Young Adult Romance
Dutton Books, 2010
Blurb from GoodReads:
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. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
Oh, dear sweet novel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
1. A viewpoint character you can connect with right away, feel concern for, and who you want to succeed. (She has a gap between her front teeth and she's a film fanatic. Win.)
2. Beautiful detailed descriptions of Paris without crossing into "boring, let's get on with it" territory. I felt like I was there.
3. An LI (love interest) who you can justify being an LI. Meaning, you want these two to be together in the end. You can see why they're a good fit. The romance is deeply justified, not shallow.
4. Supporting characters who each have their own unique personalities, their own issues, yet they do not overshadow the main issue at hand, the romantic tension between the MC and the LI. Every character in this book has realism. There are no cardboard cut-outs or unpurposeful stereotypes.
5. Subplots that make sense and feel relevant to the main plot.
6. Full of "take your breath away" moments. Too many to count.
7. A refreshingly natural writing style. Not over-the-top, or in-your-face, or being sarcastic for the sake of being sarcastic. The writing is fluid and easy to read.
8. High tension and fast pacing without leaving you exhausted from reading. You just feel like you must keep reading... one more chapter, one more chapter, just one more chapter... and then suddenly, you're done.
9. The pages feel like silk (not even kidding. That was the first thing I said to my husband when I started reading the book-- were these pages printed on silk? This is the silkiest paper I've ever felt in a novel. My fingertips are in love.)
10. The typeface adds to the overall adorableness of the story. How often do I mention page texture and typeface in a review? Yowza. This book has it all. The whole package is amazing.
I could go on. But then I'd give too much of the story away. This novel deserves every bit of the high praise it has received. And it's a debut! I cannot wait to read Stephanie's next two novels, which are companions to this one, and whatever she has in store for her readers down the road. She is definitely one to follow.
Cover Art: 5 stars
Title: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Story: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Ending: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars
I borrowed this book from the library, but I have put it on my "absolutely must purchase whenever I have the extra cash" list. Because I already want to read it again.