Saturday, October 6, 2012

Novel Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Penguin (Speak)
Spoilers: No/Very minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

Something Specific:
That I Loved:

  • "And then my mother does something that, even after all of the paperwork and plane tickets and presentations, I don't see coming. Something that would've happened in a year anyway, once I left for college, but that no matter how many days or months or years I've yearned for it, I am still not prepared for when it actually happens.
                  "My mother leaves. I am alone." 
    (Paperback, pg. 8) (This is a passage that I really loved when I first read the book; that really stood out to me, especially because I found that I could relate, that a similar goodbye had happened to me around the same time I read it.)


I really enjoyed this book. I’ve had it for a while, have wanted to read it for even longer, and had even planned to read it for the last couple months, but for some reason never got around to actually doing it. When packing books to bring with me on vacation, I was pretty set on bringing this one with me, and I’m glad. Sadly, I planned to put it off till later on the trip, but ended up reading it rather fast instead. And I’m really glad that I finally got to it. It really shouldn’t have taken me so long.
I’d heard a lot of good things about this, including from several authors that I like, and it sounded like my type of book. It has big focus on romance, even if it’s the kind that is pushed off for a long time, it’s funny, with a type of humor I enjoy, the characters were well done, the romance was put together really well and had a good pace to it. This book is filled with things I like.
Anna, the main character, is forced to move to France to go to a boarding school, where she ends up meeting St. Clair and his friends, who she quickly forms a friendship with. She’s upset about leaving her best friend back home, and her mother and brother, and is mad at her rich, predictable-romance writing father who sent her there. It takes her a little while to get used to everything, but she does, especially with the help of St. Clair.
I liked Anna. She wasn’t whiny or too insecure or selfish. She wasn’t completely selfless or anything, either, though. She was nice, as nice as she could be, while disagreeing with people and trying to deal with a new place, new language, being away from home, and liking someone who has a girlfriend already. I really liked St. Clair, and her and him together.
Their relationship was really well done, and I was impressed with that. They got to know each other, turned into best friends, even while trying to ignore the flirting and feelings that they obviously had for each other. Neither of them was perfect, and they both knew it; they were perfect for each other, or whatever. A lot of the book was spent with them getting to know each other, and none of it was boring or dragged out; the pace was pretty perfect. There were some parts, of course, where I just wanted them to get together already, and there was so much teasing, but overall it was good.
Along with getting to know St. Clair, we also get to know their friends. All of who had actual personalities, and most of whom I liked. There were several scenes where Anna is just hanging out with some of the others, which I liked; her entire life was not centered on her feelings on St. Clair. She also went home one time in the book, so we got to meet her brother and her best friend, and the guy she maybe likes, and got to hear more about her parents.
The timeline in the book goes through the whole school year, so a lot happened. I’m not going to go into too much detail, though, and let you find those things out yourself (when you read the book, ‘cause you should, if you haven’t already).
The ending was really good. We find out what their plans for later are, and those seem to be very good and should work out really well. We also got to see them as an actual couple, and I found them a bit adorable.
I just really liked everything about this book. The more I think about it, the more I find reasons why I liked it. I was expecting to like it, but was surprised by how much and how well done everything in it was. It was pretty much amazing, has kind of made me fall in love with it, and I want the next one immediately, and don’t plan on waiting too long to get it. I want it that bad.

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