By: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: December 2, 2010
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
Genre/Age: YA Contemporary
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 Étienne 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?
For the past few months I’d been seeing reviews of Anna and the French Kiss everywhere I looked, and everyone was absolutely raving about it. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I kept thinking ‘There’s no way it can be THAT good, come on, it’s just another YA contemporary chick lit.’ BUT HOO BABY I WAS SO SO WRONG.
This book is SO GOOD. I am absolutely officially on the Anna and the French Kiss bandwagon, waving my hat and hollering at the top of my lungs. Everyone needs to go out and read this NOW.
On the surface (as evidenced by my earlier cynicism), there’s nothing particularly original or special about the storyline. But the thing is, it doesn’t even matter, because Stephanie Perkins pulls it off SO well that it doesn’t feel like anything you’ve read before.
It’s funny, sweet, romantic, and heartbreaking, and the characters are all incredibly wonderful and fleshed out and you just want to be best friends with all of them. Anna’s voice is so realistic and fun to read, and Étienne St. Clair is pretty much the perfect real boy, with perfect real boy flaws. He isn’t one of those brooding and mysterious types, he’s REAL. And lovely. So so lovely.
My absolute favorite thing about Anna and the French Kiss is the evolution of Anna and Étienne’s relationship. Although Anna immediately has a crush on him, they end up becoming friends first, and not just friends, but best friends. And that trumps everything, even her interest in being with him romantically. I LOVE that. It’s such a refreshing change from so many novels where the love interests experience “love at first sight” and everything is so intense and all-consuming right from the beginning. This is slow and gradual and their friendship is so beautiful that the fact that they do eventually get together is just the cherry on top. (Although I will admit, heads would have been rolling if they HADN’T ended up together. Haha.)
This book is like the perfect YA contemporary romance. I was giddy and grinning the entire time I was reading it, and then when I finished I just lay there for a while clutching the book to my chest and sighing in happiness. And then I proceeded to go back and reread all my favorite parts. It is just SO WONDERFUL.
I realize that this review is only somewhat coherent, but when you read the book you will understand. Trust me. Go read it. Now. It’s one of my favorite books of all time and I will be rereading it forever.