Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Auhthor: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2, 2012
Publisher: Dutton
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 372 (trade paperback)
Source: Trade
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?
 ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

There are no words to describe how much I loved this one. It lives up to the hype and literally warmed my heart. By the last word on the last page, I wanted to cry tears of joy for the characters simply because I loved it so much. Thank you, Krista, for sending this book my way.

This book explores the wonders of what it's like to fall in love for the very first time. It was relatable, it was real, and it took me on the good type of an emotional roller coaster ride. Perkins found a way to put such a complex process full of unexplainable feelings into words. The romance was powerful, slow moving, and swoon-worthy. It took the entire book to develop from both characters denying their feelings to their struggles of coming to terms with the fact that they may be in love to actually finding ways of proclaiming their feelings. It's the entire process rolled into 372 pages that I never wanted to end, no matter how perfect the ending was in my eyes. This will definitely be my go-to cheerer-upper read in the future.

The characterization was superb. All characters were three-dimensional and had a purpose. Even those meant to be hated were continuous in their rude behavior and not there simply to move the plot along. All characters were fleshed out and easy to love, especially Anna's crew of Etienne, Josh, Mer, and Rash. But Etienne St. Clair's characterization is what I love the most. He is American, English, and Parisian--the perfect combination, but his character is flawed. It's so rare to come across an imperfect boy, but Etienne is imperfect which is what makes him so perfect in my eyes. He's confused with what he wants to do with his future and college, he's short, he's impulsive and afraid to be alone, he has a sickening fear of heights, he is compulsively clean and polite, he always wears boots, he keeps sending Anna mixed signals in his attempt to be obvious about caring for her, he's such a complex character...but he is simply perfect for Anna. He is officially one of my favorite boys in all of young adult literature and I would read the book just for him and his Briticisms are pretty laugh-worthy too.

I do want to throw a warning out there. As cute as this book is, parents may not feel comfortable allowing younger kids to read it. It contains the s-word, the f-bomb, f-bomb hand gestures from several countries, drinking, name calling, sexual references and innuendos, and a boy and a girl sharing a bed to sleep (literally just to sleep). I am seventeen years old and I found it all understandable. These characters are the same age as me, this is how we act, this is what we do, but at the same time, I wouldn't recommend a twelve year old reading this. Nothing in it is overwhelming, but it is there and I know some readers who are primarily clean readers that would not feel comfortable reading this, hence the warning.

With all that being said, I would recommend this book to anyone. I am not the biggest contemporary reader, but my faith in the genre is slowly being restored due to books such as this one. It ranks high next to Katie McGarry's Pushing The Limits and Tammara Webber's Easy, in my eyes. Even those of you who are primarily paranormal readers like myself should give this one a chance. It's one hundred percent worth it.


5 stars

~*~Links~*~

7 comments:

  1. I love a good book with a good plot and good characters, thank you for the review :) I havent seen much for this book

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  2. I feel so bad for not liking this book. I mean I came into it with very high expectations and it just didn't...click with me. I'm glad so many people enjoy it, but it just wasn't for me. I had too many issues with the characters and the writing.

    If you want to read my review, you can check it out here: http://thesisterstale.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-anna-and-french-kiss-by.html

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  3. I really loved this book! And I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door. Actually, I think I liked Lola even more than Anna. I had been seeing Anna and the French Kiss everywhere, but wasn't ready to take the plunge. Can't remember why I decided to, but it was a good decision none the less. Stephanie Perkins is now one of my favorite authors and I'm really looking forward to what comes out next.
    Tammy @ http://bosbooknook.blogspot.com/

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  4. LOVED this book and I'm so glad you did too! I totally agree that the best part about Etienne St. Clair is that he's so imprefect and yet perfect for Anna. Stephanie Perkins is amazing and I can't wait until you read Lola and the Boy Next Door! Then we can both pine for Isla and the Happily Ever After, lol :D Awesome review, Lili!

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  5. I have been reading about this book all over the place, thank you for your review. I'm going to add it to my Summer "must reads".

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  6. I love love love this book. Etiene :) He's my favorite. I liked Lola and the Boy Next Door, but I don't think anything could quite compare to the first one.

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