Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Published: December 2, 2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: Not part of a series, but there are two companion novels slated to be released this year and next year.
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?
My thoughts before reading Anna and the French Kiss were centered around the cover, title, and the hype. The cover looks fun, the title sounds flirty, and the hype had me weary.
When I began reading, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. Anna was whiney, and annoyed me a bit. I can understand her being upset, because despite the fact that she was going to Paris (PARIS!), she was being shipped off to another country during her final year in high school, when everything in her life seems to be going well. I'd be homesick before I ever left my city, let alone the country. Still, the way she handled it and her thought process just made me want to tell her to shut the hell up.
I got over that quickly. Most likely the moment St. Clair entered the picture. Um, hottie with an English accent? Yes please! (Yeah, I totally fit into that 'American girls love English accents' stereotype) But it was more than that. It was every character. They all had depth, and I was surprised at this. I don't know what I went in expecting, but it wasn't what I got. Fascinating, memorable characters? Check. Engaging setting? Check. Chemistry?? Double check. Like, dripping off the pages, chemistry. Realistic dialogue? Check. GREAT love story? CHECK.
My one complaint (well, two) is the cover and the title. I liked them at first. Both make it look like a fun read. But I felt like the novel was more than a fun read. The girl on the cover isn't at all what I imagined, and she can't possibly be eighteen. As for the title, I think it makes the story seem cheap and shallow. Anna and the French Kiss is definitely not cheap or shallow. It was fantastic!!