Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Pages: 372
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: December 2, 2010
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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?

Anna is a typical senior until one day her father, a famous author, decides to send her to boarding school in Paris.  He tells her it will be life changing, she'll become worldly and experience something she won't forget.  She is less than excited to go and leave her best friend as well as possible boyfriend behind.  However, once at the boarding school, she meets a new group of friends and one person, Etinne St. Clair, catches her eye.  He's pretty much perfect, except for one small thing: he's taken! Plus, Anna just started sort-of seeing someone back at home.  Readers will follow Anna throughout her many adventures in Paris, the ups and downs of living life away in a new city, and what happens back at home while you are gone. Simply said, Stephanie Perkins' debut, Anna and the French Kiss, is an unforgettable read.

Perkins truly knows how to portray a friendship that COULD be something more.  She really captured the hot/cold moments, the romantic tension, and the unspoken words that are inevitable when two friends are attracted to each other, but deny their feelings.  I've never read a novel that does this better than Perkins. Seriously.  Anna and St. Clair's relationship was spot on.  Who doesn't love a guy with killer looks, an accent, and happens to also be nice? Their relationship felt authentic and they encountered realistic problems; it wasn't all rainbows and cartoons, which added to its credibility.  Plus, I definitely have a literary crush on St. Clair. (My apologies, Mr. Darcy!) He instantly became one of my favorite male characters!

Also, Anna is the type of character that's the girl next door.  I have a feeling that most young adults will be able to relate to her quite easily.  She's got brown hair, not very athletic, and a less than perfect smile, which St. Clair happens to love.  I also enjoyed her metamorphosis.  At first she was afraid of the city, but by the middle of book, she was navigating around by herself.  Throughout her stay in Paris, she blossomed and evolved, which was one of the best parts of the book. 

This book made me want to book a trip to Paris immediately. Perkins describes Paris and the attractions so well; I felt like I was there. The city became a character itself and it was the most incredible setting for this story.  I wish my review could do the setting justice, but I know I'm falling short....just know that it was picture perfect.

Normally I will pass along books like this to my students, friends or families, but this one is special. It's going on my bookcase with some of my other favorite reads, which shows you just how much I LOVED this book!  Anna and the French Kiss shouldn't be missed this holiday season; I will be recommending it to all of my friends.  Also, I was so excited to hear that there will be two companion novels!  The first one is called Lola and the Boy Next Door, which will be out in late 2011 and Isla and the Happily Ever After, which will be published in late 2012.  After reading Perkins' debut, Anna and the French Kiss, I'll absolutely CANNOT wait to read these companion novels; in fact, I'll read anything that this talented author writes!


  1. Great review! This normally isn't the kind of book that I go for but the reviews have been so positive that I really want to read this now.

  2. This sounds like a sweet book. I love that it's set in Paris and the main boy she's crushing is a French boy. I might just have to read this one now. Great review!

  3. Wow, great review Christina! This one does sound fabulous, I love a female protagonist who comes across as normal and completely relatable but also undergoes a progression and growth though the story. Can't wait to read this one. And I'm like you, there are certain books I covet as special and refuse to loan out:)

  4. Awesome review! I adored this book, and I agree, it definitely made me want to go to Paris too =)

  5. I love the sound of this book, and I especially love the Parisian setting, as Paris is one of my favourite cities! When I read this book I'm sure to want to book a trip to Paris too!

    Great review! :)

  6. Great review. I really liked hearing that Paris itself was a character in the book. I love the city! ;)

  7. Loved your review! And definitely curious about the male character now (close to Mr. Dracy? I want!).

  8. I've heard so many great things about this book. I seriously need to get it.

    Thanks for the great review.

  9. So special you don't share and instantly crave a trip to Paris? Wow. I want it now :)

  10. Aylee- I highly recommend it! You should get a copy for over the holidays! :)

    Adriana- Thanks so much!

    Jenny- Thanks!!! Me too. I have a whole shelf of special books. Thanks for stopping by.

    Lea- Thanks! I'm glad you liked this book as much as me!

    Leanna- I definitely think you'd enjoy this one! Thanks for stopping by.

    Nina- I love when a setting becomes a character as well. There's nothing like Paris!

    Mage- Thanks for stopping by!

    Melissa- I highly recommend it. I hope you get your hands on a copy!

    Juju- You'll want to fly to Paris immediately after reading this!

  11. Great Review! I am pretty keen to read this and this review made me want it all the more!

    Jess :)

  12. Ooh! Your passion for this book flies off the page. I am so glad I have asked for it now. I foresee that I will be begging hubby to take me to Paris. This is why I love your blog so much. Mwah!


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