I recently read the book Anna the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. I was strolling by the YA section of the library and saw this one on the top of the shelf.
My first impression was that if Ms. Perkins has not been to Paris, she's got amazing research skills. I have visited Paris twice, which is not at all the same as living there, and even I found myself nodding at the accuracy of her descriptions.
Here's me on the Eiffel Tower in 1991. Eons ago. I'm at the mid-level area, because I'm afraid of heights and this was the best I could do.
I've also went to 6 different schools in my K-12 career. I went to 3 different high schools. I lived in Germany my last two years of high school (on an American base during the first Gulf War.) All of these experiences made me very sympathetic with the plight Anna faces as being the new kid in her school and feeling discomfort as an American in a place not known for their love of Americans. However, even if you did not ever have those experiences, Ms. Perkins builds her story so well that you will feel like you have.
Anna is a believable, sympathetic character with a strong voice and excellent sense of humor. The whole book was a fun romance that I enjoyed tremendously. It's not super suspenseful, yet I stayed up quite late to finish it, so hats off to you, Ms. Perkins!
If you like YA romances that are a little quirky with vivid sensory descriptions of a foreign location, you'll enjoy this one! It's not just about her finding love, but about finding herself in a place far, far from home.
And if you ever go to Paris, make sure you take plenty of rests. If you don't, you could be me: