Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Skinny: Anna’s writer and wanna-seem-cultured father sends her to Paris to attend a boarding school in, of all places, Paris. She leaves her Atlanta home, her senior year, best friend and the guy she’s had a crush on (and is soon to be something more) for a country she knows nothing about. But then she meets Etienne St Clair, who is charming, handsome, fun… and who has a girlfriend. As they become closer Anna feels herself falling for him, a slight complication in their friendship. But in the city of love, anything can happen…
BFF?: Anna is my long lost why have we not met sooner BFF! I totally LOVED this chick! Anna’s personality is witty without being snarky, something YA characters sometimes have problems with. She was fun, like really fun, and knew how to cut loose, without being annoying. She’s also a little neurotic with her cleanliness, which I found really funny, mainly because I’m somewhat of a germaphobe. What I found that I liked most about her was that she was just a normal teenage girl, a little awkward, klutzy without going overboard, and had your average, everyday problems.
Readability: Anna’s voice is clear and forward, without any confusing hints at her past. It was an easy read without losing the central plot or skimping on details or characterization. There were some parts where I really felt like “ooh, I am in Paris (please note, I am saying this in a fake French accent) and loved how descriptive Perkins was about Paris without getting too into the details, something I’m sure if I attempted to describe it.
Crush Level: 8
Oh, St. Clair. You are what all boys (and men) should be. If you were only… lemme do the math… erm… 11? yes 11 years older, I would totally feel better about having the hots for you. Because I have them, in a major bad way. Because the thing is, he didn’t have to say sweet, cheesy things, or be angsty and tortured; he was just… perfect. And flawed. Perfectly flawed.
Bonus Points: I’m not gonna lie: there were entirely too many bonus points in this book!
No, not St Clair’s British accent, but Anna’s that really doesn’t exist but shows up occasionally. Just because we live in the South doesn’t mean we talk like Scarlet O’Hara! In fact, I’ve actually been accused of being from the North, a place that, until recently, I’ve NEVER BEEN! Ok. Enough about that. But, just like mine, Anna’s Southern accent only comes out at times, which was nice that she didn’t have such a strong one.
Anna loves old movies, just like me! Okay, she loves movies period. But I loved that there were so many movies in this book that I’ve seen and really loved. I did think her little descriptions were kind of cheesy, but whatever… Any teenager who goes to see It Happened One Night is okay in my book.
What made me fall most in love with St. Clair is that he didn’t start out as a romantic interest (even though we TOTALLY saw it coming, am I right?!). He started out as a Best Guy Friend Forever! Anna and St. Clair’s relationship was just too cute, lots of witty quips and teasing between them, fights and making ups… all the things that make BGFF relationships wonderful.
Did you think Paris WOULDN’T be a bonus point? Ohhhh, Paris! I felt like I was there and now want to go. Why can’t my dad be a famous sappy book writer who sends me to boarding school in Paris? I certainly wouldn’t bitch about it like Anna did!
Commencement Speech: Every once in a while a book comes along that hits home with you. It takes you back to a time when you were happy or gives you hope for something good to come along. For me, Anna and the French Kiss was that book. It made me remember what it was like to be seventeen and in love, remember times of having fun and just living life, not being weighed down with the everyday trudgeries of grown up life. No, this book wasn’t deep and life changing, but it was a nice escape from the darker themed books I normally find myself loving. The book was sweet, charming and touching, helping me to fall in love with love with every turn of the page.
Superlatives – Most Likely to Wear a Beret Everywhere