Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Second Impression Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Technically a standalone, but companion to Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After
Published: December 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
372 pages (paperback)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

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 √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.  

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

When I first read Anna and the French Kiss in late 2011, I fell in love instantly - with the characters, the setting, the dialogue, the romance, just absolutely everything about it. In my eyes, it was perfection, and there were very few books I loved more - or talked about more - than this one.

Jump ahead a year and a half to one of my besties, Molli, telling me she was going to be co-hosting an Anna and the French Kiss Read-Along. I’d wanted to reread the book for awhile, but hadn’t made time, so I jumped at the chance for an excuse to reread this book. There was a little part of me that was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy the book as much the second time around - my reading tastes have evolved and I’ve become a bit pickier - but I loved this book even more upon rereading it. To me, it is still perfection.

Because I already wrote a review for this book in November 2011, I’m going to do this one a bit differently by breaking down what I loved about it and why.

Anna: Anna is the type of character who is easy for most people to relate to. She’s down-to-earth, loyal, funny, and a bit nervous in her own skin. Her awkwardness made her so endearing, and that was part of what made it so easy for me to connect with her. Her inner dialogue and reactions to things reminded me so much of myself. 

St. Clair: The perfectly imperfect boy. On the surface he seems perfect - beautiful, great hair, cute accent…I could go (and on and on), but he’s not perfect - he made mistakes, he did stupid things, he had flaws, but all of that made me love him even more. He was one of the rare boys in YA books that is truly good. He’s kind, thoughtful, a good friend, nice to just about everyone, doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else, and he would do anything for the people he cares about.

Anna and St. Clair together: I’ve already said it, but seriously: perfection. Their interactions were alternately hilarious, infuriating, sensual, and heartbreaking. I loved watching their friendship evolve, and seeing them get to know little things about each other, and slowly, somehow, becoming best friends. I honestly think that was my favourite part - as much as I wanted them to get together, it was really touching that they considered each other best friends. They needed each other, and the underlying romantic tension just made their whole relationship even better because it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.

Secondary characters: Meredith, Josh, and Rashmi were all really well fleshed-out characters. They each taught Anna something about herself, and helped in her character development. They were diverse and all had distinctive voices, and I loved that. All the other secondary characters, big and small, had a purpose in the book. All of them were three-dimensional, whether they only made a couple appearances, or were present throughout the book.

Paris: Ahh, Paris. *wistful sigh* I went to Paris when I was the same age as Anna, and fell in love with the city. I was only there for a few days, but the city left an impression on me, just as it did with Anna. Perkins did a fantastic job of highlighting the city, making it come to life, and making me feel like I was there.

Overall, Anna and the French Kiss encompasses everything I love about contemporary young adult: the romance, the humour, the growth, the friendships, the real life issues, the emotions. It made me laugh, made me cry, and made me feel. There’s a reason this book turns girls into squeeing fangirls, and if you haven’t read it yet, I can’t say it enough: you need to read this book. Now. And then feel free to come to me and we can be squeeing fangirls together, because I can never get enough of taking about the awesomeness that is Anna and the French Kiss.

  Thank you to Molli from Once Upon a Prologue and Suz from A Soul Unsung for hosting the Anna and the French Kiss Read-Along and giving me an excuse to reread this book and remember why it’s one of my favourites. 

{Read my review of Lola and the Boy Next Door}
Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think?


  1. *swoon* Well. This review said it ALL, Marie. Seriously. I am so glad you've participated with us, and this review is just lovely. I am going to do a wrap-up vlog about my thoughts if I can find some time to film it, but I could never say it as well as you did! ANNA will always be one of my favorite books for all the reasons you listed.

  2. I love the way you did this review. It was a great way of expressing how the book made you feel. :)

    I wish I could have kept up with the read along like I originally planned on doing, but at least I'm about 1/4 of the way in it! I am really connecting with the story, so glad to be reading it right now. I should try to finish it by the end of the read along so I can post a review with my thoughts. ;)


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