Sunday, March 20, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

The Facts
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Penguin (Australia) originally published by Delacort (US)
Date of Publication:

The Fiction
From Penguin: Anna was 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. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris-until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Now to be honest, had I not heard such lovely things about it, I probably wouldn’t have bought it  - the cover is a little bit twee and I’m a kind of a cynic when it comes to all things mushy, so I tend to avoid romance-y novels and pick books about zombies instead), but am I glad I picked it up (note to self, always listen to Adele, Megan and Kate!). Anna and the French Kiss is undeniably charming and you can't help but get swept up in Stephanie Perkins' story of first loves and friendship.

I found Anna incredibly easy to like. Her love of film was something that really resonated with me (like Anna, I went to uni to learn and write about film and really wanted to become a film critic) and some of her favourite film choices were freakishly similar to my own (Rushmore, Sixteen Candles). She’s also a bit neurotic, has a tendency to over-think everything, and a bit of a neat-freak and ongoing inner-monologue is endearing and easy to read.
Now for the collective sighs – Etienne St Clair! He is English, with an American mother and speaks fluent French. Etienne is charming and friendly and it’s easy to see why Anna (and everyone else) falls for him so quickly. He is also short and has flaws and is a believable love interest (as opposed to the Edward Cullens of YA). Anna and Etienne’s relationship develops throughout the course of their novel and their banter comes across as genuine and charming. I also enjoyed the fact that for a romance, there is also a focus on friendships – as I do feel a bit with some love stories that the supporting characters and friendships get neglected, but Perkins gives Meredith, Rashimi and Josh (swoon, I have to admit I was rather fond of Josh) their own personalities and are well-developed.

It’s easy to fall in love with the Parisian setting – Stephanie Perkins swirls us around on a (slightly touristy) journey through the city of light. For me, this aspect was really appealing and having been to Paris myself (though only for two days – not long enough!), it was fun to hear Anna and her friends visit places I had been to, and made me realise I really, really want to travel again!

Anna and the French Kiss is an engaging debut novel and whilst it’s super sweet and lovely, it also handles serious issues with sensitive. It's perfect for a Sunday afternoon read - preferably whilst nibbling on some macaroons!

More Anna links:
♥ John Green raving about Anna and the French Kiss
♥ Look at the cover for Stephanie’s next novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door!
♥ My Polyvore Profile of Anna


Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great review! Perkins made me want to go back to Paris too. Like you I was only there for a few days but it is exciting being able to recognise these beautiful places :)

Nomes said...

" the cover is a little bit twee " LOL

SO glad you loved this one~ especially all the reference to movies and such :)

LOVE this review!

x Nomes

Aleeza said...

i love this review! and this book--LOVED it more than i could ever put in words. ive read it approximately seven times in two months. not joking :D

Jillian said...

I have been hearing so many good things about this! I'm glad you liked it too. You might have convinced me to read this actually.

Miss Friday said...

Nic - thank you! I am definitely planning another Paris trip now - it's really made me want to go back.

Nomes - aww thanks! The movie references made my little film-nerd heart sing :D

Aleeza - thanks so much :) Glad you enjoyed the book too

Jillian - aww, I think it's definitely worth a read and I think you'd enjoy it :D

Pipers said...

i don't know with you already read this book but if don't, you should, is the lost hero from rick riordan continuation of percy's jackson series.
You should read The Luxe novel it's beautiful and sweet, from Anna goodbersen

Ελλάδα said...

I enjoyed this book a lot because I actually had to pass for something similar when I was younger. Why you ask? Well, when I was 18 I had to move to Brasil and although in the end I fell in love with the whole country and culture at the beginning I was devastated because, lets face it, most of my friends and my big crush were in Almeria (Spain). And in Anna's case she was forced to move to Paris and leave her best friend and possible future boyfriend in Atlanta. Which completely sucked big time.

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