Series: Anna and the French Kiss,
Also in this series: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After
Published by Dutton on 02 December 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
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Also by this author: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Summer Days and Summer Nights
Place(s) Traveled to: Paris, France // Atlanta, Georgia
First Line: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a book that I first heard about on Twitter where it seemed like everyone was buzzing about. This peaked my curiosity and I hated that I would have to wait until it was released to read it. Then the book gods smiled on me and not only did a friend send me her copy to read but I also received a copy for review from the publisher. I went from a serious Anna drought to positively bursting with copies and I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait to read it.For me, the book started off a little slow and I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Then at some point, I can’t even begin to tell you when it happened, I just got so completely and utterly sucked into this story. I loved all the characters – Anna is just brilliant and Étienne is so flawed and confused and so totally swoon worthy. The supporting cast were also all so wonderfully drawn that everyone felt real and dare I mention the setting? Most of the book takes place in Paris, France where Anna is sent to boarding school because her father (a Nicolas Sparks-like author) thinks the experience will be good for her. Anna initially thinks this is a great tragedy because 1) she doesn’t speak French and 2) its her senior year and she’s been exiled from her friends, her almost boyfriend and her best friend. But then she meets Meredith, Josh, Rashmi and Étienne (known as St Clair to his friends.)
Anna adjusts to life in France and delights in learning all the wonders that the city holds. She also becomes drawn to St Clair and he to her. But this isn’t your straight boy meets girl love story because St Clair has a girlfriend. You then get this tragically beautifully story where everyone is trying to do the right thing…or what they think is the right thing…and so there are denials and miss-communications and even some missed opportunities. As a reader you want there to be a happily ever after but at the same time you don’t want any of the characters to become a douche and hurt anyone else just so that they can find happiness.
Stephanie Perkins is such an amazingly gifted writer and she conveys so much information about each character without them saying too much about themselves. Through their actions she shows all their little quirks and mannerisms and its these little details that really turn the characters from 2D words on a page into 3D people that you see just out of the corner of your eye as you read. In the end, Anna and the French Kiss, made my heart ache. Not in a bad way but in that oh so wonderful way it does every time I read Pride and Prejudice. I am so glad that Perkins wrote this book and that I was able to read it. I am so glad that its now out there in the world so that other people can know just how wonderful this story is. This is a book that I had to run out and buy when it was released because just having the ARC wasn’t enough. Its a book that I have bullied people to read and one that has made my Top 12 List.
I am truly amazed that Anna and the French Kiss is Perkins’s debut novel because its just so brilliantly executed. Anna is one of those few books that I could gush about forever. Its earned its place on my permanent bookshelf and I know that it is a book that will be re-read several times. Its a story that I wished would never end because I don’t think that I could ever get tired of these characters. Which is why I’m so excited that even there will be two companion books, titled Lola and the Boy Next Door (Fall 2011) and Isla and the Happily Ever After (2014). I can’t wait! But until those books are in stores you really should go out and buy Anna. I think that everyone should read it and I can’t recommend it enough. So go forth and now the awesome that is Anna and the French Kiss.