Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

It's time for another installment of Paris in July!  I think this challenge needs to stretch along another couple of months, especially because I feel like I'm just getting on a roll.  In fact, I just got my hands on David Lebovitz's book The Sweet Life in Paris, as well as the movie Paris Je T'Aime (after Tasha at Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books mentioned it).  It seems that I'm going to be busy for awhile with my newest Paris finds!

To be honest though, I'm a book rotater, as I've mentioned before.  That usually makes my reading time a little longer than normal, because I'm reading a million things all at once.  Anyway, I had heard a lot of glowing reviews about Anna and the French Kiss and finally got my hands on a copy.  Let's just say that I started it one day, read a couple of chapters, and put it down.  I picked it back up, and forget putting it back down!  I stayed up half the night finishing it.  For me, that's really saying something!  I love it when a book demands my attention.

Synopsis:  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 Etienne St. Clair: 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?"

Review:  I couldn't put this book down.  I really worried that with all the hype surrounding it, that I wouldn't like it.  That wasn't the case at all.  Anna is a great character, who is sent off to Paris by her Nicholas Sparks-esque (or that's how I pictured him) dad, who had gained his riches and notoriety from a number of successful tear-jerker novels turned films.  Of course she resents being ripped from her life in the U.S., along with a new possible love interest she had been crushing on before being forced to leave.  Thankfully she meets a small circle of friends who show her the ropes and make her time a little bit easier.  Also, it helps that one of them is an English American guy named Etienne St. Clair who is the school hottie and her new best friend.  The trouble is that he has a longtime girlfriend at another school and Anna has established Etienne as her friend.  That's a hard line to cross, even with enough chemistry to light the city.

The thing that I most loved about the novel, besides being set in Paris, was the development of the characters and their relationships.  Anna was a fun, unique character who had interesting flaws (a fear of going off of campus alone) and some real sounding conversations.  Her friends were people you wanted to know, and her romantic interest was agonizing and exactly the way any teenage girl could dream.  There is a crazy amount of tension in the story that keeps you flipping pages, praying for a resolution in the story.  Not to mention that there are enough misunderstandings to drive you to distraction!  Then, when it all ends and it has come together, you're sad and wish it would just go on.  

This is one charming story.  Thankfully, the buzz about this book was spot on and I'll definitely be recommending it to others!

*FTC Disclosure:  This review was based on a library copy of the novel.

The Paris in July Challenge is being hosted at Bookbath and Thyme for Tea.  Stop by to join in today or to check out other great posts.


  1. I am seeing really good reviews of this book. I will have to read it at some point...

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I just bought it (and plan to read it next week!) but I, too, was a little worried about all the hype. Thanks for the great review! Enjoy what remains of Paris in July!

  3. I feel the exact same way! I'm just getting started on Paris; I need way more time.

    I got this book to read for the challenge, too. Actually, I got it months and months ago, and like you I read a few chapters and decided I was in the mood for something else. I'm honestly kind of worried because usually when I put a book down I never pick it back up again, but if you say it gets better I'll give it another shot. :)

  4. I just bought this book for my Nook because everyone said I HAD to read it. I can't wait to dive in. Thanks for the great review.

  5. I stayed up half the night reading this one as well. I loved it! I'm so glad you liked it. :)

  6. This one sounds so fun. I've been wanting to read it. Great review.
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  7. I love your term "rotating reader". I have always been one to have several books going at once - my reading mood changes quickly.

    Thanks for the great review. I'll be on the lookout for this book at my library. Sounds good! Hope you're enjoying Paris in July. I've never had much interest in anything French, but this event is changing my mind.