Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published On: December 2nd 2010
My Rating: 4 Stars
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 Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Anna and the French Kiss was so CUTE. It was adorable and I couldn’t hold back my squeals of enjoyment. I’m such a sucker for cutesy romance.
The book starts off with Anna being super bummed and annoyed that her father (a cheesy romance writer who just hit big success) was shipping her off to a boarding school in Paris. Anna quickly makes friends, though, and starts to see that maybe Paris isn’t so bad… especially if a little someone named St. Clair is taking up permanent residence next her at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Except, Étienne St. Clair has a girlfriend and one of her closest friends is in love with him… yet she still can’t help falling hard for him. The somewhat unattainable romance is the main conflict throughout this book, and while I found it to be annoying at times that they wouldn’t just get together already, the plot kept me hooked and waiting (impatiently) to see how their relationship unfolded.
Anna was very teenager-y but I felt like that made her seem a bit… irritating. However, that may have just been my impatience and intolerance of silly choices (being mad at people for things they can’t help). Other than that, I loved Anna and I thought she had a wonderful sense of humor and being inside her head never failed to entertain me. Anyone who reads this is sure to find amusement in something Anna says or thinks. Plus, her voice was so spot-on for her age and it really made her personality glow as a character.
“French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.”
Étienne St. Clair… one word: sa-woon. Étienne was funny and sweet, and you will most likely end up loving him. BUT, he does have some issues. For one, he sort of leads Anna (and Meredith, but more on that later) on for most of the book, even though he knows he has a girlfriend. Everyone knows. That bothered me endlessly. Sometimes, the fact that he had a girlfriend seemed like it was just a plot device used to further complicate things, and it works, but it’s annoying. I still ended up all swoony and found him adorable. It was just unavoidable, really.
The secondary characters were lovely. Meredith is Anna’s first friend at SOAP (the boarding school) and introduces her to all of her other friends: Rashmi, Josh, and Étienne. Meredith was always very sweet and friendly, and I hated seeing her hurt over Étienne. Rashmi seemed hostile towards Anna at the beginning for really no reason, so it took a while to warm up to her. She ends up being a good friend, though. Josh didn’t seem as noteworthy to me. He was Étienne’s best friend and Rashmi’s boyfriend, and it seems it was always there to fulfill one of those roles. He’s very likable, though.
Ah, Paris! I took French for three years, so I studied many of the important landmarks, so reading Anna and the French Kiss was a very fun reminder of all of that. I loved the vibe Paris gave this book. It was extra romantic and made the whole thing even more adorable. It made me desperately want to go visit Paris. I feel like Perkins described everything extremely well and made it really connect with the plot and characters.
I will go down with this ship! I was all for the romance in this book. I loved everything about Anna and Étienne’s relationship.
Their banter was hilarious and cute and I couldn’t get enough of it. Their scenes together always made feel all soft and happy and I shipped them so hard! I’m also relieved that the romance was built from friendship and a crush, instead of Anna just falling head over heels the instant she met him (which I honestly wouldn’t really blame her for- Étienne is pretty hard to resist). So yeah, cute, sweet, and no insta-love? I’d say that makes for a pretty near-perfect romance!
BUT… and yes there’s needs to be a but- as I mentioned before, I hated the fact that Étienne had a girlfriend and still flirted with Anna. Plus, he sort of leads on their friend Meredith, although I don’t think he does it intentionally. Overall, I just wish he would have handled these relationships better. But, I guess these flaws made him more realistic, so there’s that.
Oh gosh. The feels were everywhere. I was so giddy through out the whole last half of this book. It was ridiculous. I had to bombard my friends with unintelligible fangirling about the cuteness and lots of squeeing.
I’m not sure if I was even reading. That’s how amazing Perkins’ writing was. It flowed so well that I could just visualize the entire story and really submerge myself into Anna’s world. Perkins also sure knows how to write some amazingly witty dialogue!
“Har. Bloody. Har.”
He smiles. “Oh, I see. Known me less than a day and teasing me about my accent. What’s next? Care to discuss the state of my hair? My height? My trousers?”
Anna and the French Kiss definitely deserves the hype it’s received! If you like contemporary or romance, this is a must-read! It’s definitely worth a re-read and a purchase! Oh, and if you’ve already read Anna and the French Kiss, check out The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (review coming soon)! I read it immediately after reading this book and it has a similar vibe (although slightly more serious at times) and it reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss several times.