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
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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