“Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and a lot of kings named Louis. I’m not sure what they did either, but I think it has something to do with the French Revolution, which has something to do with Bastille Day.”
Anna’s father has enrolled for her to spend her senior year at the School Of America in Paris. Anna has never been away from home, never been to France and hates the idea of a boarding school. She also hates that her dad has turned into a bit of a pompous prick now that his bestselling books are being turned into movies.
Her first night in Paris is spent crying, until the girl next door takes pity and adopts Anna into her friendship group. In that same friendship group is Etienne St Clair, a beautiful boy with a gorgeous English accent. Anna instantly wants to get to know him more but knows that his girlfriend isn’t far away. The next year is a roller coaster of cute boys, dodgy French speaking and kissing that Anna should be thinking twice about.
I totally judged this book before I read it, buts that ok as I still read it to formulate my own opinion right?! I really didn’t like the sound of it. I thought it would be total romance with no depth and Anna would be annoying and girly. However after hearing so many people rave about how good Anna and the French Kiss is I decided I had to give it a whirl and I’m so so glad that I did!
The book wasn’t as “kissing, lovey dovey” as I thought it would be, quite a lot of it focused on Anna as a person, growing rather than just the romance, in fact there was A LOT less romance than I had assumed. I liked Anna, she was her own person, with a strong personality, even if she did come across a little selfish in places, she redeemed herself later on in the book.
The characters were really cool in this book actually. I was impressed that they weren’t really your mainstream type of friends, they had their artsy kind of twist. They all kind of had their own personalities even though the focus was on Anna and St Clair. Obviously St Clair was my favourite character, he was chivalrous without being sexist, he was funny, sarcastic, intelligent and damn hot! I loved that him and Anna seemed to fit together and I was absolutely gutted for him when he receives his bad news part way through the book!
The setting was also amazing in Anna, obviously, I mean come on! Its Paris! I love Paris, I’ve been twice and the second time was for my 18thwith my ex-boyfriend, it really is a romantic city and the memories of Paris have totally lasted longer than that relationship! It’s an amazing city and to put that across on paper the way that Stephanie Perkins does takes a lot, the writing was brilliant!
To read something that I didn’t like the sound of at first and to love it as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss is really amazing. The story flowed so well and the characters really made this book. Its made me want Lola and the Boy Next Door even more (after seeing the cover and falling in love with just that!) And actually, speaking of covers, the only thing I really didn’t like with Anna was the cover. It totally didn’t do the book justice!
I would honestly recommend this book to anyone, even if they don’t do romance like me, I’m glad I didn’t listen to my “ergh romance” side and I read this book cos it was awesome!
Anna and the French Kiss is Stephanie Perkins’ first novel, it was released in the US in December 2010 by Dutton Books. Her next book ; Lola and the Boy Next Door is due for release in September.