Rating: 3.5 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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 Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
I’m not going to lie – I really wasn’t expecting to like this. I really wasn’t. Partly because the first thing that registered in my brain was the title, and my immediate knee-jerk reaction was, “Anna and the French Kiss . . . Oh, look. Another Bella character that’s drooling over the exotic guy.” Joy.
And judging from the whole French Kiss part . . . Well, let’s just say I was bit more than just turned off. I was kind of disgusted.
But about 2/3 into it, I was seriously enjoying myself. Surprisingly so.
And then . . . I felt like both Anna and St. Clair just turned stupid.
Particularly with the whole cheating thing.
And, yes. It is cheating. If you kiss another girl when you are not actually broken up with your girlfriend, then yes, that is classified as cheating, thank you very much.
Is this a sweet story? Yeah, it is. But there is no looking past the fact that time and time again St. Clair is cheating and betraying his girlfriend. I don’t care if it’s a horrible relationship that you want to end. If you want to flirt, kiss, touch, or anything else even remotely romantic with Anna, then you need to have already broken up with your present girlfriend.
Not later. Not after you’ve slept in Anna’s bed for a week. Not after you send lusty glances Anna’s way in a dark movie theater and then not-so-subtly move your leg up against hers. Not after you grind against each other at a club, both of you completely wasted. Not after you French kiss her in the middle of the park.
If you want to do that stuff with Anna, St. Clair, then you need to break up with your girlfriend FIRST.
I’m angry that Anna lets him too. Yes, I understand that she’s very much attracted to him. And I even understand that some of those times she didn’t even take it romantically, but thought the stolen touches as an accident or just brotherly/friendly love. Not as a-boy-that-is-seriously-lusting-after-you kind of way.
I don’t bloody care if said girlfriend is not the best. I don’t care if you’re even scared about losing her as not just a girlfriend but as a friend. I don’t care if you’re just scared of being alone. Maybe the girlfriend is a complete b****, but guess what?
I DON’T FREAKIN’ CARE.
It’s still cheating. It still makes the guy seem like a complete wimp and jerk. Because nothing, NOTHING, give someone the right to cheat.
I won’t lie, even with all that I was attracted to St. Clair. Because how gradual all these things happen doesn’t make it seem like cheating. It’s very subtle. You might even find yourself thinking that it’s just a comforting gesture during difficult times.
But it’s still there.
St. Clair is charming, cute without being a snob, and really . . . everything a girl could want (sans the whole cheating bit).
Even now, after finishing the book, I might be lusting after him just the tiny bit. But the cheating. I can’t get over that.
All he would have had to do was break up with Ellie (aka, the girlfriend). But he’s scared. She’s a long-time girlfriend, and yes, that can be very difficult. But you know what? You’re already miserable with her, so it can’t much worse without her.
And I’m not going to put all the blame on St. Clair. It takes two to cheat.
Anna could have said no. She does try, but while she keeps reminding us that she’s reminding herself that St. Clair has a girlfriend, we also know that she’s never going to say no to him.
But here’s the secret girls . . .
If a boy really likes you, enough to date you and he already has a girlfriend, he’ll break up with the girlfriend. Because something must already be fundamentally wrong with his relationship if he’s really lusting after you. And if he’s ready to make a move on you when he already hasn’t broken it off with said girlfriend, then he’s just not worth it.
This is a cute love story. It really is. And it is even an enjoyable read. But frustrating at times. Definitely frustrating.