Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss
Published By: Dutton
Publication Date: December 2010
Page Count: 372
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary 

Yes, I know I'm a little late to this party. I have had this book for ages and everyone I know whose read it raves about it. I cannot believe it took me so long to finally read it. Sadly, I kept pushing this in side in favor of reading books that authors and publishers sent me. Once I knocked out some of those requests, I felt like it was time I read something I wanted to read and this was the treat I selected. It was just what I needed - such a perfect contemporary romance - to combat the stress of work and real life. This is one of those novels I wish that I could live in; I certainly will be rereading it in the future when I start to miss Anna and St. Clair.

Anna is a girl after my own heart. She's southern (she's even a Georgia girl like me), she's quirky, and she's hilarious. By page 5, I already adored Anna and couldn't wait to spend more time with her. She has a wit that kept me in stitches and the girl is not afraid to tell it like it is. I appreciated her candor. Underneath her slight OCD and self doubt, she has a heart of gold. Her tone and musings are eerily similar to my own. I felt like she was my long lost personality twin. Also, I felt more connected to Anna during her argument with Bridge. I suppose most of us girls have stories where a friend wronged us and a boy was to blame. However, in spite of her flaws, Anna does grow and mature throughout the novel. It was intriguing to watch as her definition of friendship, home, and love evolved.

In addition to Anna, I also adored St. Clair. *swoon* Seriously, how could you not love this fictional boy? Anna had it right when she stated, "Seriously, I don't know any American girl who can resist an English accent" (pg. 15). That right there was the moment I found him immensely appealing and his attractiveness continued to grow as I got to know him better. In the author's note, Stephanie Perkins commented on asking her husband countless time if the boy was hot enough and I can reply to her inquiry with a resounding YES. St. Clair is a book boy you must get to know. He is a complex and wonderful package. I loved that there was more substance to him than just a pretty face. It also didn't hurt that he is a history nerd - we gravitate toward our own kind.

The romance in this one is sweet and made me anxious. Perkins certainly makes you wait to learn if things are going to work out between these two. I loved the delicious tension that swirls between Anna and St. Clair. 

Lastly, I loved the setting of this one. I have always been attracted to books featuring a boarding school.  I have no idea why - perhaps because I always thought it would be fun to attend one. Not only does this one have the boarding school, but it is in Paris. Who wouldn't want to spend a year of high school in a magical European city? I was jealous of Anna's experiences and enjoyed living vicariously through her. In all honesty, Paris has never been one of those "Must See" cities for me, but after reading this book I think I need to add it to my list. I want to walk the same streets as Anna and St. Clair and see the sites they saw. I already know what I would wish for on the star!

I'm not usually a connoisseur of YA contemporary romance, but novels like this one make me think I should give more of them a try. This novel left me perplexed: I wasn't sure if I should devour it quickly because I was enjoying it so much or if I needed to slow down and savor it. In the end, I read it fairly quickly, but as I mentioned before, it is one I would reread without hesitation. I'm sure I can savor it the second time - especially now that I know what will happen.


One Last Gripe:  I really really wanted Amanda's nose to be broken.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed Stephanie Perkins' writing style and adored her characters.

First Sentence: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.

Favorite Character: Anna, no St. Clair, no Anna... Can I pick them both?

Least Favorite Character: Dave 



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?



38 comments:

  1. This was an amazing book. Like you I was not a YA contemporary reader before reading it. I read it because EVERYONE was. I have since changed my tune and read A LOT of contemporary now. You should try Lola and the Boy next door, the companion novel. I have such a crush on Cricket in that book.

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    1. Lola is already loaded on my Kindle and ready to go. It's on my February review schedule. :)

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  2. I have been forcing myself to wait for Isla to come out before I reread Anna and Lola, but your review is making it much harder. This is one of my favorite YA Contemps ever and I'm glad you liked it too. I felt the exact same way when I was reading it, I wasn't sure whether to speed through it or go slow and spend some time with it. Great review!

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    1. I suppose I timed reading this well. I will read Lola in February and then only have to wait until May for Isla. I can't imagine having to wait for so long if I had read Anna when it first came out.

