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.
You know when it’s too hot out and there are many things you could do to cool down, but somehow all you want is a gelato? It’s the only thing that will work, even though it obviously isn’t? That’s kind of what Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau feels like. Like that first taste of gelato on a hot afternoon, refreshingly sweet and just the right thing, at the right time.
I’ve been reading a lot more books during the pandemic because, you know, pandemic, and quarantine and all of that. We can’t go anywhere, and books have always been one of my favorite ways of traveling, not just to far away magical places, but to the real places I adore and that, for health reasons, I can’t get to right now. Like Paris.
There’s something magical about Paris, everyone who’s been there will agree on this. And though Kisses and Croissants is about Mia, and about ballet, in truth, it’s about Paris, about the feeling of being there, about that sense of wonder you feel as you walk its streets, about the way the city makes you feel like you are the special one, not Paris.
Of course, this happens to our main character Mia, who gets to a faraway city and discovers that the best laid plans of men and mice don’t always, you know, work out, and that sometimes when God laughs at the plans you make, you just have to raise your head and throw yourself into the journey that’s ahead of you, hoping that it might lead you to where you always needed to be.
Well, that, or at least to the person that was hidden deep inside you.
Mia is very good at this, I feel. She’s focused, she’s driven, she’s got a plan, but she also knows how to let go and live, a quality that I truly appreciated, and that we could all learn to emulate, especially as we, some day, go into a post-pandemic world that is bound to feel even scarier than we can possibly fathom.
In a way, this book is a little like Emily in Paris, except Mia is a tad more likeable than Emily, it’s way less raunchy and oh yes, Mia actually learns from her mistakes. There’s also a romance, because obviously there’s a romance, between two characters who are actually pretty likeable and that, at times, are bordering on adorable. Even when Mia is all like this pretty boy will not distract me from my goals, it’s still super cute.
Louis could have had a bit more depth, but his scenes with Mia were good, and though he never ends up being as interesting to me as Audrey, he’s still a good love interest that I was more than passingly entertained by.
Though the book is a romance, it’s one that gives a lot of focus to Mia’s dreams, to her choices, to her passions, and almost as importantly, to the relationships Mia develops outside of that romance. If anything, that’s what makes the book stand out, not the characters, or the city of Paris as a whole, even though all of that works, but the way the characters feel both real and unique, like your friends but also like people you could learn a lesson or two from.
Well, that and the fact that the whole thing will just make you smile.
All in all, this one was a yes for me. It didn’t feel too deep or too shallow, it was an entertaining, easy read, and it put me in a good mood. We all need a book like that in our lives.
Kisses and Croissants is available wherever books are sold.