Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars 

Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really appreciate the marketing involved in not showing the guy. That way girls can come up with their own dreamy version of him.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Page Count: 372 p.

Anna's father decides that she need to go to Paris for her senior year of high school. Anna is very upset about this arrangement. She doesn't speak French, she doesn't know any one there and she will have to leave behind all of her friends. Once she gets there, she fortunately makes friends with her dorm neighbor, Meredith, and is quickly engulfed into Mer's circle of friends. Unfortunetaly this is when Anna is introduced to Étienne. Étienne is a dreamboat, French style, British accent and a major flirt. The only downside to Étienne is that he is taken by the elusive Ellie, and they have been together forever. Anna tries not to dwell on her crush too much, I mean she has Toph waiting for her at home. At least she thinks he's waiting for her. Though, Étienne was drunk one night and mentioned that he liked Anna as more than a friend. But he was drunk so that doesn't count right? Now Anna has to not only navigate a foreign country, but the foreign land of love. 

This was a fantastic, fun read. I have never read a book that took place in Paris, and this was a great one to start with. It was hilarious, I was laughing so much while reading this. Anna is a really funny person. I did have a problem with her near the end though, because she was so foolish. She just couldn't believe that somebody could love her even though he let her know in so many subtle ways. Anna acted like she needed him to raise a billboard declaring his love for her, or else she wouldn't really believe it. So that really bugged me how easily she jumped from one conclusion to the next and they were conflicting conclusions. Granted she is young and in love and therefore can not be held accountable for her actions, but come on. Anyways, this book had all the making of a perfect romance read. There was plenty of humor, a few steamy kisses, a few not-so-steamy kisses, FRANCE, pastries and holiday breaks. Étienne was completely dreamy and conflicted. Having a long time girlfriend in France is a tricky thing, especially when the thing between you has sort of fizzled and you are both just too lazy and comfortable to do anything about it. I loved how Stephanie Perkins conveyed love in this novel, it was sweet, but difficult, delicious and dirty. Love is never perfect, it's all about yelling and making up, misinterpretations and those few perfect kisses. The other characters were fantastic supports, they weaved in and out of this story in perfect harmony with the rise and fall of emotions. They also had their own problems that at first were overlooked, but that made Anna realize that everyone has sucky points in their lives. I recommend this to all girls who are looking for a nice light romance read, but something with a nice depth to it. I really can't wait to read more by Stephanie Perkins, because this was such a fantastic read.

First Line:
"Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge."

Favorite Line:
"'Wow, Anna. You are such a mean drunk.'"
"I take a hesitant sniff. Dank. It smells dank."  

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