Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


RE-READ: 8/16/14


Since I'm still (im)patiently waiting for my copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After to arrive, I re-read Anna and the French Kiss last night when I couldn't fall asleep. It had been awhile since I read it, and I fell in love all over again.

Anna has been exiled to Paris. Which, yeah, doesn't exactly sound like torture. But Anna, a high school senior who had no choice in the matter, isn't happy about it. She's four thousand miles away from anyone she knows; she's left behind her best friend Bridgette, a boy who may-or-may-not-be interested in her and her brother Sean who needs more attention than her hard-working mother may have time for. She doesn't speak the language and she's terrified of the complex and busy metropolis.

Fortunately, it doesn't take long at all before Anna has made friends, including the unbelievably attractive Etienne St. Clair. He's intelligent, witty, hilarious, and melt-into-a-puddle-on-the-floor gorgeous. So of course, he has a girlfriend. But as Anna begins to make her place in Paris, Etienne begins to take a place in her heart. She knows she shouldn't have feelings for a guy with a girlfriend, but she can't help it. And, it seem like he feels the same way.

I can't say this enough: I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! It's smart, fun, fluffy and completely realistic. The only problem I truly have with it is that it ended. I wanted it to go on forever.

Anna is smart but down-to-earth and knows that she wants from life. As a fellow obsessive goal-setter, I relate to her a lot. Also, I love that she isn't described as the ultimate "pretty girl". Quite a few YA and NA heroines are described like they just walked out of a magazine--yet no one has ever paid attention to them before the love interest. It's cliche. But Anna is relatively tall and has a pretty large gap between her two front teeth. She's quirky and pretty in a subtle way.

And don't even get me started on Etienne. I am completely infatuated with him. Seriously. On my top ten book boyfriends, for sure. He's not only described as gorgeous, but he's short! Do you know how rare it is that a YA love interest(or any love interest) is short? Super rare. In fact I can't think of another off the top of my head right now. But Etienne is. However, it's not just about his looks, it's his personality, too. Though infuriating sometimes, he's a good guy. A great guy, actually. I would throw away all the bad boys in the world for a good guy like Etienne.

Stephanie Perkins is also amazing at creating background characters that are well thought out and interesting. Every one of Anna's friends is witty and fun and important to the plot in the end. It's not just a romance story, it's a story about friendship and finding out where you belong. And Anna learns that both through her relationship with Etienne and with the rest of her friends.

But seriously, if you haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet, what are you waiting for? It has everything you would want in a Young Adult novel. Stephanie Perkins is a god in my opinion.

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