Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Going into this I had heard nothing but positive reviews. I was a little skeptical, because really, how could a book actually be that good? But I am a little giddy to admit that the book didn't just meet my expectations is completely exceeded them.
Anna is not too happy when her father sends her off the boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. Yes, she does understand that living in Paris has its benefits, but more of her is upset that she won't be able to spend her last year of high school with all her friends and her kind-of-sorta-boyfriend. Except Paris has a little magic of its own to sway her mind.
Obviously I have criticisms of the book, but honestly most of them could be considered positives in a different light. First, the book didn't read like Anna and her friends were in high school. Instead they reminded me a lot more of the feeling of college. I do think that a lot of that has to do with the circumstances, and going to boarding school in Paris is probably a lot more like my college experience than mine in high school. Also living halfway across the world from your parents would force you to grow up, which is why it makes sense everyone seemed so mature. And while it might have bothered me that everyone seemed more like college students than high school-ers, I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it a lot less if they came off as immature to me.
And then there's the dreamy Etienne St. Clair who almost comes off as too perfect and too good to be true. Except looking back Etienne definitely had his faults and his shortcomings. It's just that all of his hotness oozes of the pages, that you almost ignore the bad and almost can't imagine that someone as perfect as Etienne would exist in real life.
I can't believe I waited this long to read this. But in a way it's a good thing, because now I don't have to wait near as long for its companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which comes out later this fall. If you've been avoiding this one because you don't see how it can possibly live up to its hype, you need to give it a chance because I think you will be surprised.
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