Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton, 372 pages
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
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. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne 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?
I’ve been reading mostly dystopian, fantasy, and paranormal books lately, so this was definitely a change of pace. But I kept seeing this book come up so I decided to give it a chance and I’m glad I did.
The character of Anna was very real and likeable. I really cared about what happened to her. St. Clair was a great love interest, although very believable. Even though he is described as “the gorgeous hall boy,” he definitely has some flaws, including how he handles his relationship with his girlfriend. This brings up issues of what cheating actually is (just physical?) and why a couple stays together. It’s also interesting that he is described as short and very scared of heights. This is definitely different than the normal YA love interest.
The relationship between Anna and St. Clair was based not only on attraction, but also a friendship. They spend a lot of time together in the novel and get to know each other. In fact, they become best friends, which was nice to see. I really enjoyed the e-mail exchanges over Christmas break and conversations, which was a nice way to show how their relationship was deepening.
In the end, definitely a fast read. I couldn’t put it down. And it was such a feel good book, you finish with a smile on your face. I wish I was seventeen again and living in Paris! I definitely want to read the next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is a companion novel and includes appearances by Anna and St. Clair.