|Anna and the French Kiss (Anna & the French Kiss 1)|
|Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna & the French Kiss 2)|
|Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna & the French Kiss 3)|
Anna and the French Kiss is the first of the series (I'm not actually sure whether they're to be read as a series or not; the books stand alone nicely, but there is some overlap with some of the characters, so I guess it's best if they are read in the correct order.) and is set in Paris, where Anna starts at the boarding school she's sent to, by her parents. She mopes a little and misses her boyfriend, but soon gets distracted by new friends and a new potential love interest; Etienne St. Clair, who would be perfect was it not for the fact he already had a girlfriend (oh, and that one of their other mutual friends is quite obviously in love with him).
OK, so the characters are quite annoying, in that way that only upper-middle class entitled American teens can be. And the storyline is a little predictable. And Anna is rather annoying in her hypocritical ways. She falls out with her best friend from Atlanta over a boy, before doing the exact same thing in Paris and expecting her new friends to be fine with it. Hmm.
I carried on with the series, mostly because I didn't have any other books with me. Lola and the Boy Next Door was next. I liked Lola better as a protagonist, partly because of her crazy sense of style. I do like mad dressers, after all. I also had higher hopes for the storyline here, as Lola's fear when her old neighbours moved back in suggested something gritty had gone on in the past, so I was expecting drama.
Turns out that the drama was that Lola hadn't been invited to a party and held a lifelong grudge, so again the story fell a little short for me there. A little relationship drama, she's torn between her rockstar boyfriend who her parents hate and the almost-perfect boy next door, for a little while, but she makes her mind up and things resolve themselves. And I'm on to the third and final book.
Isla and the Happily Ever After takes us back to the Parisian boarding school where one of the group from the first book has been left behind when his friends from the year above have all moved on to college. It's OK, though as Isla has been in love with him "forever" and he finally notices her. Cue romance. Josh is also an aspiring cartoonist, so shows Isla the comic strip he's been working on of his life thus far. (This means that about a chapter is filled with a bit of a recap of the first book, in comic book format.) Another slightly odd love triangle here, with Isla being jealous of Josh's ex-girlfriend (even though this relationship actually did end before she was on the scene) and Josh being a little jealous of Isla's best friend, Kurt.
The third book ends as neatly and predictably as the first and second, and with all the ends tied up, it seems this is the end of the series. I'm not heartbroken about this, it has to be said. I've not read a lot of YA fiction for a while now, so I'm not sure whether this is representative of the genre at the moment. I'm still not entirely sure what all of the fuss was about with these, though.
Have you read this series? And would you agree?