Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
I heard a lot of amazing things about this book, so I was excited to read it. Obviously, as my rating indicates, I enjoyed it. But I did have some problems, and I'm going to list them first and get it over with.
1) The Caps Lock. For those of you who've read it, I need say no more. For those who haven't . . . DO ANYONE OF YOU ENJOY FEELING LIKE YOU'RE BEING SHOUTED AT THE ENTIRE BOOK?!(WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST USE INTERROBANGS?!)
2) The name-change, and then how she kept using his last name then his first. It confused and annoyed me.
3) I felt like they were going in circles with their relationship. Like the same three steps kept happening over and over again and it took them the whole book to break free of the cycle: be friendly, start to get friendlier, suddenly become awkward turtles around one another/have big blow out/ignore each other completely. And I felt like so many times their feelings for each other were made so painfully obvious that the fact that they didn't realize how the other felt forced me to believe they were both so painfully dumb.
4) I feel like Mer got over it too quickly. I know, I know, they had time to simmer, and she was nasty the first day it happened, but after Anna apologized it was just . . . okay again. Eh. I dunno.
5) I always read Mer's name like Purr.
I saved the biggest one for last.
See, I . . . I had mixed feelings about Anna.
Sometimes I really liked her. I liked her brand of humor, I liked the way she acted with Bridgette when they were friendly, I liked how she cared for Etienne and got him out during Thanksgiving break. I liked her obsession with films and film criticism. And that wasn't it. There were a lot of moments here where I really liked her.
But there were a lot of moments where I really wanted to smack her.
On the one hand, I do ask myself this: if I were her, would I react any differently? Would I be any less petty, or jealous? Would I be any less hormonal or blind?
The answer is probably no. But the thing about book characters is they're not usually supposed to depict a teen to the point where it's painful, because frankly, the average teen can get pretty damn annoying.
Anna's jealousy. That really bothered me. I get being jealous, it happens to all of us, but she got so ridiculously jealous over the smallest things, even before she had any sort of claim to St. Clair, and to me, it just made her seem really clingy and petty.
I felt like whenever St. Clair tried to be nice to her, she started yelling at him. And there were sometimes she started just yelling at people who didn't deserve it the slightest bit, and it got me so mad because I felt like she was fucking up her own relationships on purpose and then complaining about it.
Also. I could try and count the number of times she described St. Clair as beautiful, but frankly, that would be tiresome, and I'm . . . tired. But while it's certainly better than the "glorious" SMeyer seems to favor, after a while I was just thinking, Alright, I've got the point, he's short and ridiculously gorgeous.
And just . . . just overall, while sometimes I really liked Anna, by the end I was just kind of wondering what he saw in her that made him choose her over, say, Mer, who was probably a better person than Anna.
BUT NOW TO THE POSITIVES.
Etienne St. Claire.