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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (final thoughts)

April 6, 2011

From the author’s website:
Anna was 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. So she’s 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.

I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write about this book, because I really did love it. Maybe it’s because I didn’t think I could accurately portray just how good it is, or because so many bloggers have already portrayed its goodness so very well. It’s probably a combination of the two. I’m going to do my best, and to make it a little easier I’m going break down what I liked about the book into three parts.

1. The characters. I loved Anna’s inner monologue. She was funny and awkward and real, someone I could easily relate to. And of course St. Clair, totally swoon-worthy, totally funny, and totally wonderfully English. I loved that he wasn’t just an object of Anna’s affection, that he had a personality – faults and all. I also liked we got to know the secondary characters, the others in Anna and St. Clair’s group of friends, and that they didn’t just fade into the background as the story progressed.

2. Paris. Maybe this should be included in the Characters section, because Paris became alive in Anna and the French Kiss and played a integral part in the story. I’ve never had a huge desire to visit Paris, but after this book I felt like I need to go there right away. Actually, I kind of feel like I’ve already been there, now, and am just waiting until I can return.

3. Love story. This book is full of those warm, melty, tingly feelings (WMTFs) I long for whenever I watch any romantic comedy – when he realizes he loves her and she realizes that he loves her and hey wait a minute she loves him too and you’re all ‘yay finally!’ On more than a few occasions I caught myself grinning stupidly or happily sighing while reading in public. But on top of the WMTFs,  Perkins perfectly captured that uncertain “does he like me? should I say something? will he say something?” feeling.

I often cringe when the word ‘love’ is thrown around in YA books because it usually it appears to be nothing more than infatuation. I didn’t get that at all from Anna and the French Kiss. When the big L-word was used, it felt genuine.

One of the few criticisms I’ve heard of the book doesn’t have anything to do with the story itself but rather the cover. I agree, it’s not the kind of cover that would usually catch my interest, never mind want to read it in public. Well, there’s a simple solution to that! Get a hardcover copy, remove the dust jacket, and viola, you have a pretty purple book to carry around with you!


purdy purple

I’m so glad I decided to buy Anna and the French Kiss, because it’s one I’m going to want to read again. In fact, every time I’ve sat down to work on this post, I’ve ended up rereading good portions of the book instead. Huge thanks to all the book bloggers who spread their love of this book, forcing me hit the “Buy Now” button for a book I otherwise wouldn’t have given a second glance. I will definitely read anything and everything by Stephanie Perkins after this.

My rating: 9/10
Soundtrack Saturday

13 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 7:04 am

    I have a copy of this book but haven’t read it yet. Do you think it’s a good book to read during the read-a-thon?

  2. April 6, 2011 10:48 am

    A student of mine gave me her copy to read…can’t wait to get to it!

  3. April 6, 2011 1:53 pm

    I think I am going to go search for this book. Currently reading Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

  4. April 6, 2011 3:06 pm

    Awesome review and lovely tip. I adore hardcovers.

  5. April 6, 2011 4:51 pm

    I’d like to have a book make me want to go to Paris! I feel a bit guilty that my only two reasons for visiting Paris would be the Louvre and Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and once I’d hit those I’d be ready to leave straight away. Poor Paris, I’m sure it has other nice things in it!

  6. April 7, 2011 9:44 am

    Getting this one from the library today! Excited! Great review.

  7. April 7, 2011 1:44 pm

    Purple is my favorite color, and yes, I would totally buy a book for that reason. :-)

  8. Allison permalink
    April 10, 2011 6:18 am

    I have this book too but haven’t read it, yet. Your review makes me really want to pick it up next, though!

  9. April 11, 2011 9:57 am

    When a reader wants to read a novel again I feel it is highly favourable for the said book. Great review. It is on my TBR list.

  10. June 2, 2011 11:23 am

    This is a good review! Thanks and I have a copy on the way now :)


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