Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Published: December 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372
Copy: My own.
Summary: 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 √Čtienne St. Claire: 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?

Everything I have seen about this book has been full of praise, and I admit to starting it and looking for fault.  I was wrong, there isn't any.  I loved, loved, LOVED this book, every page of it. The characters were so well done that I was right there in that school with all of them.  I was walking up to Notre Dame with Etienne and Anna.  I was eating crepes with chocolate sauce - well maybe not that, I hate chocolate sauce, but you get the picture

Anna's hopes and fears were so legitimate.  I know I'm a long way off 18, but I do remember what it was like, and this story brought it all back to me. All the inner angst and outer awkwardness.  Wondering about what might happen and missing what actually does happen.  Oh to be a teenager again - nah, I'll stick to reading about it in books! And the humour - it was amazingly funny and had me laughing out loud in so many places.

'"Nice umbrella.  Could've used that this morning." He shakes a hand through his hair, and a drop lands on my bare arm.  Words fail me  Unfortunately, my stomach speaks for itself.  His eyes pop at the rumble, and I'm alarmed by how big and brown they are.  As if he needed any further weapons against the female race.' (page 23)

Every one of the characters in the book was whole and complete - very real, and very easy to relate to. Somehow the stereotypes weren't quite as OTT as they sometimes are, and were all the more believable for that. The story is set in Paris and the school is the 'School of America, Paris' or SOAP as it is referred to, but the school itself could have been any regular, run of the mill boarding school in the US that we love to read about. Co-ed dorms - yes please! Walks along the Boulevard de Paris - I'll say.  Visit Paris - sign me up for the next flight.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what my favourite thing is about the story, because it would be a major spoiler and I really hate spoilers when I can avoid them.  Like I said before, I loved this story and I think you'd have to be pretty jaded not to enjoy it as well.  Try it out for yourself - you'll see.


  1. Isn't it amazing how there's really nothing bad to say about this book? It wasn't a perfect book, but I do think it was one of the best modern romance books I can ever remember reading.

  2. You're right Alison, it wasn't perfect, but it was perfect fun!