Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Penguin on December 16th 2013
Also by this author: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me, Summer Days & Summer Nights
Format: eBook (416 pages) • Source: Purchased
The Isla Is Coming readalong kicked off on the last day of July and I decided to take part! Unlike most people participating, I’m reading the series for the first time. (Click on the picture on the right to read the informational post). I started reading Anna and the French Kiss on Friday, when the readalong started, and I basically haven’t stopped it reading since. I just finished the book (WAY too early!) and now I’m going to wait another few days before starting Lola and the Boy Next Door with the rest of the readers. It’ll be hard to resist but I really want to keep pace with the readalong. Of course, the point of the readalong is to gear up for the third book’s release – Isla and the Happily Ever After on the 14th. Judging by how much I absolutely loved the first book, I’m sure I’ll really enjoy the next two in this totally adorable trilogy. So now here’s my review for the first book in the Isla Is Coming readalong!
Anna is less than thrilled to be shipped off to boarding school in Paris, leaving a fledgling romance behind – until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with a longed-for French kiss?
Review: This is exactly what I’m looking for when I read a young adult romance. All YA authors should read this book before writing one of their own. I feel like I smiled to myself like an idiot throughout the whole book; it was just so damn cute. Anna was one of the most relatable characters I’ve encountered. Her experiences completely mirror those of the average teenage girl: getting screwed over by a best friend, falling for a boy who has a girlfriend, making mistakes with friends, feeling sparks for the first time, thinking you have a crush on the “bad boy,” trying to make new friends and fit in, feeling lonely in a new place/school – the list goes on. I’ve gotta say it definitely made me glad I’m 22 instead of 18. I absolutely loved the backdrop of Paris; it was neat hearing about all of the landmarks and sights she got to experience for the first time. It wasn’t overwhelmingly about Paris, which was nice; it allowed the reader to focus on the story and the relationships without getting too caught up in where it was all happening. It also confirmed that I need to get the hell out of the US for once in my life. St. Clair was obviously adorable and I fell in love with him along with Anna. Their romance was dramatic at times, but whose hasn’t been? It wasn’t totally a love-at-first-sight thing (thank god) and the reader really did follow their relationship and watch it grow organically. You really don’t get that too much these days… most books involve characters falling in love after a few minutes and it just isn’t realistic. This book had all the elements of a good YA romance and I TOTALLY see what all the hype is about. I even had this to say at one point:
On page two of Anna and the French Kiss and already can tell I'm going to love these books #IslaIsComing
— Lauren (@bookmarklit) August 1, 2014
So yeah, saying I enjoyed this book is an understatement. Luckily I went into it with the mindset of “this is going to be a cute, fairly predictable, and happy little romance book” – because expecting anything “deeper” than that would be a mistake. You definitely get what you’re asking for! It’s a feel-good read for anyone.
It was weird hearing Isla get mentioned a few times in the book because I knew her own story was coming in a future book, but it made me wonder where Lola is. I haven’t read the description for Lola and the Boy Next Door yet, but I figured she would have probably been mentioned in this book too. Oh well – still eager to get going next week on book #2!