A few months ago, after reading Bloodrose, I wrote a spoiler post of a letter I wrote to Calla Tor regarding my thoughts and reactions to Bloodrose. I was really surprised by how much positive feedback I received on that and I knew I wanted to write another one, some day.
I just finished rereading Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins on audio. I love that book, I do. You can even read my spoiler-free review on it (I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free for those who haven't read the book).
But I have thoughts. And feelings. So I'm writing Anna a letter today.
I love you. I really do. And it's because of my love and adoration for you that I have a story to tell you.
Once up on a time, I had a best friend too. He was a guy. And he was pretty darn awesome. I mean, he wasn't an ETIENNE ST.CLAIR by any means, but still. I get it. I had this wonderful, flirtatious best friend and we got along so well. We both loved Batman (and knew he was far superior to Superman, who's just so lame). We were Indiana Jones fans. We didn't have the same taste in music but hey, no one's perfect!
His girlfriend, on the other hand, wasn't so great. And she kinda hated me. This is all to say that I sympathize, and I get it.
But what I've realized now, years later, is how much I sucked in that situation. There was a far better way of handling things and I didn't take that high road. I convinced myself it was fine, and no big deal since nothing REALLY happened and she had no justifiable reason to hate me.
She did. She really, truly did. Yes, he was her boyfriend and therefore I'd say more responsible for how things turned out than me. Because he owed her something and I didn't- except I owed her more respect than I ever gave her.
So yes, I swooned along with every other reader when you two spent all of Thanksgiving weekend together (oh yes, ALL OF IT. Sleepovers included). And my heart was pounding along with yours when you two were dancing it up on your birthday. I cheered for you every step of the way.
But I realized, while rereading it, that my heart bled for Ellie a bit. I had so many questions about her, and while she was far from perfect herself, I don't think she deserved what happened to her. I think she's one of the most underrated characters in that book.
You and Etienne are chemistry at it's best- and soulmates do exist, well, you're at the top of my list. But could you and Etienne have handled things any worse with Ellie (I suppose it could have been)?
And for all the amazing things that Etienne does, his fear of breaking up with Ellie is complete crap. It's seriously lame that he's so selfish he'll hang on to her for his sake, without realizing how badly he is going to hurt her later. AND how badly he'll hurt Anna.
But all of that being said - I love that Stephanie created you two to be flawed. I love that even in the ugly bits, I can identify and relate to you. And realize that even though I regret what I did all those years ago, maybe it wasn't QUITE as bad as I blame myself for.
And I thank YOU for that bit of perspective.
P.S. I just want to add how much I love the bromance between Josh and Etienne. I didn't pick up on it the first time because I was too busy focusing on "WILL THEY OR WON'T THEY?!" with Anna & Etienne but Josh & St. Clair are seriously incredible. They're just so close, and you can totally tell that they know more than they ever let on. Especially Josh. I think it's fantastic that a YA book was able to highlight a same-sex close friendship as well.
Oh, and for what it's worth, the audio for this one was fantastic. I downloaded it from Audible (which I highly recommend you use for audiobooks, their collection and pricing is amazing if you join).