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French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain (Early Review)

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After reading The Red Notebook and The President's Hat I was so, so excited to find out that Antoine Laurain had another book coming out. French Rhapsody is about a letter inviting a band to come in for a meeting with a record later... arriving 30 years after it was sent. We are given insight to the lives of the members of the band, along with some of their spouses or significant others. I think the bones of the story are good - it still has that magical outline (in a non-supernatural way) that I've come to expect from Laurain's books, but I was lost several times while reading some of the meat of the book. There are some political undertones that seem to nod to the current situation going on with the upcoming election in the U.S. (I don't know if this is intentional or coincidence) and the characters go on these rants that just made my eyes glaze over. I would wake up a page or two from where I last remembered reading and when I went back to reread what I had missed, and I had in fact missed nothing.

I can't say I would recommend reading this book, and I won't be adding a physical copy to my bookshelf. I do still adamantly recommend his other two books, don't let this one deter you from them!

3/5 Stars

This book will be release on October 11th, 2016.
I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My (Part Time) Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo (Early Review)

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I really, really enjoyed this French memoir. After the death of Lisa's mother, who she was very close to, she has a difficult time deciding how her life will look/be now that she is gone. Lisa ends up buying an apartment in Paris and splitting her time between there and New York, where she works for a magazine. Once she decided her life really needs a major overhaul, she quits her job to focus on freelance work and making herself happy.

This was a great story of self-discovery, but it didn't "wow" me as much as I thought it would after reading the spectacular intro. She writes of realizing she had been waiting for others to give her permission to be happy and the way she writes it really connects you. I feel like I've been doing things like that in certain areas of my own life and I was excited to see what she had to say about it, but it seemed like she inserted a summary or resolution at the beginning of the book when it would have been much more fitting at the end. Despite this, I did enjoy the book. It is a wonderful story of the ups and downs of moving to the City of Light and settling into the person you are.

I definitely laughed out loud a few times when reading this book. My favorite is when she describes trying to have a conversation with Parisians - she says she hears something along the lines of, "I like the fawfaw faw. Faw faw." Haha!

4/5 Stars

My (Part Time) Paris Life comes out on October 11th, 2016.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.