Friday, 9 March 2012

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Released:2nd December 2010
Rating: 5/5 

Goodreads description:

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?

 My thoughts:

I bought this for my sister as a Christmas present and never intended to read it for myself, despite a plethora of gushing reviews. Then, I read THIS review from Molli over Once Upon a Prologue at and thought "what the heck it's in the house I'll give it a go"

You know when a particular book is exactly what you need? I was feeling pretty down after a rejection for a job I really wanted and this just...brought me out of that funk completely. I was totally transported to Paris, I FELT all the emotions in this book and it just left me with a happy, satisfied feeling that lasted for about 24 hours. 

Stephanie Perkins writes such authentic teenage characters. I don't even know how to describe how they were...they just WERE. Quirky, but not so quirky they were clearly fake, they all had distinct personalities and voices. I LOVED Anna. She'd been given this amazing opportunity and yet instead of being annoying and all "how fantastic is my life" she was understandably nervous about going to a new and exclusive school, being so far away from home and in a country where she didn't speak the language. I liked how hesitant she was at going out by herself and experiencing scary things like the metro and everyone speaking French at her, it added a dimension to her character. 

St.Clair...*sigh* I'm English, but I love (the right) English accents and in my head, St. Clair had one of those accents. I love how he said 'me mum' and his English slang wasn't too OTT which sometimes happens and totally annoys me cause I'm all "we don't speak like that..." so that was GOOD. I liked St.Clair because he was totally swoonworthy but in a REAL way. He had real faults and insecurities and issues. He wasn't this totally perfect god-like being, he was a totally real, totally sexy guy. The relationship between him and Anna progressed so well and at such a good pace. I loved the tension between them and how Anna analysed all the looks and touches and comments, torn between wanting him to like her and not wanting to destroy his relationship. You could totally see WHY they liked each other, and that's what I liked. 

The story has also the typical trappings of a contemporary YA, but it was the way it was written and presented that separates it from the rest of its genre. It's so well written, beautiful in its simplicity. The Parisian setting really added to the atmosphere of the book as well. What I really loved though, was the way it made you feel. I experienced SO many emotions reading this; happiness, excitement, anticipation but also sadness, betrayal, anger. All on the behalf of Anna or because that's how SHE felt. I found myself sharing my emotional journey with poor Liz on twitter and when I finished, I actually hugged this book. Physically hugged it. Because I was so overwhelmed with how amazing it was, and how amazing it made me feel. It left me with a perfect feeling of contentment, like I mentioned at the start. 

There's nothing I can really say about this book that haasn't been already said, I don't think there's anyone left in the blogosphere who hasn't read this book but if, for some reason you haven't, do it. Do it NOW. RIGHT THE HECK NOW *stares you down*. Even if it's 'not your thing', read it anyway. It will make you happy.  AND HAPPINESS IS GOOD. 


  1. Great review!! Just ordered this and now it makes me want it even more!!

  2. Book hugging should become a worldwide phenomenon! :P I agree with everything. Especially about St. Clair...*sighs*. He was just amazing. I liked that he wasn't perfect, it felt much more realistic. Sooooo glad you loved this one. I think I would have cried if you didn't :P.

  3. Aww that's exactly how I felt after reading this book! I was just in such a good mood and told all of my friends to read it. You HAVE to read Lola and the Boy Next Door!!! St. Clair and Anna make an appearance :) I hope you can check it out and great review!

  4. I LOVE this review, and I am so glad you finally decided to read it! Mostly I wanted to say, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THE MOST AMAZING BOOK EVER YET?"

    I so want to reread ANNA now, and LOLA. You must read Lola if you haven't! IT'S AMAZING.

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  5. This is one of my favorite books of all time! Thank you for the great review!

  6. *SQUEALS* So you finally gave in and read it, did you? *grins from ear to ear* OH, I'M SO HAPPY THAT YOU LOVED IT. Seriously this is one of my favorite books EVER. Like, EVERRRRRR. And you talked about it so beautifully and coherently (which I find so admirable, considering that I had to restrain myself from spilling horrid fangirlish sounds and words into my review somehow). Ah, i'm kind of digging the idea of going back and reading it again now. :DD


  7. YESSSSSS!!!! I love that you actually hugged this when you finished :D Stephanie Perkins is the freaking Queen of contemporary after just this one book. I absolutely ADORE Lola aswell, but Anna will always remain my favourite <3 ETIENNE ST. CLAIR!! ...totally swoonworthy but in a REAL way. Exactly that and they're the kind of guys I love reading about best.

    Amazing review, Cait! I'm so excited for you to read Lola now, which also has lots of Anna/St Clair :D

  8. YAY! I'm glad you finally gave in and read it. Now you should read Lola and the Boy Next Door. ;) If you haven't already. I'm sorry you didn't get the job you wanted. :(

    1. REALLY want to read Lola! Yeah, I was gutted =[ thanks for the commiserations though

  9. I absolutely adored this book! I'm glad you enjoyed it to - great review! :)

  10. I don't think I have seen a bad review of this book and is own a pretty finished copy sitting on my bookshelf. My roommate along with all bloggers have loved this book. I can't believe that I have not read it yet! I really need to change that. Thanks for the great review :)

  11. Right? ANNA is pure awesome. So is Stephanie Perkins... and guh! Can't wait for ISLA!

    One strange thing is that I gave LOLA to my friend before I gave her ANNA, and she said that Anna & St. Clair almost seemed flat in LOLA.

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It made me happy! :)

  13. Oh Cait! I am SO glad you liked this one. Agreed that it has some easily recognizable YA tropes but Stephanie just...nailed the characters, the setting, and made it all feel so real - like you said, you were right there.

    You hugged it?! Oh that makes my heart want to burst. (not really but you know.) I read this one in one sitting and it also made me feel just...GOOD inside. It's a rare book that can do that. I laughed and laughed, teared up, was frustrated, happy, sad, overwhelmed. ANNA made me FEEL things and I'm glad it was the same way for you!

    (Thanks for the shout-out. I am SO psyched that my little review convinced someone to read this book!)


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