Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton, December 2, 2010
Pages: Hardcover, 372
Book Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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?
Parlez-vous francais? Non? Okay, I’ll do this review in English then. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. Typically I’m that way with action books, but Anna and the French Kiss was packed with all sorts of high school and relationship drama, but in a good way.
Stephanie Perkins did a great job explaining Anna’s thought process throughout. I think you could hand this book to any guy and say, ‘See? This is how we think,’ because it was dead-on with everything from Anna’s overanalyzing to her obsessing over her relationship with Etienne (or St. Clair, depending on the day). It actually read to me as a diary what with all the sarcasm and sometimes snark. I also really like Anna because she isn’t a typically perfect protagonist who can do no wrong; in fact, she has a lot to learn about being a friend and how she interacts with others.
Etienne is a complex character and perfect love interest. While I love the evolution of his relationship with Anna (and yes, they are utterly perfect for each other), I don’t think this is a book just about a relationship; it’s about friends. All of Anna’s friends – at home and in France – are believable and realistic. You could probably see one of your best friends (or frenemies) in any one of these roles. They are all flawed of course, but funny, understanding, honest and they won’t take your crap.
Because of that, this book didn’t need any crazy plot twists or fantastical elements. It has the perfect mix of love, friendship and drama with just a hint of France. Pick it up, you’ll love it.