Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak, 372 pages (July 16th 2013)
From: Bought from Amazon.co.uk
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy online: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: 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?
Review: 4.5 stars - This was chosen as one of our reads for a book club I attend. I did like the synopsis but also wondered whether it sounded too much like a ‘chick lit’ book for me to really enjoy. I am very pleased to say I was wrong.
Anna is your typical teenage girl; she’s looking forward to starting her senior year at home in the US, with her best friend at her side. When her Dad decides to send her to a boarding school in the heart of Paris, France; Anna is about to start an important year of her life in a way she never expected.
Adapting to living in a new country, with a new language and making new friends are all things some of us have to deal with; making the fear and uncertainty that Anna experiences more relatable.
Thanks to the first person narrative in this book I felt like I was a friend of Anna’s while reading this book and she’s describing it to me as a friend or I was actually experiencing things with her. With Paris as the setting, I felt right at home, having visited a few times and being able to imagine the scenery and the vibe of Paris itself.
I love the characters especially their personalities and how the group really seemed to gel. I initially thought they were going to be all posh snobs at the boarding school. Senator’s children etc. but even though they may have a ‘privileged’ background they all have their problems and insecurities. Perkins has been careful to include a brief but detailed back story for each of the main characters and this helps you relate more to them. Once again, Josh, Rashmi, St. Clair and Meredith all seemed like my friends when I’d finished reading the book.
Everyone who has read Anna and the French Kiss seems to make a big deal out of Étienne St. Clair. Just to let you know; they are right to do so!
Étienne is the cute, charming boy who in your teenage years you would no doubt have fallen head over heels for. I love him and he’s such a good match for Anna but at the same time he annoys me. I won’t go into too many details because it may cause spoilers. I just wish he’d make up his mind and not make others suffer in the meantime.
Anna and the French Kiss to me is a light and enjoyable contemporary YA book, with some serious moments. It shows us that with the love and support from a brilliant group of friends anywhere can feel like home and that’s exactly how I felt reading it.
I highly recommend it, and I’m looking forward to reading book two in the series Lola and the Boy Next Door.