This is one of the novels I finished reading during our honeymoon road trip to California. To be honest, I am not the biggest contemporary fan. If it doesn’t have hobbits or witches or dragons in it I probably will not be interested. However, I have seen this book all over my Instagram feed and all over Barnes & Noble. I think the only reason I was willing to get into this particular contemporary novel is because it’s set in a French boarding school. It may not be Hogwarts but France sounds pretty neat to me! I’ve never been but have always wanted to go. I watch House Hunters International all the time and I think that’s what sparked my wanderlust.
I brought this with me to read after The Lost World by Michael Crichton. I like to have something different after I finish a book to cleanse by reading palate so to say. So I went from dinosaurs to love in Paris!
I love the main character in this book. At first you think Anna is this shy, scared person who was forced to leave her home in Atlanta, Georgia. But by the end of the novel she struggles with being a good friend, going and getting what you want, and just with being a teen who falls in love…in PARIS. She slowly starts falling for her friend St. Clair, who her first friend at the school SOAP (School of America in Paris) has already been crushing on for years before Anna arrived. They have this crazy, whirlwind, Parisian love adventure! Except he has a girlfriend and you find out someone in his family has just been diagnosed with cancer and this makes him afraid to leave his girlfriend for Anna. Does Anna fight for St. Clair or back off to let him make his own decision without feeling like she’s forcing his hand? And if she does try to force him to leave his girlfriend and he refuses, will he still be Anna’s best friend?
Not only is the romance on point in this novel, but the setting is perfect. I can see where you might be reluctant to pick it up like I was because it’s a contemporary read but it’s amazing. The inner struggles of all the characters are so real. Who doesn’t struggle with falling hard when they’re a teenager? Who doesn’t struggle with “Girl Code” when you and your friend both like the same boy? What do you do when your world back home moves on after you leave? In that aspect I think I related to this because it reminded me of when I went to college. After I came home for the first time after several months I realized that the world kept turning. Like I had thought it would stop for me and everything and all of the relationships between people would be the same when I got back. It just doesn’t work that way. I really liked seeing how Anna coped with the idea of “home” throughout the novel and how it changed.
I’m not sure if I am going to read Lola and the Boy Next Door or Isla and the Happily Ever After next. I may just skip to the third book because it has two of the characters from Anna and the French Kiss in it.