Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin USA (4th August 2011)
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 not too pleased 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 friends, including a 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 been waiting for?
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Anna and the French Kiss tells the story of Anna Oliphant; an American teenager sent to Paris by her father to go to boarding school for her senior year. Stephanie Perkins relates a brilliant tale of contemporary romance for Young Adult readers in this book.
Romance is generally a genre I stay clear of, but I’d been hearing such glowing reviews of Anna and the French Kiss on the blogosphere that I had to pick up the book: it blew me away. To my surprise and joy, in Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss I have found a romance that is readable and enjoyable, and actually elicited reactions from me – not including putting the book down, and walking away. At points it quite literally made me LOL. For real!
I really enjoyed having Anna as the protagonist and narrator of the book. I found her to be a very likeable and realistic character. I also enjoyed the fact that she went to Paris knowing no French – she’d only taken Spanish up to this point – so it was very much starting afresh for her. Perkins did a brilliant job with the secondary cast of characters, particularly Anna’s friends Bridgette, Rashmi, Josh, Meredith, and Étienne.
This book isn’t just about romance, it’s a book about growing up and becoming your own person too. Anna really grows as a character as the book progresses, and I really loved seeing her change and grow.
I highly recommend this book, even if romance isn’t really your thing – this book may surprise you, like it did me.