Since its arrival on Netflix, there’s no denying that Emily In Paris has had viewers absolutely hooked.
The ten-part TV show followed Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, after she unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris. Her new life is filled with “intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges” as she tries to win over her new colleagues, make friends and navigate new relationships.
But if you’ve binged your way through the series and found yourself missing Emily et al. (or just in need of a reading escape to the City of Light), here are 7 books to read if you loved Emily In Paris.
1. One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan
If you fell head-over-heels for Emily In Paris’ Parisian setting, then this is definitely the book for you.
Grace can’t believe it when her husband of twenty-five years announces he doesn’t want to join her on their anniversary trip to Paris. Instead, he tells her that he wants a divorce. And even though she’s reeling from shock, she decides to head off on the holiday of a lifetime solo. Audrey, meanwhile, is leaving a heartache of her own behind when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no knowledge of the French language, her summer adventure seems doomed to fail.
That is, until she and Grace meet — and everything starts to change. The two of them, who live in neighbouring apartments above the bookshop, form an unlikely friendship. While they came to Paris to find themselves, it turns out that finding each other may end up being the best thing that’s ever happened to them.
2. Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran
While it’s not set in Paris, it is the basis for another show from the series’ creator, Darren Star — and Younger definitely got a similar vibe to Emily in Paris. And there’s even a sequel! Older, the next book in the series, was released earlier this year.
Even with her housewife style and her hair starting to grey, Alice has always looked young for her age. Actually, make that ex-housewife. Her husband has gone and her daughter has grown — leaving Alice in a desperate need for a new life.
So, she decides to let her best friend Maggie give her a makeover on New Year’s Eve. Soon, thanks to the wonders of hair dye and good jeans, Alice looks really young, as one night in a Manhattan bar confirms. At midnight, she kisses a boy who was in diapers when she was in high school.
The white lie Alice tells Josh gets her thinking that if no one asks her age, she doesn’t have to tell. She decides to apply for a job she had briefly before becoming a full-time mom—and gets it. Meanwhile, Josh is falling head over heels for Alice, who’s just seems to be way cooler than girls his age. He figures she’s about twenty-nine—and for the first time since she actually was twenty-nine, or possibly ever, Alice feels that life is ripe with possibility. Unfortunately one possibility is that she’s gonna get caught.
3. Love Among the Recipes by Carol Cram
A touching story about a cookbook author searching for new passions amid the sights and tastes of Paris — and it is filled with incredible food, too.
Paris may be for lovers, but cookbook author Genna McGraw is definitely not looking for love. She decides to head to the City of Light to get away from her philandering husband and write a “crossover cookbook/guidebook”. It’ll match Parisian sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre with recipes for bistro-style French dishes.
She dabbles in romance with French lawyer Pierre Leblanc and makes friends at her French class with Colorado transplant Marsha Renfrew and her English boyfriend. And then there’s big, blunt Bill Turner from Australia — and she’s stuck wondering if he really eat crocodile steaks for tea?
But after her family crash her new life in Paris, Genna is forced to choose how she wants to live: is she willing to embrace an uncertain future and risk losing everything?
4. Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
For fans of Emily In Paris who are looking for a bit of escapism, this hilarious and heartfelt story will have you hooked from the very beginning.
It has been seven years since Chelsea Martin headed off on her post-college trip to Europe. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent co-worker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.
But when her father announces he’s going to get remarried, Chelsea realises that her life stopped when her mum passed away — and that her gap year was the last time she can remember being happy, in love or just enjoying her life.
Inspired to retrace her steps — to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy — Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again. And while nothing goes quite to plan at the start of her journey — because, does it ever in these kind of things? — Chelsea reconnects with her old self and finds love in the very last place she expected.
5. Blame It On Paris by Jennifer Greene
If you’re looking for a book set in the City of Lights with a little more of a romantic comedy vibe, then make sure to check this one out.
Kelly Rochard is on a mission: she’s going to have one last adventure before she settles down to married life. Just…being mugged at the Louvre isn’t exactly what she had in mind for her long-awaited trip to Paris.
That is, until Will Maguire comes to her aid and she finds herself completely distracted by the handsome stranger in the Notre Dame sweatshirt. And she can’t seem to resist the most romantic city in the world — or Will.
He’s determined to show her all of Paris’ treasures, from the top of the Eiffel Tower to strolls along the Seine. But will their love last when they’re back in plain old South Bend, Indiana, or will they end up blaming their breathless fling on the city of love?
6. Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
A story of love, trust and self-discovery — all set in Paris during the most magical week of the year. What more could you want in a book, especially around this time of year?
Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hôtel de Crillon, gazing at the twinkling lights of the Champs-Élysées…and wondering if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macarons with her new husband on their honeymoon.
But a week before the wedding, she called it off. She’s an ambitious financial analyst and Neil, her then-fiancé, suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel decided she wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle and, when Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head.
That is, until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully, her neighbour, Alec, a French children’s book illustrator, comes to her rescue. He’s also nursing a broken heart at the Crillon over the holidays. With Alec by her side, Isabel begins to enjoy Paris at Christmas. But after a chance encounter with a fortune-teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.
7. Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
A bit of a different one on this list — Le Divorce starts out as a comedy, before suddenly veering close to tragedy as more secrets and lies unfold. It was also turned into a movie in 2003, with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts starring as the Walkers.
Isabel Walker has flown to Paris to offer moral support for Roxy, her pregnant stepsister. Roxy’s husband, Charles-Henri, favourite son of a powerful French family, is having a love affair and divorce seems imminent.
When her entire family arrives to help with legal issues, Isabel starts to feel intense pressure to keep everything from falling apart. And in the background, the unstable husband of Charles-Henri’s lover lurks menacingly.
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