Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
Summary: 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?
This is the kind of book that I normally take a look at and set it right back down on the shelf. Fortunately, it was recommended to me by a friend and I kept seeing it around the book blogging world. I kept seeing it chosen for weekly memes asking about bad covers of great books, too, which is what ultimately got me to pick it up.
Immediately, I liked Anna. I liked the way she narrated the story and her overall tone. I don’t know why I thought Anna would be bubbly and vapid, but I suppose that’s just how much the cover irks me. That’s just what I get from it.
I am not a fan of people having crushes on people in relationships. It’s sort of a rule I have and I think it’s disrespectful. So when Anna starts to develop inappropriate feelings for St. Clair, I cringed inside. That being said, I liked the way everything played out and I liked the way Anna handled the fact that St. Clair had a girlfriend, so I didn’t find myself disliking the story and it didn’t really bother me.
While this is the kind of story that focuses heavily on relationships and emotions of that nature, I thought many aspects of Anna’s experience in the boarding school to be realistic. The characters weren’t quite as multidimensional as I wanted them to be and certain avenues that might have led to more depth weren’t explored, but I liked the characters anyway. I felt like it was a story that people could relate to and even learn something from, like how to handle certain situations and how to communicate and how to not let friendships fall apart and that’s ultimately why I rated it so high. There were scenes that reminded me of my high school experience and I enjoyed watching Anna get through some tough moments that I could relate to. Also, I love that Anna makes fun of her dad’s writing career because the things she says are the same things I say about the kind of books he wrote and it made me chuckle.
Overall, I liked Anna, I thought the story was pretty relatable in some ways, and I thought it was a cute. It was a quick and easy read through Anna’s narration and it is definitely worth reading. I would recommend this book.