Friends With ARCs | Paris Is Always A Good Idea + Vanessa Yu's Magical Tea Shop

 pub 7/21/20 by Berkley 
Fiction - Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
First of all, "Paris is always a good idea" will always be one of my favorite sayings so it's no surprise I picked up this book. And secondly, this was a cute (albeit extremely predictable) rom-com that made me miss traveling even more than I already do. After Chelsea Martin lost her mom to cancer, she's been razor sharp focused on her fundraising work for the American Cancer Coalition and has barely made time for her dad and sister, much less romance and having fun. So when her dad drops the bomb that he's getting remarried, it forces to take a honest look at her own life and she realizes the last time she was happy was seven years ago during her post-college European adventure where she fell in love not once but three times. She decides to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy to help her rediscover her joy and hopefully find love again. But the caveat is that she has to stay in contact with Jason Knightley, her annoying but talented coworker, while she goes on this little sabbatical. Naturally, being in contact leads to all sorts of conversations and banter that I enjoyed. But despite trying to find the men from her past and even making this new connection with her coworker, I ultimately believe you have to make yourself happy first and that none of them were going to magically solve her problems. And sure, the aforementioned guys did contribute to the comedy, romance and necessary conflicts in the book but for me, I found her traveling and self-discovery journey the most compelling.

What’s an unusual or unexpected trip activity you’ve experienced that challenged you personally? | This isn't unusual or unexpected per se but it was definitely a personal challenge. During my first trip to Paris, my friend and I decided to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which is 276 steps. That isn't a big deal unless you're afraid of heights and small, enclosed, spiral staircases make you dizzy. (Like me!) Of course, I was determined to go to the top anyway and the view was absolutely worth it.

pub 8/4/20 by Berkley
Adult - Women's Fiction
Received e-ARC from pub for review
Reading Vanessa Yu's Magical Tea Shop transported me to my last vacation in Paris and had me craving all the pastries! (What I'd do for a real croissant right now!) Vanessa Yu can see people's futures, good and bad, in their teacups and blurts them out almost against her will. She sees her gift as a curse and when recent events (and her parents insistent matchmaking) put her over the edge, she flees to Paris with her aunt who also has the same abilities and offers to help her control them. Once she arrives, she ends up learning about more than just her abilities. She begins working at her aunt's teashop, does a bit of matchmaking of her own (including for her aunt!), explores Paris and even meets someone who makes her think love might be for her after all. The parts where she explored the city (and the food) and bonded with her aunt were the parts I enjoyed most. The romance was cute and a pleasant surprise but what I've realized after reading two of Roselle Lim's books now is that her romances tend to be the least developed aspect of her stories. They're super light and usually on the insta-love side (no, sexy romances to be found here either in case that's what you were hoping for that). Since I knew that going into this story, I was able to set my expectations since I usually prefer a heavy dose of romance, with a side of angst. At the end of the day though, it's truly about Vanessa learning about herself and coming to the realization that she controls her own destiny. 

What meal do you want to relive in Paris? | My first thought was Angelina Cafe because their white hot chocolate was divine. Literally no other word to describe it. But I also miss Les Artisans, a restaurant near the AirBnb we stayed at. We ate there 3 times and it became our spot during the trip. I would love to go back there! 


Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

1 comment

  1. Just revisiting this post reminded me of 1) how delightful it was to read two books about Paris together and 2) how we really need to plan a trip to Paris in the future when it's safe to travel again! Glad we both ended up enjoying these two books :)


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