Hi! It’s me, or I guess you in the past. Just wanted to start off by saying, hope you’re well – happy, healthy and all that. I hope you’re doing well in uni and gotten to experience more life in the meantime. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, I hope you’re reading more. Right now… I’m not reading much but I’m trying. I’ve become really tired of the YA contemporary/ romance plots so I’ve tried going back to fantasy and paranormal but nothing’s really working out. But yesterday, I picked up Anna and the French Kiss – you know, our all time favourite book – and I realised I haven’t read it fully since the first time. Shocking, right?? We’ve read bits of scenes here and there but never the whole book. Well, I read the book cover to cover yesterday and it brought me back to the first time we read it.
Remember when you were scrolling on Goodreads looking for a book that was different from the others (as we were prone to do as a 13 year old who was starting to get tired of all the fantasy tropes)? And then Anna and the French Kiss came up. You had read other YA contemporaries before this so it wasn’t totally new to you. But this one was different – it was set in Paris. Didn’t have expectations about it – just decided at 12am to get a ebook of it and try to read a chapter. It seemed kind of cheesy but you gave it a chance anyways. A chapter turned into two and two turned into three and suddenly it was 3am and you had finished the whole book, lying in your bed with a stupid smile that you couldn’t get rid off. You had never read something so extremely cute. It was basically a rom com in book form – it was perfect.
After that you read a lot of YA contemporaries, trying to chase that same thrill you had reading about Anna and Etienne. It got to the point where all you read were contemporaries and everything just became tropes, contrived romances and unrealistic stories. You didn’t read anymore because it was more of the same and it felt like you were wasting time. You spent hours on Goodreads looking for an interesting book and usually finding nothing good. There’s no point even trying to top this masterpiece you had already read. So you just stopped reading because even the books that had similar plots and vibes couldn’t live up to it.
There have been others like Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman – super cute friends to lovers romance – and Geekerella by Ashley Poston – a super cute story about fandom with a touch of romance – but nothing will be as amazing as Anna and the French Kiss. And that’s the thing I didn’t realise… nothing is going to top it because of my own expectations. After re-reading it, I realised that I loved it so much because I didn’t care if it was going to be good or bad or worrying about making an interesting review of it. Because, Future Me, reading is fun when there’s no expectations (aaand I guess that’s why I also hated English in school!).
So whatever you’re doing then (or I guess now?), Future Me, go into the book with an open and patient mind, not caring about what you have to do after reading the book. Read even if you don’t think you’ll like it, because that’s where the gems are.
See you on the upside!