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French Kiss by Aimee Friedman

French KissFriends once again, Alexa St. Laurent and Holly Jacobson couldn’t be more thrilled for their last spring break of high school. Alexa is off to Paris to celebrate her one year anniversary with her boyfriend Diego, and Holly is going to England for an international track meet. Nothing could be better, right? Wrong. Early on, Holly hurts her ankle and is set to be benched for the rest of the week, and Alexa’s romantic getaway turns sour when she and Diego break up and she is robbed. A true friend, Holly sneaks off to help Alexa in Paris, and the two girls decide to salvage what’s left of their spring break and just have fun. But in the City of Love, Alexa and Holly just might be in over their heads.

Friends Alexa and Holly are at it again in their next scandalous adventure. French Kiss picks up a year after its prequel South Beach leaves off, and although there are several details that are carried over, French Kiss is still easy to understand on its own. I enjoyed this Parisian vacation as much as if not more than Alexa and Holly’s South Beach excursion. There were the shopping and clubbing excitements of course, which, coupled with the international factor, made this novel a glamorous read. Better yet though, both Alexa’s and Holly’s characters grew. Holly’s growth wasn’t very dramatic; it was an extension of her growth from South Beach into a more independent and self aware young woman. Alexa, on the other hand, experiences a complete paradigm shift when she becomes the victim of a player; it shows Alexa’s more vulnerable side and makes her easier to sympathize with. Although it was unrealistic how the girls manage to avoid all real trouble except the romantic kind, I did thoroughly enjoy reading French Kiss.

Readers who enjoyed South Beach by Aimee Friedman will also want to check out its sequel, as will fans of Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher and Faking 19 by Alyson Noël.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

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