Synopsis: Anna is shipped off to boarding school in Paris where
despite not speaking a word of French, she 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.
“Your elbow is murdering my back.”
This book is slightly old but I felt like it deserved a review on this blog.
I love that while this sounds like it should be a typical boy-meets-girl story, it’s much more satisfying than that. There are more complicated aspects of all of the relationships- between friends and romantic interests- that make this novel more mature than many YA books. The love story is realistic yet feeds into that fantasy romance I look for in fiction. Combine that with the setting of Paris, and a narrator with a distinct voice and charm, and this book deserves the hype.
Boarding schools usually make for interesting settings in novels. There’s always a little bit of drama, but if an author handles it well, the lessons the characters learn and the things they go through can be meaningful. This isn’t about a girl trying to fit in with the cool crowd or get the hottest guy, truly. There are plenty of other novels about that out there if you’re interested.
Instead, this novel is not quite as a coming of age story, but a story about coming into one’s self. Anna’s friendships with the people she meets in Paris- including the guy she falls in love with- are both deep and interesting. While she may be instantly attracted to St. Clair, the novel explores their friendship on a level that I think a lot of novels- YA and other- skip.
4.5 Ships – Fantastically mature YA.