Friday, 13 January 2012

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton 2010

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?

I had heard amazingly good things about Anna and the French Kiss before I got it for Christmas, so needless to say that I was more than excited to start reading it. I'd recently told myself that I should take a break from books that are in a series, and read a few stand-alones. I had also been reading dark books that usually involved death of some kind more often than not, so I had a few good reasons to pick this up.

Anna is sent off to Paris by her dad for her senior year, and she's more than reluctant to leave. It means leaving her best friend, Bridgette and the boy she likes, Toph, for almost a year; leaving everything she's ever known to leave to attend school in a country which language she doesn't know a word how to speak. 

This was a book that induced all-round smiles. I smiled so much that my sister and friends started looking at me weirdly; I laughed so often that my sister started to get exasperated, as well as calling my slow-spreading smiles "creepy". Not only that, but I am a complete sucker for books that feature boarding schools; I don't know why, I've always just enjoyed them. This book was, in many ways, just what I needed. Anna was an endearing and engaging main character. I found her extremely funny and relatable when she expressed her feelings throughout the book. She was relatable because what girl hasn't been in her situation before? Really liking a guy you can never have and shouldn't want? Quietly pining away? I know I've been there. I also found her slow progression in learning some French hilarious. She did so many things that I would've done as well if I were in her situation, such as avoiding the hot food counter to avoid having to order in French (granted, I do know how to do that as I've been taking French for 2 years and I was pleased to find that I instantly knew what some French phrases meant in English). I also loved Anna's love of film in this book, as I have that in common with her, and I wish I could go to the cinema more often. Etienne a.k.a. St. Clair, was an absolute charmer. He was funny, sweet and friendly with nearly everyone; not to mention very good-looking with many nationalities: American but has an English accent and a French name. Basically, a girl's ideal boyfriend, but so much better. All the characters were really sweet and brought something fun of their own to the story; I really wanted to be part of the gang, and I love books that do that. This book isn't all boys, romance and France though. All is not well in the lives of those in the gang; especially Anna and St. Clair. I appreciated that realism and it added an edge to the story that the made the ending all the more sweet and heartfelt. Although you pretty much know how the book is going to end, it really worth reading because there's a long journey that the characters go through that cannot simply be predicted. Not to mention that it's also adorable in every single way. This book has the whole package. I love this book with a passion and I hope you will enjoy it too.

5 stars  

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