Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: December 2nd, 2010
Pages: 372 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.55 stars
Review: Anna, unlike most teenage girls, isn't happy about being sent to Paris for boarding school. After all, things were finally turning around for her back in Atlanta, since she had a great job, a great best friend, and a great crush who was about to a little more than that. But soon, everything looks up when she meets some good friends, particularly the British-American St. Clair. St. Clair has a girlfriend, and Anna has a sort-of-boyfriend, so of course he's off limits. Except it soon becomes apparent that it's difficult to stick to those limits...
If you follow a fair amount of book blogs, you've probably seen a great deal of hype over this book. I haven't read a single negative review for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and I'm not surprised. Despite the chick-lit title and cover, this is a book with more substance than that, a book with real situations and themes that a lot of people can actually relate to.
The humor is incredible. I found myself grinning like a crazy person while reading this. Stephanie Perkins is a master at balancing humor with sadness and happiness and romance. And speaking of the romance, there was a lot of that and it was well done. I don't mean just kissing (although those scenes were quite good, too!), but other scenes full of romantic tension, like when St. Clair and Anna were sitting in the dark theater together with their legs almost touching.
The characters in this book were brilliant. While St. Clair was still definitely attractive, I love that Stephanie Perkins didn't make him absolutely perfect (physically and emotionally). Too many YA books have love interests that are completely beautiful in every way, but St. Clair, for example, was short. That actually added to his charm. Anna, too, was strong and honest but still flawed. While I was reading this, I wanted to be with St. Clair and Anna and all the rest and be their friends, too.
And one undeniably great aspect of this book? Paris. I've never met a person who hasn't wanted to visit Paris, and it's obvious the author did her research. This story was bursting with details about the city, from the food to the arts to the landmarks, and this only made me want to go there even more!
All in all, this was a fantastic book. I don't think it's something I'll remember very well months from now, but I loved reading it and I immediately recommended it to all my friends when I finished it. ANNA is more than just chick lit, as the title or cover may suggest - it deals with deeper themes and imperfect characters and, of course, Paris. I can't wait for the companion books!