Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 4.75 of 5 stars
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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I really loved this! If i were 20, Id be totally going fan girl crazy over it. The only reason im not is because the description of the main love interest kinda reminds me of my little brother. So that was a little weird. And the only reason i just couldn't give it 5 stars. I give it 4.75 stars tho!!!!
I started Anna and the French Kiss because i felt like i was the only person on earth that hasnt read it. Its recieved so much hype, i felt left out! I was in the middle of another book, that was totally dragging, so i picked this up, hoping for a quick, light, easy read.
And it totally delivered! Anna and the French Kiss is basically the story of an American girl named Anna whose father sends her to an American school in Paris for her senior year.
Anna doesnt speak French, knows nobody in Paris and as most teenagers would be, is very reluctant to leave behind her family and friends and everything she knows in America, even if it is only for a year.
The first person she meets in Paris is a girl named Meredith. She latches on to Meredith and quickly becomes a part of Merediths group of friends, which includes Josh, Rashmi and Etienne St Clair. (and just quietly, how sexy is the name Etienne?!)
St Clair (as all his friends call him) is smart and sexy, and he and Anna become fast friends. Anna is immediately attracted to him, but he has a girlfriend. And she has a sort of fling waiting for her back in Atlanta. Plus Paris and living away from home is pretty daunting, she needs friends more than a romance.
And so begins the story of their senior year, their friendships, their relationships.
What strikes me first about this book, is that there is no huge twists or turns. Theres not really any huge surprises. A boy, meets a girl, they become friends, and eventually more. Which normally would make for a dull read. But this story just didnt need anything fancy, which is a total credit to the author. It is so perfectly written. It flows so well, that even tho there might not be anything major happening, it is impossible to put down.
I love that, unlike so many YA books these days, Anna didnt immediately fall in love with Etienne the minute she saw him. Theres no "oh ill die if we arent together" and "my every thought of every minute is of him". Shes attracted to him. But so what? He isnt available and neither is she really. The author builds this beautiful friendship between the two, that doesnt happen overnight. 90% of the book is them gradually getting to know each other, learning to trust each other.
Theres so many great moments along the way, moments of confusion when Anna starts to think that she might have feelings for St Clair, that he might have feelings for her. But just like a normal teenager, they never openly discuss things. Which makes for some really amusing, really sweet and innocent times. And sometimes you just want to yell "make your move!" at one of them. I got so involved with these characters, you really find yourself wanting to jump in there and just sort everything out for them! And the reader gets a great taste of Parisian life, through their adventures.
I wish this book had been around when i was a teenager.Theres so much for teenagers to relate to in this. Not just the romantic story, but the girls friendships, The bullying and lies Anna has to endure towards the end. Learning to become independent and learning what really matters. But ultimately, it is the romance (or the build up to a romance) that draws you in. This is the story you read when you've just broken up with someone, that makes you feel that all is right with the world again, and that the best sort of romantic love comes from being best friends first. It explores the idea that home isnt where you live, but who your with, which i love and could relate to as an adult.
I really didnt want this book to end. When you find yourself checking how far into the book you are (on an ereader) and seeing you're at 80% read and wanting to cry because youre nearly finished, you know its a good read. Highly reccomend it to anyone looking for a light easy summer read, or to anyone who enjoys contemporary/chick lit. I'll definitely be reading more Stephanie Perkins.
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