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?
It's rare that I'll begin a book and have a ton of red flags raised in the beginning...and then end up loving loving the book. In the beginning I was beginning to think that the blogging world had gone mad! I mean you've got your stereotypical mean girl (which admittedly, was still one one of my least favourite bits), there's a set up that's guaranteed to pit friends against each other - even worse all over a boy, all the friendships all seem focused on said boy...needless to say I was pretty skeptical. And then I got to page 69 (I swear it's just chance it's that number!). And it all changed for me.
This is...kind of spoilerish? Maybe? Light spoilers, in any case. Throughout the book Anna proves that's she's really interested in Etienne for who he is as a person and as a friend, and she is really doing her best to not fall in love with him, because she doesn't want to be interested . It's not like in a lot of books where the character just says it over and over - Anna shows it. And by page 69 I was completely convinced with their relationship. And their love story evolves so slowly, with a solid foundation in friendship, which is everything I could ever want in a book centered around a love story. It's totally swoon-worthy, but it's also slow burning and messy and imperfect. And despite being centered around a love story, that's not all there is to this book. It's also about finding yourself, navigating foreign waters both literally and emotionally, messy relationships - family, friends, and romantic. It's basically just a story about life, and it's pretty much beautiful. Was it perfect? No. I wanted more show and less tell in her female friendships, and particularly just more Bridget in general. But otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed it and as a debut novel it means everything is going to get even better in her other books.
If you're like me and were skeptical with the premise, and the opening of the book is totally not your thing...trust me. Just trust me and keep reading. Contemporary lovers should read this for sure, anyone who's a sucker for romance, and if it influences you at all, this was on my top ten books I've read this year!