Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

So I mentioned in my Want Books post that I was dying to read this one. It didn’t help that everyone seemed to be talking about it on Twitter and several glowing reviews kept popping up in the blogosphere. I was really curious because I only have a handful of contemporary YA favorites and I’m itching to add more to the list and Anna and the French Kiss looked promising. This book is available in hardcover format in Fully Booked for P699.

Here’s the summary from Stephanie Perkins’ website:

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 β€” until she meets Γ‰tienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Γ‰tienne 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.

This book deserves all the hype that it’s been getting in the blogosphere. I love how there are so many awesome debut novels this year! I hope 2011 has a lineup that’s just as good. It was so easy to relate to Anna and how she’s bummed that she has to spend her senior year in Paris. Yes, Paris is amazing but who wants to transfer for the last year of high school? It’s the last chance that you get to spend with your high school buddies. I love how believable everything was in this novel. How Anna was shy and reserved at the start because she doesn’t even know how to speak French. It’s so funny how she lived in fear of ordering the wrong kind of food so all she ate during her first week were fruits and bread. I loved seeing Paris through Anna’s eyes. Totally jealous of all the good food that she was able to try out – the sandwiches, the pastries, crepes and even the coffee! Ahhh, I’m suddenly craving for macarons from Bizu. Sigh, I would dearly love to go to Paris in the future.

The romance is just as realistic as the rest of the story. Stephanie Perkins did a great job of portraying how complicated relationships are, especially during your teenage years. The tension, the drama, the uncertainty of it all! Imagine having to spend everyday with the guy you’re infatuated with, who’s gorgeous, smart and funny. There are times when he gives hints that he may like you as more than a friend but you’re never sure because he doesn’t have any plans of breaking up with his long-time girlfriend. I admire Anna for being able to maintain a friendship with St. Clair in spite of their growing attraction. And not just any friendship at that, they even become the best of friends eventually. Anna and St. Clair’s friendship developed because they’re really comfortable with each other even if they have moments of awkwardness. Also, St. Clair isn’t portrayed as a perfect guy. He’s short, he doesn’t know how to drive and he’s scared of heights (which is actually endearing). Both Anna and St. Clair make mistakes along the way but you still end up rooting for them.

It was so much fun reading Anna and the French Kiss and I highly recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys YA contemporary romance, specifically fans of Simone Elkeles and Jennifer Echols. It’s bound to make you smile and yes, swoon at times.♥ I can see people falling in love with this one. Can’t wait to read Stephanie Perkins’ other books. She has two companion novels to this one and the first will be released fall of 2011.

Oh and just for fun, check out John Green’s tweet to Maureen Johnson a couple of days ago:

@maureenjohnson have you read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS? It’s like you and me and Sarah Dessen had a really sexy baby.

Other reviews: (manually generated)
Persnickety Snark
Steph Su Reads
See Michelle Read
One More Page
Book Harbinger
Forever Young Adult

29 thoughts on “Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Hooray, you finally got a copy! Great review. You articulated why I liked this so much better than I did. You’re right – Etienne isn’t perfect but his flaws are endearing and don’t take away from his swoon factor.

    I hope you get to visit Paris some day – the food and sights really are fantastic. πŸ™‚

    • This is actually longer than my usual review but I didn’t want to cut back because I wanted to mention the details that I liked about it. πŸ™‚

      Oh you’ve been to Paris? I’m jealous! I really hope to go someday but it’s really expensive. I should start saving now. Paris and Greece – top two places I want to go to.

  2. Like what I said in Twitter: I want to have a print copy of this book now. Hm. It’s one of those books that I have to own in print.

    And love that John Green tweet too, especially since he mentioned Sarah Dessen. Makes me feel really cool for liking the same book.

    • Call Fully Booked so you can have a copy reserved. πŸ™‚

      Oh yeah, you’re a big Sarah Dessen fan so that made the tweet cooler for you. LOL I still haven’t read any of her books!

  3. Aaaaah. I’ve been hankering after this book since I stumbled on Stephanie Perkins’s awesome blog, mainly because it’s set in Paris and partly because it’s a love story. I love your review. Etienne sounds very interesting. πŸ™‚

  4. I read the first page of this in the bookstore the other night. I was supposed to be buying gifts for other people so I didn’t get it. I don’t know how much longer I can resist buying it for.

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  9. I loved this book! I was schizo for a bit; laughing, swooning, crying, sighing and yes, getting angry. It was funny and romantic but very relatable (is that a word?). Can’t wait for the companion books…Thanks for the recommendation! =)

    • Hey anne, it does make you feel so many emotions, doesn’t it? It really is a lovely contemporary YA debut and it deserves all the buzz that it’s been getting. I know what you mean about the book being realistic and that’s why we could all relate to it.

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