Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
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?
Summary of review: A quirky, adorable YA romance set in a boarding school in the beautiful city of Paris. Anna is a funny, relatable character who has a swoon-worthy romance with St. Clair. This book is light, but with enough depth to keep me hooked. While I was annoyed with a few aspects of the story, this book was overall great and I would absolutely recommend.
I’ve seen this book everywhere and I am so happy I finally read it. It was absolutely adorable and I ate up every second of it! But seriously, I stayed up way too late at night reading this book. We first meet Anna as she is being shipped off to boarding school in Paris. Anna is nervous about being in a foreign country and plans to sulk in her room rather than explore the city. Honestly, I related to Anna. She was so nervous all the time and it made her feel so real. Sure, its great to be in a beautiful city like Paris but Anna wasn’t given a choice and she didn’t feel confident enough in herself or her broken French to really explore and embrace the culture. Anna is also a bit shy, awkward and unsure of herself. One of the best parts of this book is watching Anna’s character development as she grows and gains confidence!
Anna’s worries about her lack of friends in Paris quickly disappears when she meets Meredith, Rashmi, Josh and St. Clair. Oh the swoony St. Clair! What a cutie. He’s friendly, witty and has an English accent which Anna loves. She is immediately attracted to him and they become fast friends. The only problem is…St. Clair has a girlfriend. Ellie. Ellie no longer attends the boarding school and we actually don’t see much of her throughout the book, though her presence is often the giant elephant in the room that St. Clair and Anna try not to talk about.
So there’s a few things I want to mention about St. Clair’s relationship with Ellie. First, I think it’s fairly obvious that St. Clair isn’t in love with Ellie when we meet him, so I really didn’t feel all that guilty about him and Anna getting together later (although nothing really happens while him and Ellie are together!). Second, Anna and St. Clair were genuinely friends for a long time. Through their phone calls, movies and adventures through Paris they became best friends. It was absolutely adorable to watch their relationship grow. Finally, it made me so irritated that he held on to Ellie for so long! I understand that she’s comfortable, but come on. Anyway, once I got over that small annoyance I really enjoyed the rest of the book.
There was quite a bit of drama and angst due to the aforementioned relationship and honestly it made it a very engrossing read. I had to read to the to know what happened between Etienne St. Clair and Anna Oliphant.
Finally, I loved the setting! As Anna explored more and more of the city we got to explore it with her. Much to her pleasant surprise, Paris is a huge city for film and Anna is constantly going to old movies. When she explores popular destinations like Notre Dame I felt like I was right there with her. I’m so used to books being set in the U.S. that it was nice to mix it up for a change.
Overall, a highly recommended read by Stephanie Perkins. My only regret is that I didn’t pick it up sooner! I have Lola and Isla on my TBR to read soon 🙂