January 2014, Usborne, 416 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Themes: illness of loved ones, idiotic parents, deception, international boarding school, loneliness, OCD tendencies, lots of hot chocolate, movie geek, getting in trouble, seeing the sights of Paris,
Content: frequent and strong teen romance, strong bad language, some innuendo,
Summary from Usborne
Anna had everything figured out – she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere... Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Étienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna's been waiting for?
Me being me I didn't pick this book for the romance. I was hooked by Anna being sent to school on a different continent where she didn't know the language. That part of the story was as hilarious as I'd hoped-she made assumptions about both people and things which were proved wrong and could have saved her being bored of food in the first week. I totally related to her fear of going out places she didn't know, thus being a hermit for a fair while (as in only going to school and her dorm. She had friends, and spent time with them, but for part of the book she doesn't go sightseeing. She is a tad OCD over being clean and tidy which is consistent throughout the story and helps her out of & into problems. I enjoyed watching her transform as a person through her experiences, learning new aspects of herself and others, and improving her language skills.
There is a lot of teen romance, which resulted in me rolling my eyes a lot, especially when Anna has a revelation and is besotted with someone - that and the strong language is the reason for the lightly lowered grade. Overall Anna's voice is entertaining and kept me wanting to read more even when I had to skimread the blushy bits.
Find out more on Stephanie's website.
Another fun read about a teen living away from home is Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin (Young Adult, 9/10E)