Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a contemporary YA romance that’s gotten lots of buzz. After reading multiple five star reviews, I decided to pick it up (and actually pay for it, not just rent it at the library) even though contemporary lit isn’t really my thing. I can now see what everyone’s talking about.
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. She is less than thrilled about boarding school in Paris – until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, he has it all – including a serious girlfriend. Will Anna get her French kiss?
Anna and the French Kiss sent my heart soaring. It’s the story of young, true love that doesn’t have the best timing or make the most sense until after the fact. Anna and Étienne are two characters with such depth, making them so relatable it’s hard not to love them. They both have their fears that continue to hold them back but when they are together it’s like they are free to be themselves.
However, there is a girlfriend, Ellie, in the picture. I have to say, this story hit close to home. I know exactly what it’s like to fall for the really hot boy that everyone likes and continually beat yourself up for thinking, even for a second, that he could actually like you, especially when he’s taken by this perfect, beautiful girl and they’ve been together forever. Regardless, this story was beautifully written and flowed flawlessly. There wasn’t a single time that I thought something was out of place or I was getting bored with the story. I specifically liked some of the funny Georgia shoutouts. As someone who lived in Georgia for awhile, I knew exactly what she meant when she mentioned going on vacation to Panama City Beach with the rest of Georgia. I’m sure Georgians keep that city in business. Anyway, Stephanie Perkins had me laughing out loud and left me with a goofy grin on my face a time or two.
This book is sweet and romantic without being cheesy. The characters are well-made, each with their own story and motives, even including the most minor of characters. I loved reading about Anna’s passion for film and the witty banter between Anna and Etienne about how he’s an American with an English accent lvinig in France. I have nothing to complain about with this book. I read it in two days and the happy ending left me satisfied. However, I just can’t give it five stars because it didn’t completely blow me away. It was pretty darn close though. I can see how everyone has fallen in love with this book, I have and I think you will too.
Stars: 4.5 out of 5