Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Hardcover, 372 pages
Date Published: December 2, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
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?
Words cannot explain my crazy love for Anna and the French Kiss. The story is simple: girl gets shipped off to boarding school in France, makes new friend, meets a hot guy, and falls in lust with him. But there is so much more to it. The characters become real in the course of the 372 pages, as does the incredible Paris setting. I’ve never been to Paris myself, but after reading this, it’s as if I’ve seen the sights, smelled the city, and tasted the food. Stephanie Perkins brings that much life to Anna’s Paris.

And to Anna as well. This is one girl I could not only relate to, but who I wholeheartedly loved. I adore Anna. She’s funny, insecure, hilarious, flawed, angry, happy, sad, hormonal (obviously, as I list her emotions here…), and a teen girl. She’s a character that could easily be any girl I pass on the street. Oh, and I love her. I love Étienne St. Clair too, because I couldn’t leave him out. He’s as realistic as Anna, with is insecurities, his sweet gestures, and stupid actions. And his British accent and all-around gorgeousness.  That’s the reason that Anna and the French Kiss is so easy to enjoy (not the gorgeousness, but a plus!); it’s the characters. The characters, both big and small – no offense to the short Étienne – are developed so thoroughly that they all leap off the page.

The relationships between Anna and Étienne, between Étienne and Josh, between Anna and Meredith (I could go on, but I’ll stop) all evolve throughout the book. Perkins’ witty humor comes out on every page and the dialogue is sharp and quick. The book is cute, I can’t lie about that, but it’s not 'ooey-gooey, poke-out-your-eyeballs' cute. This is ‘melt into a puddle, I-want-to-live-in-you-forever,’ kind of cute. It’s a love story that doesn’t just focus on the love. There’s tension between Anna and Étienne – and it’s some yummy tension – but they start as friends and build from there. Not only that, but the two of them have issues outside of their little ‘I like you, do you like me?’ bubble.

Anna and the French Kiss is impossible to dislike, unless you are soulless and possibly a kitty murderer. It’s sweet and real and fantastically written, with a cast of characters that you’ll want to meet, know, and be BFFs with. I smiled a lot while reading it; one of those cheesy grins of pure joy. I read it one sitting because I couldn’t put it down, even though I wanted to. Much like a meal in Paris, Anna and the French Kiss is a book to be savored, but is still so easily devoured. As I read the last line, I let out a sigh of pure bliss. A sigh!? That alone should make you pick this book up. Right now. What are you waiting for? GO.

Opening line: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages (Had to pick the non-spoilery ones, but there are others that are love):
At least the people in my new school speak English. It was founded for pretentious Americans who don’t like the company of their own children. I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons. ~ pg. 5
And a more serious one:
I’ve spent my entire senior year suffocating between lust and heartache, ecstasy and betrayal, and it’s only getting harder to see the truth. How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else’s – be pulled and stretched and twisted – before they snap? Before they can never be mended again? ~ pg. 333


*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Stephanie Perkins online:

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8 comments:

Briana said...

Bahaha! I love the passage about the Hogwarts =P I WANT THIS BOOK SO BAD.

Tiffany said...

Great review! I have this one but I haven't read it yet. I'll definitely have to get to it soon :)

BrittLit said...

Can't believe you are just now reading this. I'm wicked glad you loved it though. This really was a fantastic book. You picked great parts :)

Candace said...

I agree, this book is AMAZING! Your wording in your review is truly lovely :) I also love "impossible to dislike, unless you are soulless and possibly a kitty murderer"
LOL! That's so funny! But true! I haven't seen a single bad review for this book!

~The Book Pixie said...

Okay so I admit, all the hype I've seen over this book has had me worried that it won't live up whenever I read it. But after your review, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it just as much as you. Great review girl! :D

~Briana

Bere said...

Such a beautiful review, Nikki! I've already heard tons of wonderful and brilliant things on Anna and the French Kiss and I seriously cannot wait to get myself a copy. This one is definitely on my to buy list now. I'm afraid that after I read this one I'm gonna wanna move to Paris! Thanks so much, Nikki! =D

Lori said...

"Anna and the French Kiss is impossible to dislike, unless you are soulless and possibly a kitty murderer" LOVE IT!!! :D

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

Agreed - this was a sweet read!

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