Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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?

Have you ever finished a book that made you ‘squee’ with happiness to the very core of your bones? That took every cynical thought you’ve ever had about love, and turns it around and makes you believe, even for a second, that the kind of love you read about is really possible? Because hold on to your hats ladies and gents because I’m about to rock your world: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS IS THE HAPPIEST, ‘SQUEE’-IEST, TICKLE YOU TO THE TIPS OF YOUR TOES BOOK I’VE EVER READ. Okay, maybe not ever because I went through a very similar thing with Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby. But seriously? If you are ever having a day that’s even slightly bad, this is the book for you because:

a.) It’s set in Paris. And not, like, ostentations Paris that’s all ‘look at me, I’m Paris and I’m historical!’ I mean, yeah, they go to all the famous landmarks, and Notre Dame does play a pretty big part in the book, but there is the ‘other’ Paris there too. The one that’s all movie theatres and delicious cakes and Nutella and scarves. You know, the Paris you’d live in if, like Anna, your dad decided to send you to an American boarding school abroad.

b.) It’s AMAZEBALLS funny. Seriously, you guys. I don’t have my copy in front of me (I’m at work right now) but when I do, I’ll give you specifics. Let’s just say that Anna’s dad is basically the Nicholas Sparks of his generation and when she rips in to him about his fake tan and fisherman sweaters…seriously, I almost peed my pants on the bus home one night. I got some really strange looks, but still. Plus, it’s not just Anna – there’s that thing I love when two straight boys pretend to joke about actually being gay with each other. St. Clair and his/their friend Josh do this all the time and it just  gives me the smiles.

c.) THE ROMANCE OH SWEET GOD THE ROMANCE!!!! I have quite a few lists out there of my top five favorite males in fiction, top five hottest males in fiction, top five fictional males I would do dirty things to in real life…you get the idea. And I think that St. Clair might have just topped them all. Yep. You heard me right. Even better than Darcy – because not only does he do the whole ‘I’ve got family issues, look at them, aren’t they dark and don’t they make me mysterious thing’, but he manages to do that without being a total asshat in the process.

d.) This book, despite what you may have just read above, is actually very realistic. I mean, you know, as realistic as a book about an American girl in Paris can be. I guess I should say, instead, that it’s characters are very realistic. They have problems – all of them. Too often in books do you see this flawed girl picked up by this perfect guy (**coughcoughTWILIGHTcoughcough**) or visa versa, but the characters in this book all have flaws and they all make mistakes – some they’re willing to own up to, other’s they’re not. Anna is quick to judge; St. Clair can’t stand to be alone (yes, this is a MAJOR flaw, especially in the context of this book); Meredith can’t speak her mind; Josh doesn’t take things seriously enough. Everyone has their flaw to deal with, and it’s nice to see teens in YA dealing with them honestly and openly – how many times have you heard someone go “I’m so not like that! I don’t ever _______(fill in annoying habit)”

e.) This one kind of relates to the one above, but Anna is a kick ass narrator. I mean, yeah, she has a really hard time at the beginning of the book getting out of her shell in Paris, but I can see that – she’s only, like, 17 and this is her first time living in a new city, let alone a foreign country. There is some…hesitation that comes with that. But she gets over it, and is able to do her own thing for the rest of the book. And she does do her OWN thing! Her whole life doesn’t revolve around a guy and what he’s doing *coughcoughTWILIGHTcoughcough*. She’s her own person and that’s badass to see in a YA narrative.

f.) ÉTIENNE ST. CLAIR! ÉTIENNE ST. CLAIR!! ÉTIENNE ST. CLAIR!!!!! Seriously, that should be enough.

Okay, guys. So thats six reasons and almost 1,000 words as to why you should IMMEDIATELY go out and read a copy. Buy a copy. Buy ten copies and hand them out to everyone you know. Because bottom line? This is one of the smileiest books out right now – possibly on the planet, possibly forever. Happy reading (hopefully of Anna and the French Kiss!)

PS: If that cover mortifies you the way it does me (sorry, covers are an instinctual thing,  I can’t help it, pluse I HATE that you don’t get to see Étienne) here are some other wonderful covers for this book I found via google image search:

  

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anna
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 00:52:18

    Better than Darcy? Better than Marcus Flutie?! Blasphemy! Hahaha.

    Reply

  2. Chelsea
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 01:13:06

    Argh! I forgot about Marcus, the boy I loved more than any other (including real ones) in high school…You know, Anna, I’m going to have to say yes. He’s hotter than Marcus Flutie. Again, because of that whole not being an ass hat thing. PLEASE read it, lol. It’s the only way I can make you understand. 😉

    Reply

  3. Nymeth
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 18:03:20

    I LOVE this post 😀 This is one of my favourite reads of the year and you did such a brilliant job of explaining why it’s awesome.

    Reply

    • Chelsea
      Oct 14, 2011 @ 18:06:34

      Thank, Ana! I can’t even TELL you how much I loved this read. The post only scratches the surface. I just want to give it to EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know and tell them it will make their lives better. lol.

      Reply

  4. Kailana
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 15:47:41

    I actually had this out from the library, but still have not managed to actually read it… I have heard really good things about it, though!

    Reply

  5. nea barabea (@neabarabea)
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 00:21:38

    I totally love your review!! Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favourite books I’ve read in 2011! I totally agree with you about Etienne!! He is AMAZING! I think this is one of those books you want to really share with the whole world, and you can re-read it 10 times and it’s ALWAYS great like the first time 😉

    Thanks for sharing! I really love this review! 😉

    Reply

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