Ballet is in Mia’s blood. She can feel it as she dances, and family legend says a many-great-grandmother of hers danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Degas. Mia has devoted her life to becoming a professional dancer, and her dream is to dance for the American Ballet Theatre. The summer before her senior year in high school, she has the opportunity to attend an intensive program at the Institut de l’Opera in Paris. At the end of six weeks, she may be able to audition for the ABT. But she has to stay focused: Her dream is in sight, and she can’t get distracted.
Mia does decide, however, that she can at least appreciate summer in Paris and many of its beautiful, incomparable sights. And she will definitely admire some of Degas’ paintings in person.
Then a few hiccups: a girl from back home in the New York City area whom she has competed against for years ends up not only at the same program but as her roommate. And then she meets a boy — the cutest, hottest, most distracting French boy possible. Perhaps she can have a little fun with Louis and work extraordinarily hard too.
Kisses and Croissants is the book version of a macaron: mostly light, with some chewiness to sink your teeth into for a short time. It has its more serious moments when Mia faces the possibilities of not achieving her dream and of dealing with a mom who seems not wholly supportive. It is vivid and full of color as she describes all she’s seeing and experiencing in the gorgeous city of Paris, and those who have been can picture the sights and spots and reminisce, while those who haven’t visited can armchair-travel. The romance is cute, but it’s not so strong and cemented that I felt devastated at the possibility of the characters not being together. The book and Mia are so focused on ballet and all that she has done and dreams of that even I as a reader would have chosen ballet for her over the boy, if it couldn’t be both.
This romance is just as much an ode to Paris, ballet, and art as it is to a girl and a boy falling for each other, and that is just fine. Cherry on the top of the Berthillon ice cream? It’s clean reading.
Rated: Mild. There are a few instances of mild language and several kissing scenes.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.