Anna and the French Kiss
By Stephanie Perkins
December 2, 2010
Dutton Juvenile, 384 pages
Anna was 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. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
— Amazon.com description
Okay, so I know as much French as Anna did going into her Parisian adventure, and I was a little nervous about reading this book because of all the hype surrounding it, but my overall response this book is: Oui, s'il vous plaît!
Anna's voice was wry and witty, and the dialogue was quick and realistic. Those are the top things I look for in a main character (See: Darling, Jessica), and Stephanie Perkins did a wonderful job of fulfilling all my wishes with Anna.
That's not to say Anna didn't frustrate me. Oh my gosh, stop moping in your room. It's legal to drink at your age in France, Anna! Go have some wine and see the sights! But, then again, I like my main characters to be a little flawed, so I mostly found all that to be endearing.
[Potential spoiler alert!] I see the appeal of St. Clair (accent! worldly! funny!), but I'm not swooning. I think I like Anna so much that it was hard for me to root for what seemed like a hopeless romance. Not that the guy she left at home seemed like much of a winner, but...St. Clair has a girlfriend! Girl, you're young. You're in Paris. Go meet some French boy and have some fun till St. Clair comes to his silly British senses. Make him chase you a bit!
In short, this is definitely a book I'd recommend. Very impressed by Stephanie Perkins!
Post-read observation: I have never read a book about boarding school I didn't like. Seriously...aren't they the best? Also: Let's discuss how Anna's dad was totally Nicholas Sparks. Hilarious!
If you like this book, you might also like: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott (because you are probably sick of me and all the Megan McCafferty talk by now)