Dutton, 384 pages
"Anna was 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. So she's 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt."
From all the hype I had heard to the adorable cover art, I just had to get my hands on this book! Let me start off by saying I loved Sarah Dessen as an author. Realistic fiction with romance and family was at one time, my favorite genre. Anna and the French Kiss was that and more of the hype, I absolutely loved this book and is now one of my favorite novels.
Let's talk about the plot and setting. Paris, France. You really can't have a more romantic city to set a book in, can you? I loved the setting and made me want to visit France that much more! The plot was amazing. Stephanie Perkins did a very good job pacing this book. I finished it in one day; so definitely an easy summer read! Anna is going to a boarding school in France because her father is more or less forcing her to go. (But who wouldn't want to go to Paris, France? I mean, come on!!) What Anna is really upset about is the fact that she's leaving behind her best friend, Bridgette and her boy crush, Toph. (Short for Christopher) As soon as she arrives in France the plot definitely thickens as we meet lots of new characters and relationships develop. Especially because the guy Anna comes to have a crush on not only has a girlfriend, but her new friend she just made has a MAJOR crush on him as well. Talk about a love polygon.
Characters. Characters. Characters. Where to even start? I fell in love with the characters in this book! First off, Etienne St. Clair. (Can I say, OH MY GOSH!) He's American born, has a British accent, and can speak French. Talk about a dream guy. Not to mention he's funny and nice. Anna Oliphant is also a terrific character. She's sarcastic and a real person that I feel a lot of people can relate to. The romantic tension put between St. Clair and Anna was fantastic! I don't know why, but I have this thing for romantic tension, and it was just done so well. Meredith, Rashmi, and Josh are Anna's main friends at the boarding school. All of them were great characters that I enjoyed reading about.
The writing in this novel was great as well. Stephanie Perkins knows how to capture her readers. At times I felt like I was really there in France, a part of the story! (I tend to literally get caught up in my books I read. Sort of a hard habit to escape. :)) But like I mentioned, the pacing was fantastic. There was just enough excitement to keep me reading.....and reading.....and reading until I basically finished the book! I don't think there was a time where I ever felt the need to put this book down because I always yearned for more.
I can hardly believe this is Stephanie Perkin's debut novel, and what a debut it is! I'll have to read more of hers. Actually, come to think of it, there is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss coming out in late September called Lola and the Boy Next Door. I am SO eager to read that book. I bet it will be just as amazing and adorable as her debut!
I will admit there are some moments where it's completely cheesy, but it's cheesy in the cutest way possible and I enjoyed every bit of it.
For any Sarah Dessen fans or anyone looking for a cute light summer read, I say choose Anna and the French Kiss. I promise all that hype isn't just for show.
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!