Friday, November 11, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Published date: December 2nd, 2011
Pages: Hardcover, 372 pages 
Age Group: Young Adult 
Publisher: Dutton 
My Rating: 5/5! 

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 Etienne St. Clair: 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 finished this book in just a day, because I practically fell in love with the story! It's basically about Anna, who has to go to Paris for boarding school, I mean what girl wouldn't squeal at that opportunity? Despite Anna's doubt about it in the first place during the beginning of the story, haha. And I knew about the crazy hype that was surrounded in this book, but I told myself to just get into the story on my own terms. Boy, I never expected this book to be the addictive one. 

Descriptions of the Paris setting were simply divine. From the eloquent architecture that surrounds her, the weather, the park, the people, the awesomeness that is School of America, and the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in which I have been dying to go to. It took a while for Anna to get used to Paris, but eventually she warmed up to it. Characterization was also done beautifully. Anna is a very relatable 17 year old girl, along with her movie obsessions and neurotic tendencies. Her love interest in this book, Etienne St. Clair, the beautiful and yet taken Parisian boy is a perfect addition to her character. He's funny, charming, and troubled at the same time, and you can't help but feel excited to get to know him as you read. But besides him and Anna, her newfound friends are just as well-written that I really feel connected to them, I truly had a blast.  

One of the things I didn't expect, was just how honest and true St. Clair and Anna's growing relationship in this book. It wasn't the kind of romance where their relationship instantly happens. It tugged at my heart, and Stephanie was aware of circumstances in life that could happen when we're just getting to know someone. It wasn't a relationship where she falls in love with him at first sight, it was delightful and gradual. Stephanie did a beautiful job in making me squeal at Anna and St. Clair's budding relationship. Whenever the two of them are together, it's simply magic, even through the humorous tension, they have fun and meaningful conversations as they stroll through Paris and old movie theaters. Yet, besides the swoon-worthy moments, there are definitely the awkward moments, the insecurities they both face, especially Anna, scared of admitting her feelings that could ruin their bond. 

Therefore, Anna and the French Kiss was a very enjoyable and balanced book. I would read this book again if I could someday, just to relive the experience once more. It left a feeling of contentment in my heart, and that pleasant exhaustion after reading a really great book, and I could relate to Anna in some aspects. It's a great romance story for young adults without being too superficial. And this book made me realize that we should not be so afraid in opening up to others, we may just surprise ourselves. It's really amazing and fun to watch Anna transform and follow her heart in this book. I'm looking forward to reading more of Stephanie Perkins' work. Love love love. 

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