Wasn’t a fan in the beginning, but love-love-loved it in the end.
One of the reasons why was because I’m in love with Paris (literally everything about it, which I’ll definitely write another blog post on) and because I live in Atlanta, so I could relate (even though I’ve always felt more like a northerner). I grew to love Anna and all of her quirkiness, and St. Clair. He was my favorite character. I loved how well-rounded and knowledgeable he was, and he was ready to do anything (even climbing stairs :-))
For me, the place where the story takes place is super important because if it’s not a great place, the book isn’t as enjoyable. That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Since You’ve Been Gone so much, I loved the town of Stanwich. Because I love Paris so much, I really enjoyed Stephanie Perkins going in depth about not only the famous sights, but also the small places, like crêperies and movie theaters.
Stephanie Perkins does a great job of putting in a problem all of us face into the book. Most authors choose internal or external conflict that we can’t relate to, like trying to get rescued from a remote island (yeah, I know, the Lord of the Flies is a metaphor and all of that, but I don’t think any of us ever got stuck on an island.) Anna experiences the problem of assuming everyone means the worst for her. For example, she thought her friend betrayed her by dating Toph, but she did the same thing to Meredith unintentionally with St. Clair. She assumes that Rashmi is mad at her, but she isn’t really. I know I can definitely relate to thinking everyone hates me when I screw up, when in reality, everything will be fine. It always is.
Also, this book is definitely a happy book (see what I mean by happy book here).
Overall, I would probably give it 4 stars, but only because of the unrealistic character traits of the antagonists in the story. I mean, how can anyone like Amanda be remotely popular? I can’t imagine having to talk to her for longer than 5 minutes. And it would have made more sense if Anna’s dad had given a legit reason for her to go to Paris in the first place, even if he is the terrible person that he is.
I also loved the theme of what home truly is. It’s not a place, it’s the people you love the most, and I think that that is so so true.