Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date of Publication: December 2010
Number of Pages: 372
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 Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Lately, I've been in the mood for romance. So I've read some romance novels, both historical and contemporary, and I've watched romantic comedies and a couple of shoujo anime. I've had this series of books in my mind for quite a while and now I thought that it was the perfect chance to finally read Anna and the French Kiss. Indeed, it suited wonderfully my current mood.
I love the setting of this novel. Anna and the French Kiss obviously takes place in Paris. This city is by default romantic. As my trip there is the most recent one I made, I liked that I was able to mentally create the image of the streets, bridges and buildings that were described. But, even if I hadn't seen the Pantheon or Notre Damme with my own eyes the descriptions were so great and detailed that it would be easy to imagine them. During one scene, the protagonists visit the bookshop Shakespeare & Co. THAT'S THE BEST BOOKSHOP I've ever been to! Well, the setting was a big Yes for me.
The story was beautiful and swoon-worthy, although at times I felt that it was a little cliche. The friend who is secretly in love with the protagonist or the false rumours going on are things that are common. But I liked the pace the romance was developing. It didn't come easy, although both of them felt the same way. The obstacles they had to face were various and complex and by the end of the story both of them had learnt something.
Anna was a very likeable character, I felt that I could be friends with her. At times, I felt that her complaints were unrealistic. I understand that she was sent away from home, but she was in Paris in a top private school. Even if her father did it for himself, he still offered her a great opportunity. But I can't deny that in the end she realised what her faults were and I felt that she was wiser than the beginning and I liked her even more for that. The one thing I can't get over is that although she was a movie aficionado and her favourite director was Sofia Coppola, she wasn't aware that Paris is a top city for the cinema lovers. Étienne was just the way a male protagonist should be. He was funny, witty, emotional and faulty. If he wasn't that insecure the romance would surely move much quicker. I loved his devotion he showed to his mother. It felt strange though that he just had to have an English accent. The author explains that he was raised in Britain and it's a perfectly fine reason for it, but I think that I'd love for him to have a French accent.
Anna and the French Kiss was a really cute and sweet read. I cared enough for the characters, in order to feel anxious and worry about them, laugh with them and feel relieved. I would recommend it to those who want to read something romantic and feel nice.
So my advice is...
Fall in love in the City of Lights!