Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This goes down in my personal chick lit/YA history as my favorite. It hit all the elements that I liked. Excellent character development, a likable and imperfect protagonist, likable and imperfect love interest, mishmash of characters in the social group, and constant action. There is no single "angst" moment where there is a communication failure. It's simply Anna sent to a Paris boarding school and winning acceptance into a crowd that happens to possess a love interest. But she still holds onto a crush at home in Atlanta.
So the year progresses and the friendships deepen. Snarky, fun dialogue, sexual tension, awkward circumstances that made me laugh out loud (as did the dialogue and games). Okay, I laughed about the stupidest things like the game Étienne and Anna play on the airplane, "If you had to buy one thing on this page..." I didn't know other people played that game and "Duty Free" Sky Mall really does sell the most useless and odd items.
When Anna finally decides to do something alone, my nostalgia bone was tickled funny. I stood at Point Zero in front of Notre Dame and didn't get it. I climbed those blasted stairs up to the top of the bell tower and Notre Dame and couldn't believe how many stairs there were. It just went on and on and on and on - as Anna attests.
So much fun to read. Completely and utterly enjoyed it.