Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#IslaIsComing: Anna Out Loud

Banner by the very talented & wonderful Meg || More event info: Andi / Jamie / Meg, Steph & Kat / Lindsey / Judith
When I heard about Isla Is Coming: A Happily Ever After Readalong, I knew that I wanted to be involved! I've read Lola and the Boy Next Door (I thought Lola was quirky! I also really liked Cricket!), and I also had the privilege of reading Isla and the Happily Ever After (I have kind of a big crush on Josh now...), thanks to a dear friend!

But of the three novels, I have the most love for Anna and the French Kiss

It was my first experience with Stephanie Perkins, true, and I was immediately charmed by her writing, her characters, her settings, her story. But, even more than that, my reading experience with Anna and the French Kiss is something I'll never forget! 

Why? Well, it's two things really:

1. My best friend, a complete non-reader, is the one who discovered Anna and the French Kiss in the Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue in early 2011. She snagged the novel off the shelf, and proceeded to read a few chapters before deciding she wanted to read this.

2. After her discovery, she got me and another friend interested in reading Anna and the French Kiss. Because of our impatience, and because we used to hang out nearly 24/7, we actually read it together. We only had one book, so we decided to do something I'd never done before: read the entire book out loud.

Yes, you read that right! My friends and I took turns reading chapters of Anna and the French Kiss to each other out loud. We infused our voices with different accents & personalities for the characters; we stopped every so often to reread or to discuss what was going on. It took us about two nights to finish reading, but it was seriously just so much fun!

The best friends I read Anna with - Pam and Jaymee (taken in Miami)

There's something incredibly wonderful about hearing words on a page spoken out loud, characters and stories brought to life. I'm sure that's why many of you enjoy audiobooks so! Truth be told, Anna and the French Kiss is probably the one and only time I've ever completed a whole book via "audio" - and a part of me wants to keep it that way. Because I want it to stay special. Because nothing will ever be like those two nights, hanging out, doing our nails, trying on clothes, taking turns with my best friends to share this incredible reading experience.

If you've never read a book out loud with your friends, and if you'd ever want to do so, I'd definitely say go with Anna and the French Kiss. It's charming, and adorable, and swoony, and entertaining. Totally worth it if you love contemporary young adult books!

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