Anna and the French Kiss Stephanie Perkins
Ok-- this is just as scrummy as everyone has been saying it is.
Anna's not happy about being shipped off to Paris for her senior year in high school. She recognizes that yes, she should be excited about. PARIS! BOARDING SCHOOL! PARIS!
But... she misses her brother and her friends and the guy that she was almost dating-- the one that she would be dating if she hadn't moved across an ocean as soon as things started to heat up. Plus, you know, she doesn't speak any French.
Paris, though, is PARIS. Parts of school are challenging, but she quickly finds friends, learns to enjoy coffee, discovers French pastries, and finds many, many, many movie theaters to visit. PLUS there's Etienne St. Clair, her new best friend. The one that has a girlfriend. The one that Anna is totally hot for (not that she'll admit it, but she is.)
While it's an overall light book, there's a lot there that I really enjoyed-- I loved the dynamics of Anna's new group of friends-- dynamics that Anna doesn't always get because she's a new comer. I thought the hole that Ellie's graduation created was really well handled. I also loved how much had changed at home when Anna was away and how hard that hit her.
My second most-favorite thing about this book (first being St. Clair. YUMMY!) was that Anna's father was so clearly based on Nicholas Sparks. And the part where Anna compares her father's works of love and death with Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto? And how both stories in Kitchen "are about heartaache and mourning, but they're tinges with this... simplicity and romance." PERFECT.
I also just loved Anna's voice in general (but not her love of Lost in Translation.)
Overall, a perfect romance without too much self-invented drama.
Plus, PARIS! BOARDING SCHOOL! PARIS!
Book Provided by... my local library
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