Wednesday, April 6, 2011

review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

pub date: December 2, 2010
publisher: Dutton
pages: 372
appeals: realistic fiction, romance, France!, boarding school, realistic fiction
content: some swearing, a few f-words (like 5 or so?), some mild sexual conversations

I've finally read the book! I've wanted to read it for such a long time. I even bought the book months ago, but I've been hesitant. Mostly because I wanted to like it, but what if I didn't?

I finally bit the bullet. And it was fantastic. Though not what I was expecting at all. I don't know if I ever read the blurb about the book when it was coming out. All I remember are all the blog posts I read about how Anna and St. Claire are such good friends before anything romantic happens between them. So I was expecting a book about good friends who's relationship turns into romance later on. That isn't exactly what happened. They were good friends, but there's this romantic, underlying tension throughout their relationship, from practically the first day. And wow, the blurb is right--there are a lot of near misses. Which actually kind of annoyed me after awhile. I gave the book 4 apples when I first finished it, but I kept thinking about the story for days afterward, so that means it's definitely 5 apples of yummy. 

What I liked:

St. Claire has crooked teeth and is short.

The romance. It was really good.

The ending. It's perfect. Which is should be after all those near misses!

Anna's boarding school friends. St. Claire, but also all the others. It was so real. All of them had these full lives that were individual and unique. Maybe it's because I'm trying to write my own novel and am finding it difficult, but I loved how real they felt.  

Anna's dad reminded me of Nicholas Sparks. Anyone else? I found it very humorous. And enjoyed it a lot.

France! I went to Paris years ago and I visited those places! I remember eating that food! It was fun to read. I kind of wish I went to high school in France.

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 √Čtienne St. Claire: 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?

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