Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton Books
Released December 1, 2010
Rating: 4/5   Cover: 3.5/5
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 √Čtienne 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?
With such a suggestive title and a tantalizing cover, how could this book NOT flood through the hands of readers so quickly? But honestly, I'm a guy. And picking up a book with the words "french" and "kiss" in the title is usually not a "pick me up" when I'm perusing the shelves looking for my next good read. Though I admit, I always take into account what others say about a book and this book was definitely talked about. Granted, who doesn't want to read about smexy kiss scenes and wish that they were the one receiving the kiss (in this case I'd be St. Claire, of course) or running through Paris with a beautiful, funny girl showing her things she's never seen before (not cause she's a virgin but because it's Paris)!

As the story goes, Anna is a senior in HS when her dad tells her that instead of spending her senior year with all of her friends (and new *kinda* boyfriend) in Atlanta, she'd be moving to the School of America in Paris, France for "a good experience" or something. She resents it and hates being away from home until she catches the eye of St. Clair, who is already taken (All the good ones are, right?), and now wants to get to know him. Luckily, he is friends with her new dorm neighbor and gets to spend a lot of time with him (among others). But, of course, with St. Clair being one of the most beloved and liked guys in the school, every girl wants a piece of him, even one of Anna's friends, Meredith (which always sucks, doesn't it?). Throughout the story, it's Anna who goes through the struggles of living away from home, coping with a year in France, the city of love, and even falling in love with a seemingly untouchable guy.

And with that, this book was great! Thank God it didn't read like a Disney movie but instead it felt real somehow, which I'm sure is what Steph was going for when writing it. To start, a book that can grab my attention or make me laugh in the first chapter usually has me until the end and ANNA did that saying:

"At least the people in my new school speak English. It was founded for pretentious Americans who don't like the company of their own children. I mean, really. Who sends their kids to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons." (Anna, pg. 5)

I know, right? A freakin' Hogwarts name drop! Which I loved! Moving on, Stephanie's writing really brought to life Paris through the every page and I felt a part of the story as well as being their myself! And after reading it, I want to see Paris for myself even more!! I dream of climbing out on the point of Notre Dame where you can see the city skyline, standing on Point Zero and making a wish, listening to an opera singer outside of a cafe, browsing through a bookstore overflowing with many books, and so much more! Oh, and going to the Eiffel Tower. You know, that "touristy stuff."

St. Clair was such a greatly written character as well. He was definitely the ladies man and with such great hair, how could he not be? But Stephanie really did a great job with his character that I can see why all the female readers swoon for him. Though, as I said earlier, Anna was more my cup of tea. I also loved that Anna was written with flaws and isn't shown as a girl in need of St. Clair's attention (or anyone else's for that matter). Both Anna and St. Clair were really brought to life on page and I applaud Steph for giving them more than two dimensions. I don't know what else to say except if you're looking for a fun, quick, romantic ride through the streets of Paris (and yes, some kissing) then I suggest to pick this book up soon! Stephanie Perkins writing compares to that of Maureen Johnson, Robin Benway, and John Green. Do if you are fans of any of the aforementioned, check Anna and the French Kiss out!


  1. I love how honest this review is. I like how you admit that if you hadn't have read so much about this book you probably wouldn't have gotten it. I read this about a week ago and adored it...I also loved the Hogwarts name drop! Any author who mentions Harry Potter is amazing in my mind :D

  2. Great review Jeremy! I really liked the Hogwarts line too, but I also rally liked the Canadian patch scene... though I may be a bit biased since I'm Canadian, lol.

    I've been to Paris before, but only for a few days sadly. I really hope to go again in the future. There's so much beautiful architecture and other amazing sights to see... and Stephanie Perkins does such an amazing job describing all of that!


  3. Kudos to a fun and inspiring review. It makes me want to consume my copy of Anna and the French Kiss, like right now.

    Once I finish we must discuss

  4. Everyone loves this book -- it's next on my to-read list! Thanks for reviewing.

    And haha on the Hogwarts drop ... I have two of them in my novel that Christine is shopping right now :)

  5. I also read this book because of all the blogging fuzz it caused, and I really liked it,
    it was funny and real, but I just don't see myself reading it again,
    but I'm definitely picking up the next Steph's titles, I loooved her writing style and she seems like a very cool girl(:

  6. I always love your reviews, Jeremy. Ace! (Y) It's so fricken refreshing to hear about this book from a guy's perspective, since the YA blogging community is so insanely female-centric. I need to re-read Anna and just write down all my favourite lines (not IN the book, of course! :O).

  7. I'm a little curious, it seems like you loved this book, so why only a 3.5/5 rating? I recently read this book (twice since I liked it so much), and think its the perfect teen romance. I love how Anna and St. Clair develop a friendship first, which slowly turns to love; it seems more realistic compared to a lot of other romance novels out there (and I read a lot of them!).