Review: Lisette’s Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson

31851963Title: Lisette’s Paris Notebook

Author: Catherine Bateson

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 

Publication date: January 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

What do you wear to Paris? Ami and I discussed it for hours but I still couldn’t think of anything suitable. Ami said a trench coat with nothing underneath but your best underwear. That was only if some boy was meeting you at the airport, I said.

Eighteen-year-old Lisette has just arrived in Paris (France!) – the city of haute couture and all things stylish – to practise her French and see great works of art. Her clairvoyant landlady Madame Christophe forces her to attend language lessons with a bunch of international students but soon Lise discovers she’s more interested in studying boys than art or verbs …

When the undeniably hot Anders jogs into her life it feels too good to be true. Things get even more complicated when she is pursued by Hugo, a charming English antiques dealer.

Can she take a chance and follow her own dreams? How far into the future can Madame Christophe see? And could Lise really be falling in love – in Paris?Review2

So, as you may already be getting from the bio this book is a YA contemporary romance, coming of age, finding yourself story. The main narrator Lise is an 18 year old Australian girl taking a gap year trip in Paris. It is a very cute quick read. Not only is the main character Australian but the author Catherine Bateson is an Australian making this particular read a #loveozya book. Which I think is fantastic! I love reading and supporting Aussie authors and their books. It’s something I have been thinking I need to consciously make an effort to read more of so this book was the perfect opportunity to do so! 

Quick mention to the cover of this book. I think this book is so cute and all the little pictures really give me young holiday in Paris vibes! Can I pack my suitcase already?? 

The first half of this book is frustrating to read. Not because the story is bad. It isn’t. But because after arriving in Paris and first experiencing the magic of the city the MC quickly starts to make some what I would consider pretty stupid choices. So, this is frustrating to watch unfold as I just know it will end badly. I had to constantly remind myself that the MC was only 18 and that if she didn’t make these mistakes this story wouldn’t be one of self-growth and discovery. Another negative for me was that although this book had many cute and whimsical travel abroad vibes. There were also a number of parts I found particularly cringe worthy instead of cute. For example, there is a part where the MC and a love interest are discussing her previous intimate experience and as she is shy to talk about it, he uses a doll like a ventriloquist to make her comfortable enough to tell him. I see the cute moment the author was trying to go for here. But I was cringing the whole time. 

On a more positive note after the first 100 pages I started to find Lise a lot less annoying. Even though she still didn’t always make the right decisions I found most interactions less cringey. I enjoyed seeing her grow and become more comfortable in Paris and the relationships she was building were really pulling me in. I also enjoyed reading about all the different activities and places she visited in Paris. The way the author described them had a magical, whimsical quality that made me want to book a flight straight away. I also adored the main love interest and once he came into the picture found myself wanting to just keep reading and hoping like hell it would all work out for them both! 

In conclusion, this book didn’t make it to my top favourite reads. Because of the cringe factor and my frustration with some of the MC’s actions. However, I did overall really enjoy it. Because of the cute romance and the travel lust it inspired. I think it really achieved an appropriate self-growth, young adult coming of age story. Which is why I am rating this book 3.5 stars. Let's Chat!What is a place you want to visit most in the world? Does Paris make your list? What are some of your favourite #loveozya titles and authors? Chat with me in the comments below! Until next time Happy watching and reading! 

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Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

29626641Title: It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication date: August 2016

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter..

Firstly, I want to mention the blurb of this book and give credit to Goodreads for their synopsis. My version of the book does not include the line “This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.”  And I think it very smart and considerate of Goodreads for including it now. Going into this read as my book didn’t mention this I was expecting a love triangle with a little drama and a lot of romance! 

Let me tell you this book was so much more and really does cover some pretty heavy and sensitive subject matter! Through the first few chapters I thought this book was exactly what I expected a grown-up romance, love triangle with a touch on the serious topic of homelessness and domestic violence via the main characters parents. I found myself getting emotionally invested, picking a “team” and hoping they would be OTP.  This book is so well written in the way that you feel without meaning to the main characters emotions completely. Being an empath and an emotional person, this was great at first. I mean it was hard to read about the struggle of the MC’s childhood, but I was so happy and excited and feeling the love with the romance developing. I was falling hard as she was. So, I was very emotionally invested when things took a much darker turn then I was expecting. 

The MC experiences domestic violence of her own. And it is not glossed over, and it is graphic and intense. Because of the way the book is written I was already invested in her life and in the relationship. So, as I wasn’t expecting this it hit me hard in the feels. And because of the empathetic emotional person I am this meant I was in this for the long haul. I stayed up until 2 am reading trying to work through these feelings with the MC, struggling as she was going through emotional turmoil, I laughed, I stressed and I bawled my god damned eyes out, but I had to see how this story ended. 

For days after I felt emotionally raw and I could not stop thinking about the story and it definitely made me think and question things I had never thought about before. On the one hand I think this means the book was incredibly written. Anything that can make you feel so much is not a badly written piece. So, I knew I would rate this book highly. But I also knew I couldn’t give this book a full 5 star review. And not just for the handful of grammatical errors/ typos. But because my version of the book had no content and or trigger warnings at all. And sure, maybe with them this book may not have caused me to feel so much emotion. But the fact that it doesn’t have any warning and me as a person who has been fortunate enough not to experience any of these issues in her own life was this emotionally wrecked by it. I can only imagine what it might emote in someone who has if they were to read this unsuspectingly. And I do not think that is fair at all. At the very least all versions of this book should have the warning the Goodreads synopsis does, but it’s clearly a little late for that now. Therefore, I gave this read 4 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you think all books should have trigger and or content warnings? Until next time Happy watching and reading!