5 Second look at Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid
A Quick Summary
- Anna I. Harris is a college student who likes to read. With one year left of school and the summer to go, she takes a Russian Lit class for fun.
- There she meets the guy that she kinda ran out of a date one a few months ago. He teaches the class. What do they do? Deal with it…. or try at least.
- The attraction is overwhelming for both of them… it’s going to be a long summer course.
My Take on the Book :
The single most hilarious book that I’ve read this year. 29 things highlighted in this book. Donkey laughs abound.
Kissing Tolstoy Blurb
You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!
‘Kissing Tolstoy’ is the first book in the Dear Professor series, is 46k words, and can be read as a standalone. A shorter version of this story (28k words) was entitled ‘Nobody Looks Good in Leather Pants’ and was available via Penny Reid’s newsletter for free over the course of 2017.
My Review of Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid
Anna Harris is a college student with a love of reading and romance. She is hilarious and self assured on the outside. She is kinda geeky and funny.
You’ve always been passionate about books. You read more—for fun—than anyone else I’ve met. Plus, your opinions are often radical, but never boring. You’re creative and odd. And smart. And fun. And awesome. Maybe he’s got the hots for your brain.
Luca Kroft was a fantastic teacher. The son of a Russian businessman who has more reach than Luca likes. He has tried his entire life get out from under his father’s influence. He devoted himself to Russian literature and writing. Hoping to get free of his father and out on his own.
Luca Kroft was a fantastic teacher. Like, the best I’ve ever had. He engaged his students rather than talked at them. He forced them to become a part of the narrative, grow invested in Tolstoy and Gogol. He challenged them to confront their ideas about life, nature, morality, and—yes—even the human soul.
In a freak moment of bravery or bravado Anna emails a friend of a friend to set up a date on Valentine’s day, a year after her last date.
In other words, my ex was the John Willoughby to my Marianne Dashwood, if John Willoughby had quoted Pokémon and anime instead of Shakespearean sonnets. And Marianne had liked him mostly for his skills as a trivia night partner and cheerful acceptance of her jigsaw puzzle habit.
She goes to the restaurant where she was going meet him and meets a in leather pants and blue eyes. He sits, and starts to get to know her, but admits that he isn’t the guy that she thought he was. Anna bolts and leaves as quickly as she could only to watch him leave on his motorcycle from her car.
These are truths universally acknowledged. Men who ride motorcycles, who wear leather like a second skin, and look hot doing it, they don’t date ladies who idolize Tolstoy.
Two months later, Anna is starting her summer sessions and finds out that the guy that she had the hots for is PROFESSOR Kroft.
Professor Kroft promises his student that she will be treated like any other student but that’s not really the case. He completely ignores her for months. Everyone else gets comments, advice, knowledge from him in class and on their papers, except Anna.
“Being perpetually ignored and then rejected by a person I admired made me want to cry into a big pillow and listen to The Cure while watching Old Yeller and reading the world statistics about the Zika virus.”
Anna tries to drop the class, even going so far as to take an F for the class, but Luca won’t have it. He tracks her down, emails her, even comes to her second job to talk to her. They eventually come to a fragile understanding. Luca is biding his time until Anna is no longer his student so that he can pursue her. He even goes so far as to ask the dean for an unbiased third party to grade her work.
My life split in two: before and after; the possibility of she, of hope and wonder; and then everything else.
Luca and Anna are amazing together. The banter is great and witty and wonderful. Some of Anna’s observations about the books are wonderful too. (Like I said I have 29 highlighted passages in this book). I love how Anna helps Luca see the world in a different way and helps him come to an understanding with his family and his place in life.
This book is hilarious and YOU NEED IT.