Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: December 2nd 2010 by Dutton
Format: Hardback, 372 pages
Series: Book 1 of 3 in a companion series
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?
What a sweet book. It’s long and there are lots of secondary plot lines, but the main takeaway is that this is a sweet book. Anna is bummed when her newly rich dad decides to impress his friends by sending her to Paris for a school year. Sure it’s Paris and all, but she has a life at home in Atlanta. It’s hard to start over in a new school, especially when you don’t even speak the language.
I fumble with the key on my necklace. Two girls in matching pink bathrobes strut behind me, giggling and gossiping. A crowd of guys across the hall snicker and catcall. Meredith and her friend laugh through the thin walls. My heart sinks, and my stomach tightens back up.
I’m still the new girl. I’m still alone.
She’s immediately drawn to St. Clair (as is every single girl in the school). He’s handsome and nice and they have lots in common. The only problem is, not only does he have a girlfriend, but the one girl who’s been nice to Anna is secretly madly in love with him. Plus, Anna maybe has a boyfriend back home. It’s best if she and St. Clair are just friends.
Best laid plans and all that jazz…
I love how nice Meredith is to Anna on her first day and every day thereafter. She made all the difference in Anna’s first few days. There are a lot of supporting characters and they are all great. Every one of them is believable, with quirks and personalities. As the friends grow closer as a group, there are lots of opportunities for them to get along and fight and make up, all in very real ways. They make mistakes and learn from them, especially Anna.
The dialogue is perfect, everyone has their own personalities and the dialogue is a great reflection of that. Snappy comebacks and not-so-snappy comebacks. Friendly banter and the more serious stuff. All of it is realistic.
I think Stephanie Perkins must have been a foodie in a past life, because she can paint a yummy picture with her words.
[W]e reach the front case. It shimmers with neat rows of square-shaped tarte citrons, spongy cakes swelling with molten chocolate, caramel éclairs like ballet slippers, and red fruity cakes with wild strawberries dusted in powdery sugar.
And more macarons.
Bin after bin of macarons in every flavor and color imaginable, Grass greens and pinky reds and sunshine yellows. While Mer debates over cakes, I select six.
Rose. Black currant. Orange. Fig. Pistachio. Violet.
And then I notice cinnamon and hazelnut praline, and I just want to die right there. Crawl over the counter and crunch my fingers through their delicate crusts and lick out the fragrant fillings until I can no longer breathe.
There are lots more descriptions like that and anyone with a sweet tooth or a love of French food will enjoy this book.
This book is so romantic, it is like a perfect depiction of falling in love. Seriously, this has everything you could want in a teen romance book. It’s sweet and tender, but has typical teenage issues like friendship, jealousy and immaturity.
A wonderful story about falling in love and growing up. It’s long, but you’ll love every minute of it. This is contemporary ya at its finest.