I have been working on a post for more than a week now but I am still not ready to share so instead, I thought I would review a little book I read a couple weeks ago. I have been reading quite a lot of serious non-fiction lately and I needed a bit of a break. I found an offer for this YA novel for less than €1 and thought it would be the perfect break. Turns out I was right.
Anna and the French Kiss tells the story of Anna (obviously) whose father sends her to the American School in Paris to spend her last year of high school. She meets a cute French/English/American boy and shenanigans ensue. If you want to read something that will surprise you, don’t read this novel, but if you want to spend four hours rejoicing in cheesiness and high school drama, then this is what you need.
My usual issue with YA is that I cannot relate to the characters and have troubles not rolling my eyes at some aspects of the plot. However, I did not struggle as much with this book. First of all, there is not that many different aspects to the plot to begin with; the main plot line occupying at least 75% of the story. There were some cringy moments but nothing that did not remind me of my own high school day. Second of all, the whole studying abroad and living in dorms element was very reminiscent of my first year in Canada. These made it a little easier to get into and stay in the story, which led to me staying up for three hours to finish it.
I have two main complaints about this book. First, I did find the issues between parents and children to be dealt with very approximately. The whole thing is resolved in a minute with not much logic to it. Second, as a French person, I did take issue with all the stereotypes thrown at the reader throughout the book. I understand that part of it is due to Anna’s negative feelings about moving to Paris but I would have liked a little more subtlety. Moreover, the story is completely Paris-focused, which is fine, but it’s yet another way to reduce an entire country to a single city.
If I had to sum up this reading experience, I would say it was like watching a lovely rom-com with not much substance but a lot of feel-good moments. You already know how the story will end before you’ve started but you’re still really glad when the expected happens.
Rating: 3.75 stars (I don’t know why I still bother with these)