Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This is the delightful tale of American high school student Anna being forced by her author father to attend an American school in Paris for her senior year. She doesn't want to go and leave her cute little brother Sean, her best friend Bridgette, and her budding romance with Toph.
Perkins does a great job painting the picture of a resistent Anna slowly opening up to the beauties of Paris and to the group of people who offer her friendship. The book has its share of mean girls (and boys), but it's also rich with the kindness that does exist among teens as well. For example, there's Meredith (Mer) who's there for her third year, who hears Anna crying once her parents leave her and pulls Anna into her social group--and, of course, Anna's eventual love interest, Etienne.
I especially love the way the friendship between Anna and Etienne grows over the course of the year. This age especially is so fraught with hormones that young people who are really only in lust think they're in love. Then later they find once the physical attraction diminishes that they have nothing else in common. Anna and Etienne become really good friends while they're falling in love, and it was that process that I especially enjoyed reading about. I have a limited amount to time to read each day, and I gave up some sleep because I couldn't stop reading.
I recommend this charming book, noting there are a few "f" bombs dropped and typical adolescent crudity. I also didn't know high school students could go bar hopping in Paris. I know they're more casual about drinking than Americans, but I didn't realize they were that casual.