Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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 something 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?

I'm trying to think what else I can say about this novel other than LOVE IT, READ IT, NOW! I am a squeeing fangirl for this book and as I sit here typing I can feel myself getting all giddy and sigh-y all over again!

I've been thinking lately that some of the contemporary YA romances I read sort of fall flat - they neither feel real or deep. I've grown up reading a lot of historical romance, and lately, more paranormal romance. But I've found myself craving a contemporary romance I could really feel...and with Anna and the French Kiss, I have!

Anna is a great character, one I think readers can readily relate to. She's scared to be in Paris alone and craving to be back home where everything is familiar - especially the language! Her first days are awkward and I found myself nervous on her behalf, but still willing her to get out and try! Perkins has created scenes that could easily have happened to me, or you, and I loved it. Her writing is smart and sassy, and really flows. The entirety of the novel felt like a build up to that one inevitable moment and I found myself wanting to burst, as I waited for it to happen! Yet there were still moments that allowed the intensity to deflate, which I liked even more because it gave the narrative and its romance a much more realistic feel - life and love is a bumpy road, after all, with many wrong turns.

Each character felt believable, and I enjoyed getting to know them, especially Etienne - he truly is beautiful! In fact, I miss them already. Maybe not Amanda though...I'm vindictive enough to want one last scene from the book, that involves Amanda, Dave and Mike and a whole lot of laughing in their faces. I know you'll agree with me! Despite this though, Perkins ended her novel perfectly - I even went back right away to re-read those last 2 chapters. *sigh*

I must point out too that the setting of this novel is delish - everyone knows of Paris, of course. If you've never been, Perkins will be sure to entice you with her descriptions; if you have been, you'll feel like you're greeting an old friend, nodding along as Anna gets to know her new home. I have loved the idea of Paris since I was a child, and was lucky enough to visit in 2009 - reading this novel felt like I was almost there again!

A touching and dreamy read, fans of romance will need to read Anna and the French Kiss. I guarantee you'll leave it wishing your parents would have sent you to Paris for a year! I look forward to reading more from Stephanie Perkins.

Rating:

I like this cover, though I would have loved a head shot of Etienne! It fits the novel well, and the black scarf has me giggling like a love-struck little girl!

Challenges: 2011 Debut Author Challenge, and 2011 YA Contemporary Challenge.

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