Review: Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

  • Title: Kisses and Croissants
  • Author: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
  • Genre: romance, contemporary
  • Intended audience: young adult
  • Format read: eARC
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s
  • Pub date: April 6, 2021
  • Trigger warnings: car crash
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

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.

Seventeen-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.

I found this book to be really cute and fluffy! To start with, it completely transported me to Paris, which was just lovely. I’ve missed traveling so much; and since I’ve been learning French I keep thinking about going back to France again. So I loved getting the opportunity to travel around the city within this book.

I also enjoyed reading about the ballet parts of the book. Being a former dancer, it made me really nostalgic for ballet. And I liked Mia’s family mystery. I adore Degas, so I totally got where Mia was coming from, and it added a lot of depth to the book.

But I think the best part of the book was Mia’s friendships. Even though this book didn’t focus too intently on platonic relationships, my favorite parts were the ones focused on Mia spending time with her friends, and I really enjoyed watching the development of the relationship between Mia and Audrey (her grumpy roommate) as they learned how to work together.

So basically, I liked most of the book. Unfortunately, the romance totally fell flat for me. If the book had just been going for “fun summer fling” I think I could have been on board. Louis is swoony enough that I could have gotten swept up in the romance and adventure of it all, but the book tried to make the relationship much deeper. However, it leaned heavily on the side of insta-love, and I just didn’t feel enough connection and chemistry between Mia and Louis for me to feel that this was a deep romance. I could see the effort that was put in: they talked about serious things with each other, and Louis wasn’t totally two-dimensional or anything, but I just didn’t feel it. The connection just wasn’t there; there wasn’t enough time for their relationship to build up the way it should have.

So on one hand, it was a romance book where I didn’t like the romance, but on the other hand I did like basically every other part of the book. Overall though, I would say that I enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something fun, and I would certainly read more from Jouhanneau in the future.

I was provided with an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

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