Review: Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Also by this author: Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, Summer Days and Summer Nights
Series: Anna And The French Kiss #1
Also in this series: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Published by Penguin on 2010-12-02
Genres: Europe, Love & Romance, New Experience, People & Places, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

When I think of sure-read contemporary authors, I think Sarah Dessen, Maureen Johnson, John Green, Susan Colasanti, etc. Now I can add Stephanie Perkins to that list. Also, before continuing this review, I just want to say, haters to the left. Anna And The French Kiss gave me exactly what I expected of it: a romp through Paris rife with sexual tension.

Anna has some pretty fantastic luck. Her dad is Nick Sparks’ fictional twin and kind of a douche so he sends her to Paris for boarding school. Anna is all, oh hell no, but goes anyways. In beautiful Paris, she learns the language, makes new friends and falls for Etienne St. Clair.

J’adore Anna And The French Kiss. Anna as a character completely appeals to me. I suppose you can apply the adjectives awkward, real, interesting, and intelligent to Anna. She has developed interests outside of boys. Anna is a total film geek and loves watching movies. Plus she has good taste, for example there’s a scene where they all go to the cinema to see It Happened One Night. What I like is that she clearly doesn’t have all of the answers. She doesn’t always know the right or correct thing to do. But she keeps on keeping on, follows her heart even though it may lead to hurt feelings. This may make me sound harsh, but I believe you have to take care of your heart and yourself before you worry about other people.

Then there is the love interest Etienne. Hallelujah for the rise of a real boy. I am so fucking sick of chiseled marble male leads who are perfect in character and body. I love that Etienne has faults, both physically and characteristically. I think that’s part of what makes him so appealing to other female reviewers. He seems like someone you could meet and hook up with in real life. I hope this leads to more average boys in YA. PLUS you gotta love characters with great hair.

The connection between Etienne and Anna is actually developed. To me, their relationship felt more real than the majority of young adult books that I’ve read. There is none of that smoldering looks bullshit, thank God. I’ve had my fair share of romances, and this felt more close to those, especially with the physical activity and the portrayal of drinking. With all the messiness, involved and the ultimate happy outcome.

Finally, I thought I would end with two quotes I loved:

“I spent the period reading the first novel assigned for English. And, wow. If I hadn’t realized I was in France yet, I do now. Because Like Water for Chocolate has sex in it. LOTS of sex. A woman’s desire literally lights a building on fire, and then a soldier throws her naked body onto a horse, and they totally do it while galloping away. There’s no way they would have let me read this back in the Bible Belt. The sexiest we ever got was The Scarlet Letter.

I must tell Bridge about this book.” -pg. 46

“And we’ll talk about everything BUT our parents… or perhaps we won’t talk at all. We’ll just walk. And we’ll keep walking until the rest of the world ceases to exist.” pg. 241

Other Reviews:

The Perpetual Page Turner
The Crooked Shelf
Makeshift Bookmark
Chick Loves Lit

five-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I loved this one for those very reasons too…reminded me of being a teenager, very authentic book =)
    Angelique recently posted..A Poem for Valentines DayMy Profile

  2. Seriously, I’ve yet to read a single bad review for this book…that has to mean something, right?!

    I’m finally going to pick this up. Really.

    Fabulous review! It’s so refreshing to hear of a relationship that is actually developed!

  3. Jami (YA Addict) says:

    “Hallelujah for the rise of a real boy.”

    I felt the same way! What was so wonderful about both the characters in this romance was that they were both flawed in all the right places. That made them feel so real to me. We NEED more romance book like this in YA.
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  4. I absolutely loved how you described Anna. And what?! A real boy? Haha I definitely have to get a hold of this book ASAP. Thanks for the lovely review. 🙂

    Ps. Here from the CEP.
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  5. “Hallelujah for the rise of a real boy.”

    That should be blurbed on the cover of the book.
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  6. I loved this book for a lot of the same reasons you did. Anna and Etienne both enchanted me with how realistic they were, and I loved Perkins’s descriptions of Paris. Awesome review, April!
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  7. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Here from CEP. Great review chock full of details. Thanks!
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  8. Yeah for real boys! And relationships built on friendship and trust instead of stalking and creepyville. Hooray for boys with flaws but not ones that will get you killed or dismembered. Such a great book. Excellent review.
    Megan Hoover Swicegood recently posted..What Are You Reading Monday- Feb 14My Profile

  9. I can’t wait to read this one!

  10. I agree! I was surprised by how much I really liked this book, and I was SO happy that their relationship was REALISTIC and that both of the characters felt like legit people instead of these untouchable fantasy things….
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  11. Love love love this book. Great review! I like the quotes you picked out 🙂

  12. Anaiz Martinez says:

    I really want to read this book now. I’ve heard good things but your review has done more to convince me, great choice in quotes I liked them :):)

  13. I had heard enough about this one before reading it that I didn’t want to like it (just being a contrarian!), but yes, I too fell for Etienne. Sigh. Great book!

  14. This is the book I will be reading next and after reading your review, I am sure I will love Anna and the French Kiss. I am happy to hear that the characters (particularly Etienne) are realistically portrayed. Fantastic review!

    I love the quotes you included, especially the one about Like Water For Chocolate. It’s hard to believe that I watched that movie in my high school Spanish class and I went to school in a really conservative area. I bet the parents would have had a fit if they’d known what we watched!
    Christina T recently posted..Review- DemonglassMy Profile

  15. I loved this one too! 🙂

  16. Great review! I just finished this book this last weekend and have to agree with you – this was one of the most realistic portrayals of a relationship in YA. Anna and St. Clair were both dynamic characters. I’ve read my fair share of YA romances, and this book certainly offers above and beyond the usual.
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  4. […] at Bryant Park, so of course I plan to read this debut. Apparently, it’s a little bit like Anna And The French Kiss but set in […]

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