Etta

Review: Kisses and Croissants

Expected publication: April 6th 2021

Author: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

Overview from Goodreads:

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Sixteen-year-old Mia, an American girl at an elite summer ballet program, has six weeks to achieve her dreams: to snag an audition with one of the world’s best ballet companies. But there’s more to Paris than ballet—especially when a charming French boy, Louis, wants to be her tour guide—and the pair discover the city has a few mysteries up its sleeve.

In the vein of romances like Love and Gelato, this is the perfect summer adventure for anyone looking to get swept away in the City of Love. 

Personal Review

First things first – I highly recommend picking up this novel when it’s released April 2021! This novel will give you all the heart-warming feels and be adored by audiences of all ages. Don’t let the fact that the main character is seventeen deter you from giving this book a try!

Mia lives and breathes ballet and dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. Ballet requires her full attention and dedication in order to be successful. One of her dreams is to be accepted to the American Ballet Theatre in New York. However, after failing to be accepted to their program, she is accepted into an elite program in Paris for the summer. Soon, she is off for a Parisian adventure and one step closer to achieving her dream. When she arrives though, things are off to a rough start when her flight was delayed meaning she has to begin her trip by running through the airport.

Near the taxi stand she runs into her “rival” Audrey, a fellow American ballet student who is Mia believes is a superior ballerina and has been accepted into the same program. They end up not only sharing a taxi to the dorms, but have to share a dorm room as well. Mia starts to question if her time in Paris is just going to be one obstacle after another.

Audrey is placed in level five (the highest in the program) and Mia is placed in level four. However, after an initial practice session, the director sees potential in Mia and she is moved to level five. Mia starts to doubt her abilities, but is excited about the new opportunity. Soon she meets Louis while exiting the school, but she starts to question if the attraction is worth the potential distraction. Mia has to then find out where her true passion lies and how much focus she can afford to take away from ballet to live her life to the fullest.

Mia and Audrey form an unlikely friendship when both of them are cast in the program’s production of Swan Lake. Along with Mia’s other friends, Lucy and Auruk, her Paris adventure truly takes flight. The friendships are a great part of the story as they understand each other while also focusing on the reason why they are in Paris. The bonds they formed were realistic and relatable.

As this is a romance novel, Louis and Mia form a relationship as they spend time together outside of her ballet schedule. Louis took some time to like as he was just sort of there and almost too perfect. He adored Mia and was very supportive at every turn so it felt a little one-sided when they would have a disagreement or even a conversation. I felt he needed a little more realism to make him a more well-rounded character. He experiences character growth as the chapters move on, but I just felt like he was missing something when it came to him having any conflict (big or small) with Mia. He did, however, complement Mia well and they did make an adorable couple.

The scenery described in this novel is what truly brings it to life as you feel like you’re walking along the streets of Paris even though you’re reading it on paper. The landmarks, the food, and the general atmosphere were described in just enough detail to paint a picture of the novel’s story.  Mia was a relatable “tourist” as she attempted to use French and how Paris filled her with a sense of wonder. I remember my first time in Paris and I related to how Mia was mesmerized by the city, although I was never as brave as her to freely attempt any French that I knew.

Overall, this is a very light-hearted and heart-warming story about following your passion while also remembering to live your life.  Mia a fantastic main character and you instantly root for her to live out her dream as you follow along her journey in her Parisian ballet summer program. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants a nice easy read that will leave you feeling satisfied!

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