Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Published: December 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Group)
372 pages (paperback)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: may include spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo || Book Depository}

Synopsis: 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 Etienne St. Clair: 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?

There are some books that people rave about, and you have to wonder how good they can actually be. Anna and the French Kiss was one of those books. Every blogger and reviewer I came across gushed about this book. And with good reason. It really is as good as everyone says it is.

I hate to be a gushing, squeeing fangirl, but I really, really loved this book! It was simple but in the most beautiful, brilliant, perfect way. I finished this book almost two weeks ago and I’ve been putting off my review because my thoughts are so personal; it’s like I want to be greedy and keep them all to myself. But this book was too good not to share, so here goes...

I guess I’ll start with Anna. She was so likeable and easy to relate to. She reminded me a lot of myself in some ways - kind of unsure and awkward, wanting to fit in…I saw a lot of myself in her, right down to the gap in her front teeth. There’s this sweetness and innocence about her that I just loved.

As for Etienne…I lost count of the times I swooned over that boy! He’s funny, sweet, smart, protective, easy-going, and wants to make people happy. He seems perfect, but he’s really not, and I loved that about him.

Anna and Etienne’s relationship…I loved how they started out as friends, and I loved watching their relationship blossom. I thought the little observations they made about each other, and the fact that they knew each other so well was adorable. They talked about real things, and genuinely became best friends, even as their feelings for each other developed. I was rooting so hard for them to just get together already, but at the same time, I loved their friendship and the dynamic between them.

Another thing that really drew me in was the setting. I went to Paris when I was 17 (same age as Anna, go figure); it’s so rare for me to read a book set somewhere I’ve actually been. Most books are set in fictional places, or big cities that I’ve never been like New York or London or Dublin or Chicago. But I’ve actually been to Paris, and I got to see a lot of the stuff Anna saw. I came to think of Paris as an extra character in the book, and loved the parts where Anna, Etienne, and their friends were out in the city doing things.

I actually learned a few things too, which is always exciting for me because I love to learn, and I love to know seemingly useless little facts. My head is full of them. For instance, do you know the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard? I didn’t before reading Anna. Nor did I know the difference between a gargoyle and a chimera.

This book was just perfection to me. I laughed (and laughed and laughed and laughed some more), cried, swooned, fell in love, and felt like I was losing a best friend when the story ended. Anna was such an incredible character, and I enjoyed following her on her journey as she learned sometimes-painful lessons about life, love, friendship, family, independence, and courage. 

Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think?



  1. It's ok ...go ahead and fan girl over this book...we all have. I am not a contemporary reader at all and picked this up to read in the same challenge. Boy did I get a surprise. I never thought contemporary would be so good ( narrow minded I was!) It has me hooked. I have signed up for the year long reading challenge now. I just wish every book I read was this fantastic

  2. Great review Marie! Your excitement for it makes me excited to read this book. I should put it on one of my challenges for 2012. ;)

  3. Oh my gosh, so I have to click on every review of this book, because that's how much I loved it.. I brace myself everytime, hoping the reviewer likes it, because I dont what to have to fight that temptation to send a virtual *slap* "How could you not?!" lol

    Thankfully, I have come across another Anna lover.. I thought the same when I saw all the raving. I couldn't take it anymore, I had to see what all the buzz was about.. It was kinda like when I smoked my first joint. (totally dont do that anymore.) But instead of getting lost in the grocery store with the munchies (true story), I got strange looks from the hubby while I sat on the couch giggling and smiling with my nose in this book. It was just sooo good. :)

    I am getting Lola for christmas and I'm crossing my fingers it's just as good. It will be a hard one to top. Loved your review and fan girling!

  4. I so need to read this book! That's really nice that you were able to connect with the setting of the book.. that always makes it feel more personal. Great review, Marie.

  5. I am glad to see another glowing review of this book since it will be my next read! Your review has me even more excited to get to it!

  6. Great review Marie I adored this one! <3 I agree the setting was wonderful and the characters were fantastic. Stephanie is a very talented author I can't wiat to read Lola!

    Xpresso Reads

  7. Anna And The French Kiss is probably one of the best contemporary novels I've ever read. Stephanie Perkins writes a believable romance with completely believable characters to create a novel that was so unbelievably good that I didn't put it down once.


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