Seeing as I proclaimed my infatuation with love stories yesterday, it seems only fitting that I write a review of one today, right? Well, I recently read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and I found it absolutely adorable. In summary, this book is about a high school girl who for some reason or other (never really figured out why) is sent to boarding school in Paris, against her will. Furious and terrified as she is at first, Anna soon discovers some perks to living in the city of
love lights (crap, which one’s Paris again?). The abundant amount of movie theatres for one thing, but more importantly, a boy. More specifically, Étienne St. Clair; a French-American boy with an English accent, amazing hair, and a great sense of humour. Anna quickly develops a crush on him (who wouldn’t?) but unfortunately he has a girlfriend. What to do, what to do? Be friends with him of course! Yeah, right…
I really liked this book, so much so that I had trouble putting it down. Specifically, I liked the slow tension filled build-up between Anna and St. Clair as they progressed from being friends to starting to mean more to each other; this was definitely my favourite part of the book.
Even though she develops a crush on St. Clair the moment she lays eyes on him (blah!), I really like Anna. I think she’s portraits a realistic image of how a teenage girl might be, with her passions, insecurities and selective blindness to certain hints thrown her way. St. Clair makes a great, but flawed, romantic hero as he too has his weaknesses and imperfections. However, his charm and positive spirit far outweighs his flaws. And that accent… you just gotta love a boy with an English accent! I seriously read it in an English accent in my mind, just to make it sweeter (I’m not crazy, really).
As much as I liked the book, I do have a few minor objections: I thought the ending was somewhat weaker than the beginning and the middle of the book. It feels a little rushed to me, with everything tied up in a neat little bow in the final chapter. Also, I never felt like I got a proper answer to the question of why Anna’s father insisted on sending her to boarding school in a foreign country, especially when she was so opposed to it herself. Also, where did St. Clair’s intense fear of heights stem from? And why on earth would his father want to keep him from seeing his mother? Even though St. Clair’s daddy was a douche bag, he must have had some other reason for acting the way he did than simply for the sake of douchiness itself, mustn’t he? It feels like he must. However, these are minor objections to an otherwise wonderful book.
All in all, this book is definitely worth reading, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance. Anna and the French Kiss whisked me away to a time in my life when a crush on a boy completely could take over my raison d’être. Of course, I never had any classmates like Étienne St. Clair and I praise myself lucky for that, or I never would have been able to get anything done.
My rating of this book: 4 stars (out of five). Register your own opinion in the vote below!