review: Anna and The French Kiss

Anna and The French Kissby Stephanie Perkins
Release Date:December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads description: 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?

Okay, get ready for gushing! In fact, I think it deserves 4.5 stars! This book is adorable. I started reading it on my iPhone when I couldn’t get to sleep, then read it off and on the next day while I packed up my apartment. I probably took a lot more breaks than I should have just so I could read more about Anna! I read most of it in one day, then saved the rest for the next day and savored it. I loved it.

Anna is a high school senior, sent to a boarding school for Americans in France by her famous author father. Anna starts a new school in a new country, without knowing a soul or any French. Understandably, she’s not very happy to leave her family, her best friend Bridgette, or her crush. However, on her first night there her dorm neighbor, Meredith, befriends her and she meets the attractive and accented Etienne St. Clair. Even though she misses home, with the help of new friends and the charming St. Clair, she begins to enjoy Paris.

I love how realistic this book is! Anna is lovely–she is clever and adorable, but she didn’t seem too amazing. She is girl-next-door without being boring or flashy. Her feelings are so genuine, I felt so much of the story with her. She’s a strong character and I loved seeing how she stuck up for her friends and ventured out in Paris alone. Plus, she owns up to mistakes she makes, which is always admirable. She’s probably one of my favorite teen girl characters now! Her friend and crush Etienne St. Clair is such a realistic depiction of a teenage boy, I loved him. He is sweet, enthusiastic and witty. He isn’t perfect, but he’s so enjoyable. Being earnest about wishes and liking history are just two of the many things I found endearing about him!  It didn’t take long for me to develop a crush on him right with Anna. Even secondary characters are believable, with typical friend group squabbles and a couple that is always making out and arguing.

Another thing that is realistic about this book is the dialog. So much dialog in the YA genre doesn’t feel real, with characters saying things that just don’t sound like teenagers. However, everything from the flirty back-and-forth to the heated arguments is realistic, which made the story easier to be involved in. The emotions of the book are true and made me remember a lot about high school times.

The story has highs and lows, but the highs are incredibly sweet, and even some of the lows are sweet, too. There are typical high school jealousies, spats, breakups, hookups, and plenty of misunderstandings and miscommunication. It also includes some delicious descriptions of French cuisine! If you like cute, flirty interaction with believable characters, then this is definitely a book for you.

Also:: The author has a twitter, which is fun and a nifty website.  She has two companion books scheduled to come out and I’ll be excited to read both Lola and the Boy Next Door (to be released September 29, 2011) and Isla and the Happily Ever After (expected out in late 2012)!


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