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  3. What a fun review! I honestly haven't read this book either (for shame!) but I plan on reading it very soon... And if not very soon...in the summer! Hahaha! I'm already starting my summer reading list. I think maybe this should be on it, because it just sounds like a beach read, and I live close to the beach!

    In any case, I can't wait to meet Anna and St. Clair and experience all their adventures with them! France is my dream so...I'll be more than happy to tag along!

    Again, awesome review!

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. It was a lot of fun to write and the novel was one of the most fun reads I have had the pleasure of experiencing in awhile. I have read some great stuff, but this just has a different feel to it than paranormal and historical fiction. Also, many of the contemporaries I have read deal with some pretty serious issues. I don't always allow myself to read the more light hearted stuff. It was a nice change of pace.

      Anna would be a perfect read any time of the year, but I could see how it would be a great beach read. However, if I were you, I don't know if I could wait until summer to dig in!

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  4. Great review Andrea...and I'm even later to the party...but I'm DYING TO GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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    1. Michele, I know you're reading pretty well at this point and I can say with 100% certainty that you will love this one! I can't wait for you to read it. I love our book gushing, I mean conversations. It was so much fun when we both read Dark Companion at the same time and could discuss plot issues, characters, and our reactions as we went. I'd love to do that again at some point!

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    2. Oh! Me too!!! And 'book gushing' is one of my favourite past-times...especially with you! ;) We also read Pushing the Limits fairly close together and it was fun raving about it between you, Jen and me! Can't wait to read Anna...I KNOW I will love it!

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  5. I think I need to read this one too! :)

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    1. Jen, we need to find a lull in our reading schedule to squeeze this one in...and soon!

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  6. I keep flirting with buying this book, but I haven't actually asked it out yet. I think I will stop flirting and just get it for this weekend. Good review.

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    1. I fully support this plan. Anna is a must read and one of my all time favorites. :)

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  7. After reading this review, I sort of want to pick it up right now. Since this book is collecting dust on my shelf, I'll be sure to make this a priority in 2014. Awesome review!

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  8. I absolutely loved this book. To be honest, I didn't think I would even like it. It was such a nice surprise!!

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    1. I haven't always enjoyed contemporaries, but this one made me rethink that stance.

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  9. I adore this book and Lola's. I can't wait for the third one I need it so bad.

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  10. I have been meaning to read this book for so long it's embarrassing, so don't feel bad! This novel sounds cute as a button.

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    1. It is a cute read and one of my all time favorites!

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  11. I LOVED it! STephanie Perkins is my favorite author ever because she knows how to write real likable characters and amazing romance:) Lola and the Boy Next Door was equally good:)

    Lovely review:)

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    1. I enjoyed Lola's story as well, but just slightly less than Anna. I loved seeing Anna and Etienne make appearances in Lola's story.

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  12. OH MY GOSH!!! I've been meaning to read this book! Everytime I get the chance, I totally blow it!

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  13. gaaah this book sounds so good i wanna read it really soon!!

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  14. STepanie Perkins is the best author - she writes real complex characters with flaws who you love, and she knows how to write romance. I hope she never stops writing:)

    Lovely review:)

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  15. I love this review and it's STYLE, alot! :) I absolutely agree that SP's writing style is quite nice but sadly I'm one of those who couldn't bring myself to finish the book. :c But I love Frence :D

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  16. Love your review and love this book, is perfection, can't wait for Isla's book, I think will amazing too and want more for anna and Étienne, they are lovely

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  17. Thanks for the review. I too am not usually a fan of contemporary YA, however, since everyone seems to love it maybe I will give it a try.

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  18. I don't remember the last time I read a contemporary YA. I'll be sure to keep this book in mind the next time I decide to try something new.

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  19. Sounds like a really cute read. :) And i love the sound of Anna as a MC. Adding it to my TBR list. Yes, I'm even later than you to the party. :D

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  20. Great review!!! This book has been on my TBR list for soooo long now!! I need to get it soon!! Hahaha so you're not the only one who hasn't read it yet ;)

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  21. This book sounds like such a lovely romance! Great review!

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  22. Woot woot! I am with you girl! I've read this one but it's definitely worth rereading for sure! And dreamy St. Clair is swoon-worthy and a book boyfie! I agree with the walking the same streets as the characters. That should be awesome! Our own personal tour to follow! Way cool. Agreed agreed agreed.

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