Summary (from the publisher):
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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
If you’re craving a sweet YA contemporary this spring, look no further than Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau’s Kisses and Croissants. This book is the perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss and Disney+’s On Pointe documentary series, as rising high school senior, Mia, spends six weeks at an elite ballet program in Paris. Mia dreams of being a professional ballet dancer, and she spends her summer working towards an audition for one of the top ballet companies in the world, trying to figure out a family mystery involving a famous painter, and not-so resisting the temptation of a cute French boy.
I spent one of the first warm & sunny Sundays this spring devouring Kisses and Croissants in just a few hours. Make sure you have a croissant or pastry near by as you read because this book will seriously leave you craving some French pastries and cheese. Mia’s adventures around Paris instantly transported me to the country from the first chapter. Soon after I finished reading, I found myself diving into Paris vlogs from my travel vloggers, Kara and Nate, and planning my trip there in my head. The setting was so well-described, and I loved the book’s details surrounding art and museum culture in Paris, as Mia researches if one of the ballet dancers in a famous painter’s work was indeed one of her great grandmothers.
I really enjoyed the balance between Mia’s romantic adventures with Louis and her ballet training. I actually think there was a tad bit more ballet than romance, which I so enjoyed! I loved seeing Mia’s passion for ballet and reading all about her training and summer work. While there is a rivalry between Mia and another dancer from the US, Audrey, I liked how they weren’t cutthroat enemies from the start and I loved how their relationship formed throughout the book. Aside from her passion for ballet and coming from a family of ballet dancers, there’s also another layer to Mia’s dance career, in that her mom is not-so crazy about her daughter’s dedication to dance. I thought all of these elements were well-balanced while staying dedicated to Anna’s love for dance and getting to train in & fall in love with a new place. Anna and Louis’ romance was predictable, but their relationship and dates in Paris just added to the book’s adventure and wanderlust. While I really liked the book’s conclusion and epilogue, I wouldn’t mind another glimpse (or maybe a whole book) dedicated to Mia’s future as she hopefully begins her ballet career.
Overall, Kisses and Croissants was its own story between its focus on ballet and Mia’s family art mystery, but I especially recommend this one for fans of YA contemporaries set in foreign countries or in the City of Love themselves, such as Anna and the French Kiss and Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Love à la Mode. Kisses and Croissants will leave you craving an adventure in Paris, sweet pastries, and more sweet contemporaries from Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau.
Kisses and Croissants comes out on April 6, 2021.
This review is based on an advance review copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this copy affect my thoughts & opinions.
About the Author
Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau is a novelist, nonfiction author, and freelance writer.
She also writes TV pilots, essays, Instagram captions, satire pieces, and grocery lists. She even wrote the words you’re reading right now. And the ones after. She’s unstoppable.
She do all of this in English and in French, mostly because she can, but also because “impossible” is the same word in both languages. “J’écris en français et en anglais parce que je peux le faire, mais aussi parce que “impossible” se dit pareil dans les deux langues.” See, she just did it.
Born and raised in France, Jouhanneau spent the last 16 years living around the world, first in Amsterdam, then in Melbourne, and now has been in New York City since 2011 where she lives with her Australian husband and their American cat. She has permanent work permits on three continents (including a green card), which will come really handy the day she learns teleportation (it could happen, you don’t know).
Is Kisses & Croissants on your TBR? What are some of your favorite YA contemporaries set in foreign countries? Share in the comments!