Skip to main content

Anna and the French Kiss

I moved twice when I was in high school, once before my freshman year and once before my junior year.  I was perfectly happy about the first move and totally not about the second.  So, I know what it is like to be the new girl, in a place completely different, with no friends and to have super rage over it as only a teenager can have.  I have to say Stephanie Perkins did a very fine job of conveying, through Anna's character, the emotions involved in such a move.  Reading the beginning of this book made me have flashbacks.  On the flip side I really wanted to yell at Anna, "Girl, you are in PARIS.  Me?  I was moved to Fayetteville, NC (a place not so fondly referred to by its current and former residents as "Fayetnam").
Can I just say?  The lack of symmetry on this cover really annoys me.

Anna and the French Kiss has been showered with all kinds of love all over the Internet so I was very interested in reading it.  This review by Allison over at The Allure of Books is what made me really want to read it.  I became unwilling to wait  for my library to get around to purchasing a copy and bought my own.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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?

I very much enjoyed the few hours it took me to read this book cover to cover.  Anna's voice drew me into the story right away and it was very easy for me to relate to her.  I felt like Anna's experiences being in a foreign country were just as realistically portrayed as her new girl experiences (I too have been paralyzed by terror in Paris, France at the thought of ordering off a menu).  Etienne St. Claire is a great hero.   He's your classic romantic nice guy but his character has a depth to it you don't often find in romantic chick lit novels.  I think what I liked best about the book is how Anna and Etienne are friends.  Friends who happened to be very attracted to each other, but their friendship is still very real.  I loved how, through the character of Anna's father, Stephanie Perkins makes fun of Nicholas Sparks.  And I'm all for anything that makes fun of Nicholas Sparks.

There were a couple of things that detracted from my absolutely loving the book unequivocally.  For the first two thirds of the book I was really engaged and felt the communication between all of the characters was portrayed realistically.  But then all the misunderstandings started to get to be a bit much.  It was almost as if the author decided she couldn't resolve the situation until a certain time of the year had come or  page number had been reached.  The teenage drama and miscommunication in the last  third of the novel became tedious to read because I felt like it was being forced.  It just didn't flow as naturally as the rest of the book did.  My other quibble is a minor one, but it tripped me up every time it happened.  Eteinne, who has an English accent because he grew up in England, says "me mum" a lot.  Each time I felt his character had been possessed by  the Lucky Charms leprechaun.  I lived in England for four years, granted it was a long time ago, but I don't remember people there switching out their my's for me's.

I definitely enjoyed my experience in Paris with Anna and Ettiene and am looking forward to reading the companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door when it comes out in the fall of this year.

Note on Content: This is a book for teens. There is a scene on Anna's birthday that involves drinking. There are some allusions to sex but as Anna is the narrator and she's not sexually active, nothing is described.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments. Two Naomis  was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel.  In this sequel to  Two Naomis , now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges. Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home. Naomi Marie i

The Reece Malcolm List

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding surprised me. Enough people I trust enjoyed it so I knew I would like it, but wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do. It is a really great book that is fun and has real heart and soul too. Synopsis: Things I know about Reece Malcolm: 1. She graduated from New York University. 2. She lives in or near Los Angeles. 3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. 4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon. 5. She’s my mother. Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much. L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love. But the

Ash & Bramble

I have established that I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. You know what else I love? Books written by Sarah Prineas. Both her MG series are great favorites of mine. When she happened to mention on Twitter long ago that she was working on a YA, I followed closely eager to read whatever the result was. Ash & Bramble  is a fabulous work of genius. (I consider Sarah a friend as well as an author I love, and she sent me the ARC I'm reviewing here.) Pin lives in the Godmother's fortress sewing clothes with the other seamstresses tasked with producing the beautiful one of a kind ballgowns the Godmother uses for her mysterious purposes. Pin has no memories of her life prior to the day she begins her work as a slave to the Godmother's will. Everything that came before is a blank nothing. While she has no memories, she is still a person with a will and a fierce defiance to live her own life. She gets a chance to plan an escape when she is used as a foot model for