There have been a lot of rave reviews on this book, and I am sure many fellow book bloggers would understand that kind of "anticipation" and/or "need" to read a book that caused such a stir over the blogosphere. I have to confess I was curious about the hype, but more than that, I was intrigued by the plot and that the setting is Paris, a city well known for romance and it has the beauty name of "The City of Light".
Our heroine, Anna, lives in Atlanta and though her life isn't perfect, she loves her family (her parents are separated but her mother decided that they need a father figure so he still see the family occasionally) and aside from that, she has her best friend and Christopher, a guy whom she likes for a long time.
However, her world seems to come to a halt when she learnt that her father is sending her to a boarding school in Paris. Now Anna has never been away with her family for such a long time, not to mention the distance, the language barrier and all. But, she adapts quickly to her new environment and have made a few good friends along the way. Among them is a guy named Étienne St. Clair, who is not only good-looking and popular but also has a girlfriend.
Anna enjoys being friends with them, but little does she know that she is falling in love with Étienne the more they spend their time together; and it seems their friendship has turned to more after they have spent the time together for Thanksgiving and that Anna being there when his mother has cancer and has to go for treatments. The relationship between Étienne and his father is strained so he appreciates that Anna is there for moral support, plus he and his girlfriend has fallen apart but they are still together despite the lesser communications.
Just as Anna is feeling confused over their relationship, she is more shocked to learn that Christopher is going out with her best friend back home in Atlanta. Which is worse, being seeing the guy you likes is still together with his girlfriend despite the strained relationship, or being betrayed by your best friend? Needless to say, I find myself rooting for Anna throughout my reading journey and on top of the premise, what makes this book such a delightful read is learning more about Paris and its culture (the scene on French pastries, macarons . . . simply made my mouth waters). I have this longing of visiting Europe (especially Paris) for a while so reading this book has further increased that longing.
Although this book is very much about the relationship between Anna and Étienne, it also touches on issues such as the relationship between friends, between boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as between family. Both Anna and Étienne have issues with their fathers; and while Anna's father is portrayed more like an egoistical father who seems to know what is best for her (he is most proud of the books he writes), Étienne's father, however, couldn't care less about anyone's feelings (except his own) and this shows especially when Étienne's mom is diagnosed with cancer and I didn't understand why he would stop Étienne from seeing his mom (which I feel is ridiculous). Then again, I would also like to highlight that there is an allusion to teen sex and drinking but those are minimal.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading Stephanie Perkin's next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which I heard is equally wonderful too.