Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Boarding school! Romance! Paris! What an absolute delight this novel was. Anna resents being sent to boarding school in Paris; she’d rather be at home in Atlanta with her best friend, younger brother and Mom, and the boy she is sure was about to become her boyfriend.  Instead, her pushy father (too much money, not enough class) sends her away.  Anna is fortunate enough to be quickly taken in by a super group of friends (the group was in a bit of flux because one of their members moved on to college and has essentially dumped them.) The school itself is so charming and French, the cafeteria is like a fancy restaurant (and it’s down the block), the classes are tiny and interesting, and they are in an actual city neighborhood.  Over the course of the year Anna grows to know and love the city (and its many small movie theaters) and to learn French.  But the real heart of the story is her friendship with one of the boys in her group, Etienne St. Clair.  She falls deeply in love with him, and thinks he loves her, too, but they have many obstacles. Remember the member of the group who had moved on to college? That’s St. Clair’s girlfriend.  Then of course there’s Anna’s potential guy back home (a storyline which will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched a teen movie or read another ya book.)
I was fascinated by the responsibility given to the teens as boarding school students in a city.  They all seemed ridiculously mature-basically like college students instead of high school students.
I really liked this–a good solid entertaining book.  There was something about it that I thought elevated it above a typical romance.

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