Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2nd, 2010
Anna has a great life in Atlanta, Georgia: she has a good job at the local cinema (she’s a film buff), a potential relationship with one of her cute co-workers, a cute little brother and an awesome best friend with a love for big words. However, her writer father decides to send her to a posh boarding school in Paris, to appear more impressive to his rich friends. Anna knows little about Paris, and speaks no French. She quickly becomes friends with her neighbour Meredith, and is introduced to Etienne St. Clair, who is smart, cute, British/French/American and unavailable. Together, they explore Paris and become friends, then best friends. Will their friendship turn into something more?
I’m not usually big on romance/chick lit, but I’d heard a lot of good things about this book and was curious about it. I really think that it lived up to all the hype. Anna was a really likable character- she reminded me a bit of Georgia Nicolson, actually. She wasn’t like a lot of the teenager girl protagonists that I’ve seen in YA novels, in a very good way. She’s one of the main reasons I liked this book. I think that Perkins did a really job at realistically portraying teens. It occurred to me while reading this that sometimes in YA novels the characters don’t really have any interests. It was cool how each of the characters have “their thing.” I.e. Anna is into films, St. Clair loves history, Meredith loves The Beatles and football and Bridgette collects big words. I liked how Anna and St. Clair had real chemistry, and how their relationship developed throughout the novel.
The plot sounded a bit boring to me at first, and I’m sure another author could have written the same story and it easily could have been cheesy, predictable and boring. However, Perkins pulled it off. It was really well written and the kind of book you can’t put down until the last page. I thought this book was fun and charming, and my intense jealousy of the characters did not decrease my enjoyment of it (I want to go to Paris). I enjoyed every page and I’m looking forward to Stephanie Perkins’ next book.
"The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you."