Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Jan. 2014, Usborne Publishing Ltd, ISBN: 140957993X)
I remember all the praise Anna and the French Kiss received when it was first published – 2010 in the US – and as it now has a UK release I was able to finally read it myself.
I too thoroughly enjoyed it and am pleased that the second and third books, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After, in this (what I understand to be) loosely linked trilogy, are also now available in the UK!
Seventeen-year-old Anna Oliphant, from Atlanta, has been sent by her rich, writer, father to finish her education in an American School in Paris. She speaks Spanish but no French and doesn't know a soul. Fortunately she is soon being looked after by her neighbour Mer, who introduces Anna to her friends, including the gorgeous Etienne St Clair, he of the equally gorgeous English accent.
Anna is smitten by St Clair (as everyone calls him) but he has a girlfriend and she has a tentative relationship brewing back at home nonetheless the pair become almost inseparable.. as best friends.
Over the course of the school year, St Clair helps Anna become more independent and she helps him cope with his difficult family situation. But will they end up together or is this mutual friendship enough?
Who can resist a (possible) romance/coming of age story set in Paris? Anna is someone you can relate too as she stumbles her way through the first few weeks, embarrassed by her lack of French language, and I loved her film references/comments – she wants to be a film critic. St Clair is lovely but also a bit frustrating and that is what makes him a bit different from a standard gorgeous boy character, he is cautious and is also not six-foot plus tall, and makes jokes about his lack of height.
I read the ebook version which also includes a deleted scene, and an extract from Lola.