Anna and the French KissAuthor: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Published: July 16th 2013 by Speak
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?
My ThoughtsThis book is amazing! The story is simple enough, but beautifully and creatively written. It's straight to the point but not boring. Stephanie Perkins mixed simplicity with fab. One of the best YA contemporary I've read.
Let me tell you what I think of Anna. I love this girl, even though sometimes her heart gets in the way of her head it's almost stupid. But I like her wit. Her sense of humor and imagination are amazing. I love being in her head and it's a good thing that the book is written in her POV. She's funny and smart and sarcastic, in a good way. And considering that her father enrolled her in Paris against her will, I'd say Anna is also pretty strong. She handled her transfer well, even though it was difficult for her.
One thing I don't like about Anna is that when she's hurt, she tends to push people away. She forgets her friends and chooses to go through her problems alone. In the process, she hurts the people who care for her, albeit unintentionally. So it's good that she has a friend like Rashmi to make her realize what she's doing.
Now let's talk about Etienne. Smart, charming, beautiful Etienne. I love and hate him. I mean, he's a jerk. Leading on Anna like that. He has a girlfriend, goodness! He's so frustrating that a lot of times I want to strangle him. But I also can't deny the fact that Etienne is a hearthrob. More than his good looks, I like him because he has flaws. He's insecure with his height, he's afraid of heights and his teeth aren't perfect. It makes him more real to me. And despite of those imperfections, he's confident and funny and smart and kind. Funny and smart make a good combination, if you ask me.
I love their friendship, their casual banterings, the fact that they're comfortable with each other. I liked the fact that even though they're miles away from their own families, they found home in each other.
I was frustrated when things got complicated and they can't be together. That's when I started hating Etienne and thought of him as a jerk. But when I came to understand his reasons, I sympathized with him. And Anna. They are both afraid of being alone, especially Etienne. And because of that, he was hesitant to do something about his situation with Ellie, even though he's clearly unhappy with her.
The other characters are also great. Meredith, Rashmi and Josh were awesome in welcoming Anna into their group when she was new in Paris. I love Bridgette's big words. (I learned a new word from her: CALLIPYGIAN.) And although Matt's character has minimum exposure, I liked that he's a real friend to Anna and wasn't hesitant to point out her mistake.
The setting is also perfect. The city of Paris gave a romantic backdrop to the story. (Of course, it's the most romantic city in the world!) I even felt like I was touring in Paris every time Anna and Etienne go out.
I love this book! The swoon-factor is so high, especially towards the end. It's a light read and enjoyable. Anna and the French Kiss also taught me that we don't have to face our problems alone. There's a reason we have friends and it wouldn't hurt to talk to them about what we're going through. Actually, it would hurt less.
"Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?"
"I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I seen on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it."
"How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else's - be pulled and stretched and twisted - before they snap? Before they can never be mended again?"