Thursday, February 23, 2012

REVIEW: Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: has 2 companion novels
Genre: YA Romance
Publisher: Speak (part of the Penguin Group)
Format: Paperback
# of pages: 372
Source: Library
(from inside flap)

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection.  So she's not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.  But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome  Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend.  Unfortunately, he's taken-and Anna might be, too.  Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's been waiting for?
It's been a long while since I've read a good YA novel.  Good thing I found this one!  I had actually wanted to read this when it came out, and was appearing on everyone's blogs, but I never got around to snagging a copy for my own.  But my last trip to the library, I was browsing the racks in the YA section, and there it was.  So I snagged it and just finished reading it today.  Let me just say up front: it was excellent!

Anna and the French Kiss is about a girl named Anna who is sent to an American boarding school in Paris for her Senior year because her father thinks it's a good idea.  She's not overly fond of her father, and she hates the idea of attending school in Paris.  But it's too late, because her parents have made up their minds and have left her there to fend for herself.  Eventually though, everything changes, and Anna no longer hates Paris.  She has made new friends, even a new best friend, the handsome Étienne St. Clair.  There's betrayal and drama in Anna's life, of course.  There has to be some strife to make the story interesting, right?  But I did kind of see the betrayal coming, ever since that first phone call.  By the end of the novel, Anna is sad to be leaving Paris, but happy to be on her way to college.

Whenever I read stories about boarding school, it makes me wish I was able to attend one.  And with this one being in Paris, I wish I could've gone to a school like that even more!  Anna got to explore Paris everyday while she was there.  The descriptions of everything was lovely, and I could really picture the setting, as she explored the city around her.  But of course, boarding school is probably not as fun as these novels make it out to be.

Anyway, Stephanie Perkins writes the voice of a teenage girl really well!  I was able to relate to Anna, who became quite real to me, with everything that she felt for her friends, family, and the guys in her life.  If I met her in real life, I would totally be her friend.  Also, she's a great narrator.  However, she does have flaws, as do her close friends.  But that just makes this even more real to me.  And even though they have flaws, I must say that I totally love all the characters that were a part of Anna's circle of friends in Paris.  Especially Étienne.  I could just imagine him, speaking in his British accent. *swoon*  He's really very handsome the way I picture him, haha.  The author is totally right!  American girls LOVE hot boys with British accents.  Well, at least the American girls that I know (self included).  It just multiplies their sexy points by a million! lol.

I definitely recommend this book!  It was a cute, fun, quick, and easy read, that's also quite realistic.  It had me chuckling quite a bit.  I really like the author's writing style, and can't wait to read more of her work!  I think the fact that I want to read more from this author can speak for how good this book was! :)

(SPOILER ALERT! kind of?)
I know there's a companion piece to this that out already, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and another companion piece coming out next year, Isla and the Happily Ever After.  I definitely can't wait to get my hands on both, so that I can find out how Anna and Étienne are doing.  I've read a review of Lola and the Boy Next Door and know that Anna and Étienne make some cameos.  I want to know how college life is treating them and how their relationship is going.  I was really rooting for them the whole way through Anna and the French Kiss!

And some little tidbits, that didn't affect my enjoyment of reading this book...I really like the uneven pages.  I love books that are printed like this.  Also, the cover is nice, but I wish they had shown the male model's face. I think that might be on purpose, so that the reader will create their own visual of Étienne.  But then, why did they show the male model on the cover of her other book?  Hmm...curious...

Plot - ★★★★★
Characters - ★★★★★
Ending - ★★★★★
Overall - ★★★★★

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