Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd on December 16th 2013
Genres: Young Adult
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Anna is less than thrilled to be shipped off to boarding school in Paris, leaving a fledgling romance behind – until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with a longed-for French kiss?
My Quick Recap:
Anna’s father, bestselling author James Ashley, is sending his eldest child to a boarding school in Paris to get some refinement. Anna is furious, not wanting to leave her friends in Atlanta, but there’s nothing she can do. Surprisingly enough, she quickly settles into a great group of friends in Paris, including the extremely attractive and endearingly charming Etienne St. Clair. He helps her explore Paris and they become extremely close, but their relationship can’t reach romantic heights because St. Clair has a girlfriend. When tragedy strikes, their relationship is tested, and Anna wonders if their friendship will survive or if St. Clair will finally admit his feelings.
I loved this book. It’s probably my favorite YA Contemporary Romance that I’ve ever read. It was adorable, sweet, and more realistic in dealing with friendships than I was expecting. I read it in about one sitting (one day, two sittings). I couldn’t put it down.
I really liked all the relationships in this book. I thought the friendships between Anna, Meredith, St. Clair, Josh, and Rashmi were all quite nice. Sure they had dumb teenager moments. But there were also rather mature moments where someone would get mad, and one of the group would say “Get over it. Go talk to them. This isn’t going to ruin your relationship.” It was really refreshing compared to lots of YA where the smallest drama causes friendships to end and the world to spin out of control.
Etienne St. Clair. Be still my heart. He just jumped to the top of my Best Book Boyfriends list. Although he is kind of a jerk (not in the actual day-to-day stuff, he’s actually really sweet and charming) but man does he lead Anna on. Heck, I was living vicariously through her and I was in love with him. There were so many moments where I wanted to grab him and be like, you are being so horrible, you’ve got to know she’s in love with you. Stop giving one girl hope and then running back to your girlfriend!
Anna’s a cool girl; there were lots of times when she would think something and I was like, that is EXACTLY how I would have responded. She has awkward responses and she pretends like she’s not in love with St. Clair but in her head she knows how much of a liar she is. She also puts her own feelings aside when she realizes St. Clair just needs a good friend, not a new girlfriend. Although that added tension and prolonged the conflict, I thought it was rather big of her.
The writing style is great; very witty, not too much language, no sex, and the characters are extremely likable. I cannot wait to get my hands on Lola and the Boy Next Door. I’d been putting off reading Anna because I figured it would be typical YA Contemporary, but it was wonderful, sweet, light and fluffy, and yet dramatic. You’ll want to put this high on your to-read list.