Title – Author: Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: August 4, 2011
Series/Standalone: Standalone (but with companion novels)
Format – Source: Paperback – Bought
Anna thought she would be spending her senior year in Atlanta with her best friend and her coworker crush that could be something more. To her surprise and anger, her father enrolls her in a boarding school…in Paris. Being all alone in a foreign country, Anna expects to be miserable, until she meets the perfect and handsome Etienne St. Clair. The only problem? Etienne has a girlfriend and Anna’s still hung up on her crush at home.
This probably isn’t going to be a very coherent review because OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH YOU GUYS. I don’t even know what to say because I’m just kind of here, flailing about in my love for this book. It lived up to all of my expectations: light, fun, and swoony with dramatic moments and teenage hormones.
The narrative voice caught me up right away. Anna is so relatable. She’s very much a teenager. She can be self-centered and overly emotional at times. But she’s also funny and smart and learns lessons the hard way. I loved how over the course of the book she becomes more independent.
I can’t believe I’ve managed to write two paragraphs without mentioning Etienne. Gorgeous, charming, imperfect Etienne. He’s definitely making my top ten list of fictional boyfriends. I love how at first Anna sort of idealizes him and thinks he’s the perfect guy but as his flaws and vulnerabilities are revealed, she likes him even more (just like the reader does…sigh). He can be stupid and make mistakes just like any other teenage boy. Both Anna and Etienne feel like real people.
Their romance is honestly one of my favorite ones I’ve ever read. I love when romance starts with a solid foundation of friendship. Yes, there’s their undeniable initial attraction, but they become friends by learning about each other and exploring the city together. Their chemistry is ridiculously strong; its obvious to everyone, characters and readers included, that they belong together.
Charming and romantic, Anna and the French Kiss is now one of my favorite YA contemporaries of all time. It’s love, folks.