Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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?

Anna and the French Kiss is one of those books where I’d seen so many rave reviews that I was sure it was impossible for it to live up to my expectations. How glad I was to be proven wrong! Anna and the French Kiss is a model example of the YA contemporary genre.

I loved how the book was so honest, real and down to earth. While I suppose not very many teens get to live in Paris, Anna’s reluctance to move halfway across the globe from her family and friends for her senior year felt very realistic. While some teens might embrace such an opportunity, I can see most teens reacting just as Anna had, with reluctance and trepidation.

I’m also a little biased toward this book to begin with because it is, essentially, a friends to “lovers” story and those are my favorite! The romance between Anna and St.Clair is so honest and sweet, complete with all the insecurities, miscommunication, and imperfections of real relationships.

Speaking of imperfections I love when characters have physical quirks, instead of being the image of perfection such as characters in a series like Gossip Girl. Anna has a gaped tooth smile and St. Clair, while very attractive, is short. Small details such as this made Anna that much more appealing to me!

Lastly, I loved the secondary characters. Anna’s family, friends from home, and her new friends. Perkins' secondary character development balanced with the developing relationship of Anna and St. Clair  leaves readers satisfied with a well developed, character driven novel.
As more and more YA lit favors paranormal, fantasy, and speculative fiction, Perkins’ debut novel is a wonderful addition to the contemporary genre and I’ll be listing her among my favorite authors alongside the likes of Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott. I am eagerly anticipating Anna’s companion book, Lola and the Boy Next Door available September 29, 2011 from Dutton Books.

Rating:

I'd originally given Anna and the French Kiss 4 chocolate covered strawberries but writing this review, I realized there really wasn't anything I disliked about the book, so I'm bumping it up to a 5 strawberries!



12 comments:

  1. How funny that I was the same way, I marked this down as a B but for the life of me, I couldn't find anything wrong with this book. I loved it!

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  2. Gahhhhh contemps usually kill me, but everyone says this is so so good! I give up. I'm going to get it! Great review, Mollie! :)

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  3. Weana, yea I was like hmm well I liked everything so 5 it is! Not sure why I thought 4 initially?!

    Melissa, you don't like contemps? I LOVE them :D

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  4. I so want to read this one!! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm just waiting for my library to get it...and then the two months it'll take for them to process it.

    I may have to break my book buying resolution to get it. Grrr. LOL

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  5. I'm glad you liked it! I really did love this book and I'm excited know that there are two more coming in the series. I also found it a really good read, very down to earth and real. Then again, I haven't been bashful about my love for this book haha.

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  6. YAY MOLLIE! I absolutely adored this one! The friends-to-something-more scenario is my favorite as well, it feels so much more believable to me than the instantly-in-love doe eyes scenario. And I had no idea there was a companion book coming out, that just made my day!

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  7. I'm very nervous about reading this book because of all the rave reviews, so I decided to let some of the hype go down before I read it, since I often go against the current.

    But I liked all the stuff you pointed out in your review (like about their imperfections, I like that too).

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  8. Ames, I think you'll really enjoy it! You won't regret buying it at all, promise! :D

    Sarah, Yes it was a great story. Reminds me why I love the YA contemps so much!

    Jenny, I know I'm so excited for the 2nd book! There's a third too, Ilsa and the Happily Ever After!

    AnimeGirl, I was worried about the hype too but it truly lives up to the hype!

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  9. Wow, Mollie, this starts the year well!! :) I thought like you, that the book could never live up to my expectations based on the buzz... but now, I might have to re-think it and give it a try :)

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  10. I also totally adored this book. I agree, usually nothing lives up to all the hype it's gotten, but this one completely did.

    Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott are some of my favourite authors, as well!

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  11. Nath, you should definitely give it a go! I know you're not big on teen romances but I think you'll enjoy it!

    Ashley, Have you read any Sara Zarr? She's also similar to Dessen and Scott. I loved her book Sweethearts!

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  12. This is a love story with many layers; Anna struggles with recognizing and feeling validated by her love for St. Clair, struggles with feeling secure and comfortable in a foreign city (the most romantic city in the world), struggles with her definition of "home" while she is so far from her family.

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