Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?
First of all, please don’t do like I did and judge the book by its blend summary. It isn’t getting all this hype for nothing, it’s an amazing contemporary, it made me happy and I already want to read it again. Just read it no matter what you think and you wont regret it!
WHAT I LIKED:
– All the French vocabulary. French is my first language so I was quite happy to always know what was being said without having to wait for the explanations given afterwards that probably most Anglophone readers needed. I liked having that advantage.
– All the scenes in the English class, I believe, when the teacher talks about the translation of literary pieces from English to French or vice versa, and how they are received in other cultures etc, because I graduated in translation in university and I enjoyed reading about that and I’m glad what the author wrote actually made sense.
– All the scenes (so most of the novel, really) where they wander around Paris. I was never particularly attracted to France, or Paris, but after reading this book, I kind of discovered it in a different light, along with Anna who was a total stranger there in the beginning.
– Like I said in my review of The Geography of You and Me, I love when characters have specific passions or hobbies that make them unique and memorable. Anna’s passion for film and cinema was very present in the book and in her life. Étienne’s passion for history also (and we got to learn a few historical facts along the way).
– Their sense of humor. I loved the way they talked with each other, talking back, using irony and sarcasm, being witty and funny, cracking jokes. It made me want to be a part of their little group of friends and it all made them look like people who’d be nice to have around.
– I also noticed a character named Isla that was mentioned twice and I knew right away that she was going to be THE Isla from Isla and the Boy Next Door. Then I went to read the summary and also saw the name of Josh, a member of their group that I’m excited to learn more about.
– Finally, I think the best part of this book was the way Anna and Étienne relationship developed. A lot of authors rely on insta-love, which is never really believable. In this case, they truly became friends before anything else, spending a lot of time talking to each other and getting to know the other better and questioning themselves, showing restraint and thoughts before acting upon certain new feelings they might have, just the way it really happens to all of us.
In a few words: smart, funny, really captured the way falling in love should feel, with its highs and lows.
Happy Reading 🙂