Can Anna find love in the City of Light?Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for? - Goodreads
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young adult-romance-contemporary
Published: August 4th 2011
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Book Depository
Okay, let me say it outright, I LOVED this book. New favourite. Prime place on my shelf. Yearning for #2. Recommending to everyone I see. I LOOOOVVVEEEDDD this book. Seriously.
Now you know what this review will consist of (me fangirling), let’s begin!
So, I knew right away I liked this book. You know when you start a book and the style/voice/narrator/tone just draws you in? That’s how I felt when I started. It surprised me because even though I’d heard such glowing reviews and seen its high Goodreads rating, I was expecting between 65-90% cheeseballs. I mean, a teenage girl falling in love in Paris? I thought it’d be a quick, fun but predictable read. How WRONG I was!
It grabbed me straight away. Perkins’ tone is so damn easy to read and wonderfully addictive. You’ll start by saying “Oh I’ll just read the first chapter out in the evening sun” and end up chilly and locked out at 8:30pm because your Mum thought you were in your room. (….) *ahem* It’s so gripping. The tone made you read so quickly that you visualise the scenes in your mind and forget that you’re reading.
The Paris element. I really loved the descriptions of the city and the people. I’ve been to France and Paris several times and I don’t know if Stephanie Perkins has been there but she captures the essence of the city so well. A novel set in a boarding school in a foreign country could fall into the trap of focusing on the school and when the characters go outside then give vague descriptions - only using the place as a plot device. Perkins avoids that mistake and I loved how well she captures Paris.
The characters. Oh sweet Lord the CHARACTERS! I’ve mentioned before how paramount characters are me, personally, when reading and I simply fell in love with every single character in this book. Even Dave. (I loved how realistically slimy he was). Firstly, the protagonist Anna. As a first person narrator, it is really important that the readers like Anna. I loved her. I think the moment I fell in love with her is here:
That is my reaction whenever I (rarely) interact with a hot boy. I just flail and blurt out anything on my mind. So yeah that was the moment I fell in love with Anna. She is witty and hilarious throughout the whole book. - Sidenote: first book in a LONG time to make me laugh out. And cringe so badly I had to read through my fingers.
Étienne St. Clair. Wow. I love him. He’s so confident and Anna talks about his hair a lot and who doesn’t like boys with gorgeous hair? And he’s a gentleman and sweet and … I’m beginning to sound like Anna right? Right. Another fictional character to obsess over. But ANYWAY. St. Clair. Some of you might remember that I was worried I might visualise my French teacher as he is also called Etienne. Yeah that did NOT happen. What I love about Étienne is that he is flawed. He’s insecure about his height and his fear of heights. He does make mistakes. He’s also so real. He goes through some real emotional stuff through this book and it makes him, more real. A character you can easily fall in love with. Easily. All the characters in this book were so developed, not just the couple and they were in the background. All interacted and were given thoughts, feelings. I loved seeing Rashmi develop through this book.
Like I said earlier, I was expecting it to be cheesy. Which is why I liked that it wasn’t that Anna loved Étienne straight away. One of my favourite moments of the book is the moment she realises she’s in love rather than a crush. The development in this book is so so SO fab.
The pace is also brilliant. I didn’t find the beginning too long or the ending too rushed. The plot played out nicely and events happened in lovely pattern rather than randomly. When I got to the end, I didn’t feel unsatisfied - wanting more or thinking it was too much, I felt like everything that needed to happen did. I loved where it ended.
Overall this book is wonderful. It’s romantic, cute and really gives you the feeling of being in love. There are moments where you laugh out loud and moments where you cringe so much you have to read through your fingers. Totally relatable and hilarious. I won’t stop recommending this book to anyone. A joy to read.
What did you think of Anna and the French Kiss? :)