Age: Young Adult
Interest: Paris/200 in 2011
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. Claire: 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? (Summary from goodreads.com)
I am so mad at myself for not reading this book earlier. It is absolutely wonderful! Previously I'd thought that that hype for this book was well... just hype. It had a cutesy title and the book cover didn't pop directly out at me, so I figured I could put it on the back burner. I bought it either the week of or a couple of weeks after its release date and didn't read it until about two weeks ago. Even then I was only going to read it because it sounded cute. I ended up sitting on my bed for 5 hours straight and reading the entire thing. The book is just too awesome.
Anna, goodness I loved her almost from the first page. I mean I couldn't understand why she wasn't psyched to be living in PARIS for a year, but I did get her frustration at being sent away. One thing that really struck me was Anna's morals. I'm probably considered old fashioned in thinking that in a day and age where twelve year olds are willfully getting pregnant. However Anna was always aware that Etienne had a girlfriend and she had a "something" back in Atlanta. She toed the line a bit, but she never desired to pursue Etienne just because she wanted him. She respected his relationship even when she was hating it. Anna was simply the kind of girl I'd want as my best friend.
Etienne... oh dear lord I could fill up an entire blog post just talking about him. An American, raised in London, living in Paris. Seriously? Who thinks of that? As I've said before it is the perfect boy nationality trifecta. The guy was so sweet, so fun, so handsome, and apparently sounded wonderful. I want an Etienne St. Clair to be my boyfriend. He had so much strength in what he did and just the right amount of vulnerability. I wish I could tell you all about every great thing he did, but I can't. It would be major, major spoilers. Something I was oddly grateful for was Etienne's nickname. Initially I didn't like the name Etienne, it sounded too fancy and sort of pretentious. I was a little thrilled to see he was mainly addressed as St. Clair which fit my perception of him. But after getting to know him I grew especially fond of the name, preferring when he was called Etienne. It was a mark of people who really knew him, intimately.
Now, having established how much I love both of these characters to death, I have to say I deeply disapproved some of their choices. In the course of getting closer to each other they wreaked utter havoc. Friends were betrayed, vicious lies spread, feelings hurt, drunken and non-drunken fights and a lot of useless tears shed. They really put themselves and others through the wringer. Even though I know they didn't intend to cause harm and I can see that everyone fully recovered it doesn't exactly excuse it.
In contrast to what I've just stated, the book is also really hilarious. Within the first few pages there was a Harry Potter reference, Soccer (football) players mentioned and bonding over hot chocolate. They said the word foodgasm for crying out loud, that alone should make people want to read it.
There were also many surprises in this book. I knew the story was going to be a least a little fluffy and fuzzy but there were also twists that made Anna and the French Kiss a lot more mature, with a darker edge. It ended up making the book more real to me than I had thought possible.
Paris, oh dear Paris, it was everything I dreamed it would be. The food mentioned in that book made me starved for french cuisine. Everything sounded so delicious, it was all I could to not to eat the pages. The landmarks and statues described made me green with envy. I love to look at beautiful things and it was killing me to not be able to see all of the places Anna mentioned. Even the cinemas with all the classic movies playing made me covet her position all the more. Sitting alone, in the dark, watching a movie with Etienne St. Clair? I would have died on the spot, died.
I think I should stop typing before I turn this review into a 40 page epic on why I adore Anna and the French Kiss. Suffice it to say that the book is absolutely amazing, everyone should own a copy. Also, if you happen to be a fool like me who has already purchased the book and not read it, READ IT. Trust me, you will be thanking me later. Now I am going to bore holes into the walls with my eyes until Lola and the Boy Next Door is released.
Anna and the French Kiss is not a series, however there are two companion novels with overlapping characters.
Other Books by Stephanie Perkins:
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Releasing in the U.S. on September 29th 2011)
Isla and the Happily Ever After (Set to release in 2012)
Teaser line 1: "Girl Scouts didn't teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys."
Teaser line 2: "Seriously, I don't know any American girl who can resist and English accent."
Teaser line 3: "I wasn't being a git. I wasn't even being a twat, or a wanker, or any of your other bleeding briticisms-"
(There are a million more wonderful lines I could post, but that might lead me to copying the whole book. Just read it people, please.)