Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Read By: Kim Mai Guest
Length: 1o hours and 29 minutes
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Anna is counting down the days until graduation and is ready to spend her senior year with her best friend, Bridge, and (hopefully soon to be) boyfriend, Toph. When her parents decide to send her abroad to Paris for her senior year, Anna is expecting to hate it. Not only will she be leaving Bridge and Toph, she’ll be starting her senior year as the new girl with no friends, living in a city she knows nothing about, and she lacks one of the basic things needed to succeed: the ability to speak French. It’s sure to be an interesting year…
I think that I may be the last person on the planet to start reading this series, and all I can say is YASSSSS, I’m so happy I finally gave in!
The Anticipation! This wasn’t a fall hard fast love story. It was slowly built up, and as the reader I felt incredibly invested in the outcome and really enjoyed being a part of the entire journey. Though the attraction was evident, I’m glad that the relationship didn’t just fall into place from page one. This felt real in a way that high school relationships written in books don’t normally feel. Hormones, peer pressure, and the need to be “loved” often lead to fast relationships and faster breakups, but NOT THIS ONE! So refreshing to really see the relationship unfold.
The Situations! The way various situations were explained had me squealing, laughing, and nodding my head in complete understanding. PREACH, STEPHANIE PERKINS, PREACH! It was like I was transported back into the mind of my high school self. The way that Anna reacted to new the high tension situations with St. Clair, the new experiences (cough – birthday hangover – cough), and the awkwardness of being in a new place, it was all so authentic, real, and brilliantly written. Yes, the author totally nailed writing this book from a teenage girl’s perspective.
The Exaggerated Thought Processes! Throughout the book, something would happen and Anna’s mind would immediately jump into this exaggerated flow of scenarios, which were usually quite unrealistic but absolutely hilarious. “My parents are shipping me off to Paris and I’m not going to be able to speak the language, which means I’m not going to be able to read street signs, which means I’m going to cross the street when I’m not supposed to, so I’m going to avoid crossing any street, and I’ll be stuck on the same block in Paris for the whole summer!” I loved these little rants that she would go on because they made me laugh at myself. I’m the same way, and my husband always makes fun of me for it.
Paris! I have always wanted to go to Paris, and after reading this my need to go there has exploded! It is no longer a want, it is a need. I neeeeeeed to go! I’m already mentally preparing my plan of attack to get my husband to agree 🙂
The Minor Dislikes: Some of the events were a pretty predictable and I saw them coming a mile away, but whatever. I feel like that happens a lot in books, and the total perk to it in this book was that it didn’t frustrate me enough to turn me off of the book. It did, however, make me internally yell (and okay sometimes yell out loud) at the characters to open their damn eyes! Anna was also a big crier, and that was rather annoying, especially when she cried for no good reason. If you’re going to cry, have a purpose! The last thing that really bothered me was how it was, of course (insert the biggest exaggerated eye roll ever here), all Anna’s fault that she and St. Clair had feelings for each other, and she was the only one getting crap for it. Stupid hypocritical world.
Overall – this book totally rocked. It made me sad that I didn’t get an international boarding school experience when I was in high school. I’m pumped to read the rest of this series!
Did you ever study abroad, even in college? Are you a fan of the slow buildup of the relationship between Anna and St. Clair?