Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
by: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: Dec. 2, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 372 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
What can I say about this book? I thought it was a fun, light, entertaining read. And I devoured it in NO time at all! And it was realistic! Finally, a book that accurately portrays teenage voice! Perkins writes exactly as a teenager would think and say. And I loved that. Finally, we don't have people swearing their undying love for each other because they make each other whole and they were destined to be together blah, blah. (Not that I don't love those romances, because let's face it: I totally do!) But it was refreshing to read a simple girl meets boy, become great friends, but then realize their feelings are a bit stronger than friendship.
Anna is our main character, and our first impression of her is not very good, in my opinion. She rants on and on about being sent away to Paris and how life is going to suck and just has a negative attitude. But then I stopped and thought: If I were being shipped off to Paris to spend my senior year of high school, I'd probably be throwing a hissy too, regardless of the fact that it's Paris!) I ended up warming up to Anna because she was just fun. She has her quirks, but I like that she doesn't go out of her way to be someone she's not. She's a little awkward at first, but with the help of her friends, she eventually gets over it and comes into her own.
Which brings us to our secondary character, Étienne (St. Clair). Oh, what to say about St. Clair? I now see why he made so many Top Ten fictional crushes lists. He is fun, polite, kind, and just an all-around sweetheart. He instantly forms a friendship with Anna and takes her under his wing to help her get used to Paris and the school. The only problem? He has a girlfriend. Anna knows she has to keep it casual, but the more and more the two spend time together, the harder it is to deny that they are attracted to each other. They just work together. They can talk to each other about anything, they find common ground over issues they have with their overbearing dads and they both use each other to lean on during rough times. Not to mention, I loved his and Anna's back and forth banter. Their scenes were so cute together you couldn't help but smile.
St. Clair definitely drove me a little nuts. But I respected that he was actually a decent guy who didn't want anyone to get hurt (even though it was unavoidable). He finally sees the big picture and goes after what he wants for once.
Anna quickly becomes a part of St. Clair's friends group, through association with Meredith, her next door neighbor. I liked Meredith alot because she was nice to Anna during her first night in Paris, and instantly welcomed her into their friends group. Josh and Rashmi were also side characters- Josh being a close friend of St. Clair's and Rashmi being best friends with Ellie (St. Clair's girlfriend). However, with Ellie already graduated, her and Rashmi's friendship had really dissolved and Anna ended up becoming pretty good friends with her. I am interested in seeing Josh's story in Perkins' upcoming book Isla and the Happily Ever After.
This is a great story about friendship, love, and stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances.