I’ll hold my hands up and say this: Different people have been recommending this book to me since it came out, and | genuinely had zero interest in giving it a go until recently. It sounded far too trashy chicklit for me and I just wasn’t intrigued by it at all. However, after finishing Tuesdays with Morrie, I needed something more lighthearted so I decided to give Anna a shot.
I am so glad I did.
On paper, it should not be such an engaging, heart-wrenching and un-put-downable story, but man does it live up to all that and more. The premise is simple, American Anna is sent to a school in Paris. It’s the people she meets here, and the ones she leaves behind that makes this book what it is. St Clair is written so beautifully that, like Park (Eleanor & Park), I actually found myself falling in love with him in my spare time. It takes a very talented writer to create the electric tension that only seems to happen when you are a hormone charged teen and honestly, there were moments were I found myself holding my breath with the energy.
The difference between trashy chicklit and a mature, poignant Young Adult novel lies in the real-life issues that are tackled, and the way ‘young love’ is portrayed. In both Eleanor & Park (it is so easy to make comparisons between them, despite them being rather different stories) the protagonists help one another through life with difficult home lives. Sometimes there is more to being a teen than first crushes. However, love isn’t portrayed as silly, immature puppy-‘love’, but as the all-consuming, rush of feels that we all know it to be.
I adored this book. It had enough bits that made me curse out loud and clutch my chest to balance out the tear-jerkingly beautiful moments. It’s another book that I’m gutted I got in to so late, so I implore you – read this book now, you won’t regret it!
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