Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA, contemporary fiction, romance
Publication Date: Originally published January 1, 2010
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?
Okay… so I procrastinated far too long on this one. This is 2/2 for Veronica now – I’ve loved both books she had me get when we were at Barnes and Noble last week. Although I did like this one more than Second Chance Summer! Like, gushing, fangirling, freaking out love. Butterflies and squeeing – the whole shebang.
They’re all so perfect, but I’ll focus on the two main characters, then dedicate a paragraph to the secondary characters.
Anna Oliphant: Anna started out a bit whiny for me, but she quickly grew on me and I loved every minute I spent in her head! Her struggles never felt overblown or melodramatic: they were legit worries, and actual problems that she was dealing with. I especially loved the slow falling in love process that she had with St. Clair – it wasn’t head over heels until it finally walloped her in the face, and when she called him Etienne after I just… *swoon*. It was such a great way to differentiate between her state of mind.
Etienne St. Clair: Guys, I get it. Etienne St. Clair. Book boyfriend of the century. But he and Anna are so perfect together… I’ll keep my distance. For now 😉 I loved how he wasn’t that “perfect” character: he had his insecurities about being alone, and it caused him some problems with his relationships. He had a bit of a temper, and when it flared he tended to screw things up, but he always came back and apologized. And he was hilarious, witty, protective, and oh so incredibly sweet. Plus, the accent. Damn son.
Friends: Mer, Rash, and Josh were an amazing supporting cast. Mer, with her hot chocolate, set the tone of openness and friendship with Anna to follow in the rest of the book. And I totally felt for her as the spare wheel – it’s never fun to watch all your friends couple up while you’re left alone! Rash was a bit of an oddball, standoffish as compared to the others, but she warmed up soon enough and I really enjoyed her character after that. And then Josh was the wild one in the group, skipping class and whatnot, but even he evened out in the end.
Concept: So cute. I usually don’t like boarding schools (unless we’re talking Hogwarts), but this one was perfect!
Yeah, that was me. And I don’t even know how else to put into words how perfect this plot was. No insta-love, no random spurts or weird plot twists. Just straight up teenage love, with all it’s own curveballs to be thrown. People screw up, they suffer the consequences, but there’s always hope for a reconciliation. No matter how often these characters messed up, they were always throwing themselves back into their friendships and actually trying to make amends.
And the romance. Oh my gosh. I just… asjdklfjla. There are no words. Just. Absolute. Perfection.
Succinct, yet also very descriptive. It was that perfect balance of too much vs. too little detail. I felt like I was in Paris, but without all the stereotypes. It felt foreign enough, but not like I was in a caricature!
My favorite part about Perkins’ writing is how much thought she puts into her characters. She gave them all little quirks and habits, like St. Clair’s nail biting, Anna’s blonde streak and film career aspirations, Mer’s soccer, Rash’s rabbit, and then… The Hat. I felt like they were real people, with weird things that make them all who they are, and it was so easy to imagine them standing right next to me!Don’t wait as long as I did. Seriously, huge regret for not listening to everyone sooner! It’s definitely a new favorite, and if you don’t fall for Etienne St. Clair, I will buy you any book in the world. And I don’t have the cash for that, so you better love him! But there’s no worry anyway 😉 And now I want Lola and the Boy Next Door.
My Final Rating:
Find the book at:
Here’s a bonus: I was texting Veronica whilst reading AatFK, and here’s a few snippets to illustrate my state of mind (also, spoilers):
Thanks for Veronica for putting up with me at midnight 😉 And to Andi and Ariel for pushing me to read this one too!