Publication: December 2, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
This book definitely lived up to the hype for me. Anna's story captivated me from beginning to end.
My favorite aspect of the story is the description of Paris. I have always dreamed of visiting there some day, and Stephanie Perkins did a fabulous job of building the atmosphere and scenery. I could imagine all the places they visited and it brought the story to life.
I really like Anna. I think she is an easy character to like and relate to. Sure, I've never been shipped off to a foreign boarding school, but I have experienced feeling like an outsider and being completely lost in my surroundings. I enjoyed reading about her journey and self-development. She isn't the most memorable or remarkable character, but definitely a fun one. She has a lot to learn in Paris and a lot to get adjusted to. The city is magical and beautiful, but it is also a foreign place that Anna has to become accustomed to while being surrounded by people who have lived there for years. Thankfully she has St. Clair...
Oh.. Étienne... he is for sure one of the most charming characters. I love his attitude and confidence. The way he helps Anna adjust to life in Paris is very sweet and swoon-worthy. He has this spunk and warmth that is hard not to love, plus an English accent to top it all off!
Anna and Étienne have a wonderful chemistry throughout the book. It was just very hard for me to ignore the fact that he has a serious girlfriend. She doesn't go to their school, so it's easy for Anna and him to sneak off on adventures and spend time together, but his relationship taints the fun that they have. The constant on-the-line cheating frustrated me and I just wanted him to break up with his girlfriend so badly.
With that said, I know Étienne's circumstance adds drama and tension to the story, but it got to be a bit much for me. Therefore, I had to dock a half star. Cheating can be a pet peeve of mine when it comes to books. Some books I think handle the subject well, but it's just become a repetitive and old plot line for me. So, that aspect is more of a personal preference.
This is an entertaining, charming, and touching read. It's the perfect middle between a light and heavy contemporary. It's a fun adventure, but also has emotional tension and depth. If you are a contemporary YA lover, this is definitely a must-read!