Title: The Girl who reads on the Metro

Author: Christine Feret-Fleury

Pages: 175 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

For fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Girl Who Reads on the Métro is the French phenomenon by Christine Féret-Fleury ready to charm book-lovers everywhere . . .

When Juliette takes the métro to her loathed office job each morning, her only escape is in books – she avidly reads on her journey and imagines what her fellow commuters’ choices might say about them.

But when, one day, she decides to alight the train a few stops early and meets Soliman – the mysterious owner of the most enchanting bookshop Juliette has ever seen – she is sure her life will never be the same again . . .

For Soliman also believes in the power of books to change the course of a life – entrusting his passeurs with the task of giving each book to the person who needs it most – and he thinks Juliette is perfect for the job.

And so, leaving her old life behind, Juliette will discover the true power a book can have . . .

The Review

I really love books that have been translated into English. That probably sounds a bit weird but the books that I have read in this category over the past few years have always surprised me with their originality and quirky nature. The Girl who reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury fits seamlessly into this collection.

Whilst I know the story of Juliette will not change my life, it certainly changed my day when I read it. The one thing I take from it is that other people can articulate the love of books and the love of reading so well. Frequently I stopped reading just to pause and fully take in the line that I had just read. The writing – and indeed, the translation – was magical.

The Girl who reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury is available now.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

The Reader on the 627Title: The Reader on the 6:27

Author: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Pages: 194 Pages

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Blurb

An international bestseller, The Reader on the 6.27 is ready to take you on a journey . . .

Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life . . . Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. But it is when he discovers the diary of a lonely young woman, Julie – a woman who feels as lost in the world as he does – that his journey will truly begin . . .

The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain’s life for the better.

For fans of Amelie and Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, this captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature’s power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives.

The Review

What can I say about The Reader on the 6:27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent? Well, I didn’t love it. I liked it and I appreciate the concept of the story but there were some things about the story that I had problems with.

The story is about Guylain Vignolles, a factory worker who spends his commute to work reading random pages from stories to the other passengers. By chance, Guylain comes across a memory stick and discovers the diary of a young girl. He starts reading her journal entries, instead of pages from books, to the passengers and sets out to find her.

It is in the latter half of The Reader on the 6:27 that the story starts to get interesting. For the first half, I was confused as to what the heck was going on. For me, the exposition was far too lengthy and only offered me information that was irrelevant. It is the introduction of Julie that makes The Reader on the 6:27 interesting. Sadly, this part of the story was too short.

Overall, The Reader on the 6:27 is quirky and interesting but unfortunately, it was a little too weird for my liking.

The Reader on the 6:27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent is available now.

For more information regarding Pan Macmillan (@panmacmillan) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

2 Stars

French KissesTitle: French Kisses

Author: Jan Ellis

Pages: 137 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

To the outside world, Rachel Thompson has it made: a wealthy husband, a successful career as an artist, and a to-die-for house in the middle of rural France.

That is until her husband Michael hits 40, discovers his inner love-rat and runs off with the kids’ young, skinny dance teacher.

Determined to ignore her friends’ advice to up-sticks and move back to England with her children, Rachel decides to turn their crumbly stone farmhouse into a bijou hotel.

As Rachel strives to create a new life for herself, friends and family rally around to give her a Christmas and New Year with plenty of surprises.

With help – and some hindrance – from her loved ones, Rachel transforms their home into a cosy guest house for an eclectic collection of visitors, including Josh Perry, a handsome American academic.

Although Rachel is getting plenty of attention from local admirers, her husband Michael is never far away…

Will Rachel and Michael rekindle their love affair?

Or will she be sharing French Kisses with someone else…?

The Review

Oh dear. I’m not going to lie to you folks. I was not enamoured by French Kisses by Jan Ellis. The premise of the story is actually pretty good. Man leaves woman for someone else and woman brings herself back to life by opening up a guest house with a romance along the way. I personally felt that the execution was just weird.

Firstly, I didn’t fall in love with the protagonist, Rachel. As much as you sympathised with her because of her abandonment by her ex-husband I didn’t really particularly like her. The time wasn’t taken to make me feel like she needed me to like her. I wanted to leave the novel feeling as if I would love to be friends with her but I just didn’t.

Secondly, the romance in French Kisses was too wishy-washy. I think Ellis made the mistake of writing more favourably about one of the romantic partners that when eventually she chose someone else I felt a bit cheated. This also made me dislike Rachel because she came across as fickle.

For me, French Kisses did not tick any of the boxes that I require for a romantic book. I’m very disappointed.

French Kisses by Jan Ellis is available now.

For more information about Jan Ellis (@JanEllis_writer) please visit her official website www.janelliswriter.com.

For more information about Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

1 star

A Certain Je Ne Sais QuoiTitle: A Certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi”: The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English

Author: Chloe Rhodes

Pages: 177 Pages

The Blurb

A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi is an accessible and entertaining treasury of information that ‘connoisseurs’ (French) of the English language will love!

The Review

Ok. So technically this isn’t a book set in France. I was misled by the title and my crazy inability to read a blurb but oh well.

A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi was actually really interesting. It is about the origin of words and the history behind them. As an English graduate and a really big word geek (that is a geek for words, not just really big words – yes, that was a hanging modifier) I found this rather fascinating.

If, like me, you love words then this is a simple and funny book – a light-hearted read which is made all the more fun by the accompanying illustrations.

A Certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi”: The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English by Chloe Rhodes is available now.

3 Stars

Parisienne FrenchTitle: Parisienne French – Chic Phrases, Slang & Style

Author: Rhianna Jones

Pages: 210 Pages

The Blurb

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE FOR THE GIRL WITH JE NE SAIS QUOI

You’ve dreamed of Paris your whole life. You’ve imagined yourself sipping a cafe au lait at an outdoor bistro in the Jardin de Tuileries, or browsing a fashionable boutique on the Champs-Elysees, or strolling along the banks of the Seine, hand in hand with your handsome French lover. Now is the time to realize that dream.

Parisienne French will have you cultured, chic and, most importantly, casually chatting with locals as if you were raised in the City of Lights. With refined phrases to express yourself at the Musee d’Orsay, posh vocabulary for catching up on this season’s couture fashion and hip slang for flirting at the hottest nightclub, you’ll effortlessly navigate the social scenes of Paris.

Your new eloquent French will win over any vrai patriote, who will warmly welcome you to la vie parisienne.

The Review

There is only one way to describe Parisienne French – Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones and that word is charming. It is a charming little handbag sized book that has everything French in it. Jones talks about Paris as if the city is her best friend, her lover and part of her soul.

The easy to read book is broken down into sections such as culture, fashion and food etc. Her knowledge of Paris the city is only rivalled by her knowledge of the French language. However, don’t fear that you are about to get a high school tutorial in which you learn useless phrases such as le souris sur la table – I won’t lie, I stole this quote from Eddie Izzard…of topic but never mind – oh no, you are going to learn how to speak like a local. You will learn slang, current vernacular and even text talk.

If you are a Francophile and you want to feel more at one with the French way of life then Parisienne French – Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones is the book for you!

Parisienne French – Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones is available now.

3 Stars