both families are different and the same at the same time. Both Laura and Sébastien are lucky people.

Story & Writing - As I said, Laura has a very strong voice and shares her thoughts and feelings with the readers very well. Since the relationship spans on a few years, the pacing was very important and Ms. Florand did very well. Weeks and months passed rather quickly without the readers realizing; it didn't get stuck, it flowed well and this was very enjoyable. Also, it's quite nice to see that in real life, a couple doesn't fall in love and get engaged within a week :P

The Cover - It's a really nice cover; however, it'd had been more fun and realistic if the girl had chestnut hair instead :D

Am I keeping this book? YES! This is a definite keeper.

Anything else? I thought this book was very original and different as in, the author actually wrote how she met and married her husband. Thus, both characters and the events were real. If you want a sample of her writing or you want to know more, you'll probably want to head to Laura Florand website and read her blog :D I really hope that there'll be more books in the future...

In other news, since her wedding, Ms. Florand has had a baby girl (this is probably something that'd be fun to read about :P ) and unfortunately, during the last week-end, Ms. Florand's father has passed away.