Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review : Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


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?

First Line:

Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is.

My Thoughts:

To those who know me well, this would seem very, very skeptical. Me, reading a YA contemporary-romance novel? Highly unlikely. And that's a huge understatement. Romance is not a genre I'm particularly fond of and the only reason I can read most YA novels of the day - with all these multiple love interests and triangles -  is because it isn't solely focused on the romance. I like a good dose of humor and/or a witty or sarcastic protagonist in the books I read and I can't stand the fluff overpowering the actual story.

Anna and the French Kiss  by Stephanie Perkins has got loads of positive, highly recommended reviews and after a good amount of glowing references, I decided I'd give it a go and boy, am I happy I did.  I loved this book. One page into the book and I was hooked.

Anna is a great character- fun, witty and yet not without her own flaws. She was a simple, funny, completely natural character and very easy to connect with. Etienne St. Clair - the American with the British accent! -  the other main character  was as awesome a character as Anna and just as funny. For one, he's not the standard "tall, dark and handsome" that comes with every novels these days (being no taller than Anna). He's a surprisingly sweet character for a male, and that's in a good way! Stephanie Perkins has done an awesome job writing these two characters. 

The other characters in this book of importance are St. Clair's friends at the SOAP and are all great, wonderful characters and are seamlessly fit into the story. Her camaraderie with St.Clair and the rest of her friends at The School of America was really well pictured and I found myself laughing out loud more often than not at their antics.Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing - they had their disputes and the usual dose of teenage angst and frustration, but again, it was just right.

What annoyed me the most about this book was Etienne and Anna clinging desperately to their current lives, exactly as it was, unwilling to accept that things had changed and that they had face it and to move on already. And why, oh why, do YA novels have to have a perfect-beautiful-mean-yet-a-pain-in-the-ass blond girl who has to be utterly in luuurve with our hero and has to have a name like Amanda or Tiffany or Chelsea? That said, I was really glad about the fact that St. Clair doesn't utterly ignore Amanda annoying Anna all the time, as most male characters tend to do and actually retaliates and annoys her in turn, though obviously not in such a catty way.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is the perfect, one-sit read for a somebody looking for a laugh-out-loud cozy afternoon read. 


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