Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ooh La La! by Jamie Cat Callan (ARC)

If I had to identify myself as a "country"-phile, I would probably use the word Japanophile. But, that doesn't mean books like these don't interest me! I've never really felt the whole "French women are somehow better" thing that the author seems to feel, but I am interested in a culture of women who have made such an impression that they are perceived as glamorous.

On the whole, I'm quite impressed with this book. I thought it was going to be a beauty and style secrets kind of book, but it tries to go beyond that into helping you live a happier life. And yes, I can sum the book up into one sentence:

Be yourself.

And that really is the whole point of the book. The author talks with different French women of different ages and different personalities, and she gives different tips at the end of each chapter, but the entire book is about finding yourself and being happy in your own skin.

Which is actually good advice. There's this line about expats that struck me: "And so, they are lost somewhere in the middle, never feeling quite at home." That statement hit me pretty hard. It's something that I will deal with for the rest of my life. I know that I will never belong in Japan 100%, even if I'm constantly mistaken for a Japanese. But I also know that even if (or rather, when) I move back to Singapore for good, I will always feel a disconnect because a part of my heart will stay in Japan.

Because of this, the whole "be yourself" message in the book really impressed me. I can't say that I'll be following a lot of her concrete tips, but I will be keeping in mind that I shouldn't try to conform for the sake of conforming - I should be myself, even if that makes me the nail that sticks out.

Disclaimer: I got this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


  1. Dear Eustacia--Merci beaucoup for you lovely and very insightful review of Ooh La La! And I hope that you embrace your own special beauty. And yes, be completely yourself! Best wishes, Jamie

    1. Dear Jamie,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my review, and for leaving such a lovely message!



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