Thursday, May 10, 2007

Book Review: "Kissing Adrien" by Siri Mitchell

An American Girl in Paris

Claire is an accountant who lives a life that is straightforward and without surprises. Then one day she is whisked away to Paris to set things straight about an inheritance given to her French born father. While she is there she is reunited with Adrien, her former crush, and soon is introduced into a world where the unexpected happens everyday. Claire soon learns to live her life to the fullest and enjoy her surroundings. And what would a story in Paris be without romance? As Adrien teaches Claire about this new life, she soon finds herself wishing he would take part in in it too.

I'm a huge chick lit fan and I've really enjoyed Siri Mitchell's books so I was very excited to pick up Kissing Adrien. The premise sounded really good and I love reading stories that take place in Europe. Paris is a city I really want to visit one day. What could be more chick lit than an American girl finding love in Paris? Well, unfortunately this book didn't meet all my expectations. I really did like the storyline about Claire going to Paris because she's inherited an apartment where the owner has her past shrouded in mystery. I loved reading about French culture and learning about the city and its inhabitants.

However I did not find the characters to my liking. The main thing that really bugged me was Adrien's insistence that Claire drink wine. She finally gave in to get him off her back. Now I do not drink, but I do not condemn those that drink socially. Why did Claire have to give in? If she did not want to drink, Adrien should have just dropped it. I did not like it that every time she would say no he would accuse her of being American and worrisome. I also didn't like how he threw away all her clothes. Yes he eventually apologized but I felt it was really rude. I also did not really like the attitude he had about her not really fitting into Paris because she was too American, didn't want to change, and was too close minded. The funny thing is I have met several European students who came here to study abroad and I found them constantly looking down on Americans and not trying to fit in at all while they were in college. So are Europeans just naturally snobby? Adrien just came off to be very much as a person who kept trying to change Claire to fit his ideals, and what's worse is that Claire allowed herself to change. I will admit some was for the better, but she didn't seem to have a backbone.

I am probably in the minority here about how I viewed the book. If you like chick lit I think you'd enjoy the book. And if you like reading about Paris and want to look like a local instead of a tourist, this book will definitely teach you how to be one.

Kissing Adrien by Siri Mitchell is published by Harvest House (2005)

8 comments:

  1. As I have said recently on another blog, we are all different and what we take from a book someone else won't! KA is one of my favourite books because I love the premise that God created beauty and a wonderful earth for us to enjoy and He wants us to be comfortable in our skins. I suppose there may be some cultural issues I don't pick up on being an Aussie, that you found hard to relate to. But I love both Claire and Adrien ;-)

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  2. Interesting take, Deborah. The wine thing bugged me, too. The thing that I DID enjoy was how well Siri showed the way growing up in a different culture molds a person.

    By the way, I've tagged you -- because someone originally tagged me, and on and on. We really need to trace it back to the originator and do -- something. :D

    Visit my blog for the rules.

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  3. Yeah, Sally who started this madness!!

    Deborah: This one is going on the top of my TBR! You know I've got to weigh in ont the subject.

    I do hate is when people come here then put America down. How rude is that!

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  4. Ahhhhh.....that isn't what Siri is doing though Cee Cee (and I know you aren't saying that she is!). She is an American who lived in France for a number of years so would have a better take on this than all of us, me thinks!!! The wine issue is so very cultural and unless you have lived in Europe it is difficult to understand. I love it when books create discussion! We did KA a number of years ago in book club and had a brilliant time. All the issues came up but as Aussies I suppose we can look at it a little more from afar. Siri was making a deeper point about God's love and what we have to offer and appreciate in this world. Hugs to you all!

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  5. Hey Deb - did you get my reply to your email? I really felt for you!

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  6. yes i got your email Rel, thanks, hopefully the situation will clear up and it seems there were several people who opposed the original writer.

    i'm not putting down this book! i did like the story. I understand about the wine/alcohol issue being cultural in Europe and how it differs from America. I just didn't like it that Claire kept saying no, but was eventually pressured into giving in. To me it just felt like massive peer pressure of trying to fit in. Adrien seemed baffled as to why Claire didn't want to drink. I choose not to drink simply because I do not want to. I have no religious/health reasons, other than I don't like the taste of any alcohol. So does this mean if I go to Europe I will be alienated because I don't want to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable? Why should I give in just to make other people happy? That's just my view of how the story played out. I may be wrong but that's just how I felt.

    On another note, I just finished another book of Siri's, "Something Beyond the Sky" and loved it. Will have a review up on that one soon.

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  7. Hehehe!!! Something Beyond the Sky was good but my least favourtie of her books! Doing well aren't we! You know what - I get some of the same feelings because I don't drink coffee or tea (hate the taste! I don't drink alcohol either, same reasons as you!). Whenever your choices are different than the majority I think you can feel left out/alienated or whatever even when that hasn't been anyone's intention, don't you think?

    I didn't think you were putting the book down, sorry if I have given you that impression. I know that isn't the kind of thing you do :) I've enjoyed discussing it!

    Glad to hear you got some support on the other issue :)

    Hugs to you!

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  8. yes you can feel alienated, but i don't feel that someone should give in just to fit in. don't they teach that in Sunday School, to not be a part of the crowd? lol.

    siri's books seem to be very good for discussions. when I do my review for SBTS we can do this again. :)

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