70 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl Book Reviews
- Publié sur Amazon.com
(Originally posted on my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl. I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for this review.)
The idea of this memoir is pretty adorable. I love Paris, I love New York, and I love desserts! I envy that Amy Thomas got to fly off to live in Paris for two years, doing advertising for Louis Vuitton and sampling all the amazing pastries and breads, not to mention the culture itself. The pages of this book are crammed full of bakeries and other foodish places in both Paris and New York. She makes a lot of recommendations for those who plan to travel to either location. Many times I felt like I was reading a menu with really detailed, yummy dessert descriptions. Do not read this on an empty stomach, or if you're on a diet. The author even had me craving desserts I'm allergic to!
She also talks a lot about the history of various bakeries and dessert creations. Like the original chocolate chip cookie was a mistake. Someone accidentally dropped a chocolate bar in their cookie dough, and decided to go with the flow. A star was born. There's lots of cool tidbits of information that I enjoyed reading about. I learned quite a bit.
Of course, she adds in personal stories from her past, as well as her time in Paris. My favorite one is when her parents fly to Paris to visit her. She describes all the touristy stuff there is to do, and she made me want to visit even more. She takes them to this one tearoom called Angelina's, that sells the best hot chocolate in the world. She compares it to melted truffles. YUM. Coco Chanel used to have her 5:00 tea there everyday, and Audrey Hepburn popped in frequently. I looked this place up online, and it is GORGEOUS (and majorly expensive). I need to go!
There were a few things that caused me to drop my rating of this book. I loved the idea, but the execution could have been stronger. I don't speak or read French, and there is a TON of French in this book with no translations! She has a conversation with a woman who runs a bakery, and it was entirely in French. I could kind of make out what the general idea of the conversation was, but I had no idea what they were saying. She also used a lot of French phrases in the middle of her English sentences. It took away from my enjoyment, because I kept getting frustrated that I was missing something important. I just wish a parenthetical translation were there, or a footnote. Something. The author also writes really long, flowery sentences (sometimes the size of a lengthy paragraph) that are extremely wordy lists of stuff. She does this a lot (sometimes 2-3 times per page), and it gets kind of tiring.
Finally, she's a complainer. She complains a lot about being single, and how all of her friends are pairing off. She complains about Paris, her job, her lack of friends, how her jeans are tighter than they used to be (which they should be with everything she eats! Haha), her lack of French skills, and how she misses New York. But then she goes back to visit NYC, and mopes and complains about how it's not upscale enough for her anymore. And THEN she goes back to Paris and complains that she misses New York. I understand that it's hard uprooting your life and moving to a foreign city. And I can totally understand why she felt like this. But filling her memoir with complaints didn't make much sense to me. She spent a lot of the book sporting the "the grass is always greener on the other side" mentality, and I got tired of it. She was giddy about food. Food solved all of her problems. I wish she'd expressed more of her happiness in other areas of life.
Overall, this was a moderately enjoyable read. The author has a few coming of age moments, and you can tell she learned a lot about herself during her time abroad. I appreciated her human side, but wished for a little more depth. She either talked at great length about food or her hardships. I enjoyed reading about the food, but I got sick of it towards the latter part of the book (it started to feel about as exciting as a cookbook without the recipes). Maybe Paris, My Sweet should be read in small doses, along with another book. I might have appreciated it more that way. If you love New York and Paris, this book will take you there. And if you love torturing your dieting self with amazing sounding pastries, this is the book for you! At least reading about calories doesn't plaster them to your hips, right? I've created a Dessert Bucket List now, thanks to Amy Thomas. :)
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Amy Thomas has written a memoir of a time in her life where whe finds herself torn between two cities, Paris and New York. While working in New York and enjoying a fun social life she is given the opportunity through her job to work in Paris. Thomas decides to go for it and shares all of the experiences she has there, the good and the bad. We get to read about what Parisians are really like and we get wonderful descriptions of the amazing food Thomas enjoyed while in Paris.
