TOP 5 FRIDAY: Parisian Stories
Who wouldn’t want to read a book set in the beautiful city of Paris? Paris has all the very best things to do: gazing at the Eiffel Tower at night, a romantic walk along the Seine, and (of course) a trip to Disneyland (in my opinion, it’s a travesty there aren’t more books set IN Disneyland). Luckily, we’re spoilt for choice ...
1. ROOFTOPPERS by Katherine Rundell
After reading Rooftoppers, I immediately wanted to hop on a plane to Paris, take my shoes off and run across the buildings. It’s an absolutely magical book which even makes eating wild pigeon seem somewhat romantic. *sighs*
2. ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins
Ok, confession time: I haven’t yet read Anna and the French Kiss, BUT if it’s anything like Isla and the Happily Ever After then it’ll be one of my fave romantic YA reads. It’s hard not to feel the pull of the city as Isla wanders around the beautiful museums, heads over to Barcelona for the day, and spends her free time on a secret balcony that overlooks the city … plus, it helps that she does it with the handsome Josh. Swoon.
3. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME by Victor Hugo
Hugo had a knack for writing future classics set in Paris (anyone heard of that low-key novel Les Misérables?). The novel features all the key ingredients to a sure-fire favourite: a beautiful setting, a strong and feisty heroine, an underdog hero, and a dashing good-guy rescuer. And you know you’ve hit the big time when your characters are immortalised in Disney format.
4. THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick
I’ve always thought there was something a bit magical and romantic about old-school train stations. Giant clocks, stunningly well-dressed Parisians and comically villainous guards – all elements that, combined, create a beautiful setting and novel. How I long for a beautiful train station to visit regularly … but I suppose Paddington will have to do. At least there’s a Pret-a-Manger now.
Although it would have been an obvious choice to include Les Misérables in this list, A Little in Love takes the biscuit for me. Taking up the story of the tragic heroine Éponine, Fletcher’s poetic prose will pull at your heartstrings, make you laugh and weep, and make you fall in love with the city all over again.
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