Poor Anna. It’s senior year and instead of getting to hang out with her best friend Bridgette and nurse her crush on Toph, the indie band boy with killer sideburns, she is instead being forced to go to school abroad. In Paris. I KNOW. I didn’t feel sorry for her either. Until I discovered the sum total of what Anna knows about France: “The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomph, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette and a lot of kings named Louis…The art museum is called the Louvre and it’s shaped like a pyramid and the Mona Lisa lives there…the food is supposed to be good, and people drink a lot of wine and smoke a lot of cigarettes.” That’s not very much to go on. Also, Anna speaks French not at all, and is a little (okay, a LOT) germaphobic. How in the world is she supposed to enjoy the City of Light when she doesn’t know the language and is too skeeved to take the Metro? Lucky for Anna, help comes in the form of a group of quirky housemates who quickly adopt her, including the devastatingly handsome and super nice Etienne St. Clair, who is part American, part British, part French and all awesome. It would be easy for Anna to get lost in his big brown eyes, except for one little thing—St. Clair has a girlfriend, and they’ve been dating for ages. Plus, every other girl in school finds him just as righteous as Anna does, so there’s no way she stands a chance…or does she? Because in short order, St. Clair seems to find Anna just as intriguing as she finds him. But what about his girl friend? And what about Anna’s still-very-much-alive crush on Toph? In the most romantic city in the world, Anna will have to navigate some seriously rough relationship waters before finally figuring out who she wants to be with—and who wants to be with her. This sparkling overseas romance by Stephanie Perkins is a sheer delight from start to finish, brimming over with witty banter, poignant subplots and spot on characterization. Anna’s love of old movies and St. Clair’s admiration of Pablo Neruda are just a few of the great little details that make them o-so-real. A perfect way to ease the heat of the dog days of summer reading.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins