Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Author: Stephanie Perkins. Website, Twitter
Published: 4 August 2011 (Speak)
Book Depository: paperback
Source: Borrowed from library.
Plot Summary (from Book Depository):
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?
This is a book I've been wanting to check out for a while, because it seems like one of those YA books that everyone tells you you have to read. The story follows Anna, whose dad has enrolled her in an American boarding school in Paris. She'll have to spend the next year adjusting to French life and coping without her best friend and crush who she's left back in Atlanta.
Okay, I loved this book. I think the thing that made me fall in love with it was the wit and humour. I love Perkins' writing style and how she's created these sharp, intelligent characters who made me giggle throughout. Anna is such a great lead! She loves film and writes reviews, and her complete hopelessness when it comes to speaking French or what to do with boys made her even more lovable.
During the story, Anna is torn between two boys. Back home there's her crush Toph, who she's worried won't still be around when she gets back. Then at her new school she meets St Clair, who shows her the ropes and makes her feel at home in her scary new surroundings. He has a girlfriend which makes him off limits, but they can't help but be close to each other. St Clair is the ultimate adorable male character who you just wish was real, and the friendship between him and Anna throughout is so cute. They have some hilarious banter and they're just such a great duo. They have their ups and downs and it makes for some great drama and tension when they're not making you laugh. I became completely invested in their relationship.
I loved the premise of the book. It may not be anything groundbreaking, but I loved the whole culture clash between the American school students and their beautiful Parisian surroundings. There's a great ensemble of characters, too. It's totally a book that makes you want to pack your bags and get on the next plane to Paris! (You know a book is good at setting the atmosphere when you can practically taste the French crepes as you read!) I was completely swept away as I got carried along with Anna and her journey.
I read this book in about a day which is pretty quick for me, considering the length of the book. I just couldn't put it down! Anna's adventure is one I loved and wanted to be part of. I think it was completely relatable in the way Anna struggles with her feelings and the friendship dramas she becomes a part of. I really cared about her and, more importantly, who she ended up with! The characters were so well written and believable. I didn't want the book to end.
I can see why there's so much fondness for this book, and it's certainly one I'll be recommending now I've finally gotten round to reading it!
What to read next: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, the companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss.
Books like this: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.