Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2010
Instead of spending her senior year in Atlanta, seventeen year old Anna Olphilant is being shipped off to the School of America—in PARIS. Anna isn’t exactly happy to leave behind her crush, her fabulous best friend, new job, and family to spend her next school year on the other side of the world. In order to make it (or break it), Anna has to learn a new language, make new friends, and at least try to be at ease with being so far away from the comfort of home. There, she meets the handsome (and dare I say, British?) Etienne St. Clair and it doesn’t take much for the two become best friends. Too bad he’s taken, and keeping her crush in mind—Anna might end up taken too. In a year or romantic go-wrongs and fallouts, will Anna get the French fling she’s wishing for?
I fell in love with Anna’s story from the start. Paris?! French guys? Yes, please.
It’s the city of lights and romance, and I was a sucker to the romantic plot and gorgeous setting. Before reading, I honestly never once picked up a Stephanie Perkins novel. I was wary; the plotline was borderline cliché, and I was quick to judge it. There’s only so many things you can surprise a reader with books like these. Needless to say, from when I first began, I was hooked. Just when you think everything’s everything was said about romance, Perkins proves wrong with such a fun, lively story of love and Paris it was hard not to resist the charms of characters—not to mention, one damn très chaud romantic interest.
Again, some might argue that the plotline sounds too cliché for comfort. What shocked me about Anna and the French Kiss is not only by its chestnut plot, but how smartly written it is considering its genre. Anna might be reminiscent of the most formulaic of teenage voices, but she’s actually pretty savvy, really clever, and has a super entertaining tone that really gives this book some life. She’s not a tease and definitely doesn’t throw herself at anyone; she doesn’t overstep her boundaries and actually knows them. I was half-expecting for Anna to lose her edge somewhere along the lines of the book, but Anna was always Anna and didn’t do anything craaazily out of character which I also loved about her, too.
Bottom line: I really loved Anna’s character. Not too often am I absolutely thrilled about the POV, but Anna’s comicalness and shrewd attitude is just too much not come to love. Yes, she gives those moments where you’re wondering what the hell she was thinking (?!) but she still somehow manages to be likable.
St. Clair, too. It was a little startling seeing how much development his character was given, because honestly, when it comes to him being a romantic interest I didn’t think much of him. But he has his flaws and it’s kind of mind-blowing how many mannerisms Stephanie Perkins gave him, that and the fact that he is charming, British, amusing, British, quirky, and did I mention British? Okay, he being British isn’t the only reason why I found him to be so great, but as the relationship between grow into a solid friendship, you’ll realize how amazingly well St. Clair and Anna just seem to click.
The plot was really full of drama and excitement and a ton of romantic hits and misses. There were quite a few ‘meh’ moments as the author tries to string us along to the juicy drama, but overall, French Kiss had so much happening it was bound to keep me interested. And, well, it did. Plot wise, I wouldn’t say it’s fantastic because it does have it really predictable moments.
If you’re a girl and watched your fair share of romantic comedies and romance novels and teen drama movies like myself, then maybe Anna and the French Kiss might not be as surprising as expected. But it’s fun, and enchants with its Paris setting and its très bien characters, making it a definite recommendation from moi. I can imagine being a charm to fans of Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging or if you’re just looking for a cool romance read!
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