First I have to say that the descriptions of the food Thomas enjoyed in Paris are some of the best I have ever read, and I have read a lot of foodie books. They were quite a few times I was really craving a warm slice of French bread, a perfect cupcake, or a delicious piece of dark chocolate. The sections about the food were for me the best parts of the book.
Thomas also spends a lot of time writing about the difficulties she had to adjusting to living in France. I really felt for her when she talked about her difficulties with the language and her loneliness while in Paris. I am sure it would be very difficult to live alone in Paris and try to find your own way.
A lot of the book is also spent with Thomas dealing with so many of her friends getting married and having children while she was still single at 36. She really takes an honest look at the decisions she made in her life and tries to come to terms with the decisions she made and I admired for that.
The only problem I had with the book was that while I did love the parts about the food, after a while they became almost too much for me. There were too many detailed descriptions of all of the different shops she went to and all of the different food she tried. I found myself skimming over some sections after a while. Other than that it was a great look at what it would be like to live in Paris for a time and I know I am still craving some of those yummy sounding French treats!
20 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Amy Thomas is thrilled to be living and working in Paris. She writes detailed descriptions of breads and desserts and compares these to New York City's desserts. She also describes her work experiences as an advertising writer for Louis Vuitton and the friends she makes there. Her quest for a Paris romance is never fulfilled, but her quest to experience a life in Paris is fulfilled. I can only give this book one star for many reasons. First, it felt disorganized because, even though she divided her memoir into chapters centered on different sweets, such as bonbons and cupcakes, she rambled off onto other topics within each chapter. She sprinkled her overly long sentences with swear words, which I found offensive, and French words, which I found frustrating. She just did not stay focused on her theme which seemed to be about French desserts. She bounced from food, to her romantic angst, to friend angst, to trying to decide what to do with her life. I think this book would have been an enjoyable read if she reworked her wordy sentences and tightened up her focus. I am planning a trip to Paris soon and I thought reading this would give me an insider's view of the city. It did not. Finally, how many people reading this book live in New York? I really couldn't care less about New York food because I don't live there.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I'm not looking to insult here, but I agree the author is a whiner. There are two books here...one on Paris sweets, one on her personal struggles to grow up. The info on pastry and what stores offer the best items is really a nice read and a good help if you are going to Paris. However, the personal reflection on her life never reached a satisfying understanding/resolution and it makes you wonder why it is included. Sometimes she is grateful, sometimes she looks like a brat. I'll take her advice on pastry & chocolate and leave the rest behind.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Amy Thomas has an enviable life in New York - close friends, a writing gig at a top ad agency, and a weekly Metro column on sweet shops in the City. But she wants more. Remembering a visit to Paris with her parents, she longs to return. The agency offers her a gig in Paris and she takes it.
But things are not always as bright and shiny as they seem. The French women are cutting and rude. The French men are uninterested. Even the French shopkeepers do not open up to her the way their New York counterparts did. And she gets oh so homesick. But when she returns to New York for a visit, her old pals are not the same. The city no longer has that air of familiarity and love. And guess what else - she misses Paris, even though she left for vacation because she had slid into depression.
Eventually she learns to love her adopted city. She moves through the stages of transition - from loss to relaunch to adjustment to her new life.
The reviews of sweet shops are wonderful, and even led me to take my own sweet wife to a chocolate shop - I never even knew such shops existed. And I'm not sure I'm better off knowing, as neither of us are sweets eaters and we got drunk on a few chunks of the dark stuff.
My one complaint is that Ms Thomas writes as though she is the first to feel the growing pains of transition. She is too self-absorbed and lacks a healthy distance from herself. Anyone moving to Paris from anywhere will almost certainly experience similar growing pains, and the book would have beeb improved if readers felt the author understood this. Too much "woe is me in Paris and New York" for this reader.