Thursday, December 29, 2011

{Review} Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books (The Penguin Group)
December 2, 2010

Synopsis: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

After needing a break from reading so many dark books, I needed something fun. When I asked for recommendations I was repeatedly told to read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Perfect recommendations...both of them.

I don't read a lot of contemporary YA but after reading Anna and the French Kiss, I can promise I will be reading tons more of this cute little lots more by Stephanie Perkins. She is so much fun to read. Her books are spunky and light. Her characters are always flawed in some completely human way but undeniably loveable. The kind of loveable that there is absolutely no way you can't fall in love with them.

Anna and the French Kiss tells a story of Anna, obviously, who is forced to go to a boarding school in France. How sad for her...right? Well, actually it really is. Her dad is now a famous author and decides that this is what she needs. She is a senior for goodness sake. Going to school in a different country for the last year of high school is completely ridiculous. Agreed? Well...personally, I would have loved to have gone to high school in Paris, and eventually Anna is grateful that she has this experience. It just takes time.

Anna wants nothing more than to become a film critic. She loves movies, all movies, but she doesn't want to be an actress. She lives to be the next great female film critic. Anna misses her home in Atlanta; her job at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex; her friend, Bridgette; hopeful boyfriend, Toph; and her brother, Seany. Now she is in a new country, unable to speak French, without friends.

It doesn't take her long to make friends though. Meredith finds her crying in her room and invites her next door for hot chocolate and that marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Okay, a little far...maybe but it is exactly what Anna needed to make it through the night and the first day of school. Anna is soon surrounded with Meredith's other friends...including the infamous Etienne St. Clair, or just St. Clair. SWOON! I loved St. Clair from the moment Anna ran into him in the hall. I fell a little bit more in love with the turn of every page.

St. Clair has a girlfriend, Ellie. He has been with her for over a year and she may be the undoing of Anna. St. Clair proves to be a good friend, with great hair, and a sexy English accent. He has his own set of problems that only get worse throughout the year. His father is a giant @$$, refusing to let St. Clair go to San Fransisco to see his very sick mother. St. Clair goes a little insane, drinking a little too much, showing up at Anna's door and professing his undying love...only to be dragged away by his girlfriend. Things are changing all around St. Clair and he needs some sort of stability in his life, so breaking up with Ellie is out of the least for a little while.

This it the first book I remember reading that is written in present tense. I remember reading an article somewhere stating that books written in present tense often sound like movie scripts. I never got that feeling from this book. Stephanie's writing is fun and upbeat. I love her fascination with hair. Her descriptions are out of this world. And her world building is completely made of awesomeness.

This book didn't make me want to go to Paris, it made me NEED to go. I loved the school, the sights, and the city. I loved St. Clair's crazy fear of heights and his love of The Hat. I loved that Anna couldn't speak French and was terrified to order food in the cafeteria. I loved that not one single person in this book was "perfect." This aspect of Stephanie's writing created perfect characters. I know...a little backwards...I know. I love that love didn't come quick or easy for Anna and St. Clair. They worked for it. I love that they were friends before they were anything else. I love, I love, I love.

I would like to tell you there was something I hated about this book but there wasn't. There wasn't even something I disliked...with the exception of St. Clair's this book. It left me smiling and happy. Completely refreshed for another round of darkness.


  1. I read this book about a month ago and I honestly feel like it was my true introduction into YA Contemporary. I absolutely loved this book as well. I need to read Lola and the Boy Next Door! Great review!

    Nerd Girls at Books to the Sky

  2. Glad you liked it! After I read Anna and the French Kiss, I became obsessed with this genre :)



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