by Stephanie Perkins
I remember when I first heard about this book when Ms. Barnes recommended it to Clare, who wrote her review on our blog The List, and I. I had high hopes for this book, and it lived up to all of them.
Anna is a girl whose parents are sending her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. She arrives there and immediately becomes friends with Meredith, Josh, Rashimi, and most importantly Etienne St. Clair, a gorgeous guy who lives in France, is American, and has a british accent. To put it plainly: Etienne St. Clair is perfect. However, St. Clair (as everyone calls him) has a girlfriend, Ellie, who is friends with the group but has already graduated. Through the course of the book, the reader sees all the relationships between this set of friends evolve, especially the one between St. Clair and Anna. The reader can see that they (St. Clair and Anna) are perfect for one another, but the characters do not see that. They are often questioning who they are in relation to one another and where their relationship stands. The reader is hoping all throughout the book that the characters will finally see the deep bond that is forming between them and how they really should be together (as a couple).
I give this book a five. I love the way you can see the characters develop while there is still plot and a sense to the story. I learned to love the group of friends, and I definatley and completely fell in love with Etienne St. Clair just as Anna does. I feel that Anna is a reliable and realistic narrator who I can relate to and understand. She isn't a damsel in distress, and she deals with her own problems and is a strong heroine. She is a fantastic character with a large heart that I admire. This book completely deserves a five. I haven't read a book with such lovable characters in a long time. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, particularly people who like romance.