Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 372
Genre: YA, contemporary fiction, romance
Series? No
Publisher: Speak
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?

Thoughts and Rambling

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. Character Bar

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 and Plot

Concept: So cute. I usually don’t like boarding schools (unless we’re talking Hogwarts), but this one was perfect!

Plot: Basically:

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.

Writing Style

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!Last ThoughtsDon’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:

Cannot Fathom a Rating

Find the book at:

Amazon |  Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

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):

photo 1

photo 2

My ramblings

photo 3

When I just finished it (plus us figuring out that you can apparently send gifs?)

photo 4

FREAKING out (using that same gif in the above sections)

Thanks for Veronica for putting up with me at midnight 😉 And to Andi and Ariel for pushing me to read this one too!

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12 thoughts on “Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Haha, looks like you really loved this book 😛 I’ve been hearing so much about Anna and the French Kiss! I love contemporaries with great characters and good writing. And St. Clair sounds sooooooo swoon-worhy!

    Also: Paris. Anything that has to do with Paris is automatically awesome.

  2. HAHAAHA I LOVE YOUR REVIEW! and the gifs and the texts xD My feels exact! Wasn’t it PERFECT!? I’m also backing off of Etienne because he’s so cute with Anna! I seriously cannot wait for Lola and the Boy Next Door. Although it’s a different story, I can’t wait to read it b/c of Stephanie Perkins’s writing style. AATFK is such a great read especially during the Fall. Awesome review 🙂

  3. Yay, your review’s up — finally! I always thought that I would never pick this book up because of the ultra cheesy title (seriously, “french kiss”?!), but after seeing all these rave reviews pour in, I have to admit that I’m trying to focus more on the fact that it’s going to hit me right in the feels.

    I think the best part of this book are the characters. Anna sounds amazing, and I think that authors that are able to make whiny characters grow on us have true talent. I mean, it’s not easy to like an annoying person in real life. Imagine how much harder it is to do the same in a book! I also love that Stephanie takes things with the romance slow, which totally contradicts the title in a way. I’m very curious to see what’s the big deal about this Etienne dude, who also has a very cheesy name. Or maybe I’m just in a cheesy mood. Mer! I’d really relate to her, because gosh, if there’s one person who’s the spare wheel in a group of friends, it would be me. I’m just socially awkward like that, so I’d probably feel for her a great deal.

    I usually don’t like boarding schools (unless we’re talking Hogwarts)” — DUDE, like HIGH FIVE. I have a thing against boarding schools in books in general, unless it’s Hogwarts, and I don’t know why. Other people seem to have the total opposite reaction: they fall in love with boarding school books BECAUSE of Hogwarts. Strange! So yeah, this must be really high praise coming from you. ;D

    Gah, I’m afraid I’m going to have to wait for a while before I can get this book. I’m broke at the moment, having just bought several early Christmas presents. And I love your final rating. I can’t believe I’ve never noticed your new (?) rating system until now! Way to go, Meg! Thanks for the tip about sending gifs, too, haha.

    • Yeah, it sounds like it’s just going to be a book about making out, but it’s not even close to that at all! In fact the romance bit, and the kissing, doesn’t even come till about halfway through.

      Okay, maybe his name is cheesy, but just wait until you hear that accent. I loved it when he cursed 😀 And yes! Mer was my spirit sister in this book xD Just standing there… holding hot chocolate… waiting for someone to say hi. Yup, sounds like me!

      I’ve just found all other boarding school settings to be really cheesy! Or, maybe I’ve only heard of them in the same sentence as vampires and werewolves, and that puts me out in a second.

      Oh yeah I just changed it a few weeks ago 🙂 I just figured I could be a bit more professional! And I’m broke as well… currently under a book buying ban after that massive order from a few days ago xD

  4. Pingback: October Wrap-Up | The Thousand Lives

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