Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary 
Released: December 2, 2010
Published: Dutton
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.22
Pages: 372

Before I get into my review, here's the 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. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne 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?

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Okay so I had heard so many fabulous things about this book. My friends who don't even really like this genre were raving over it. I know so many people who said this book was their favorite book of the year and I guess I bought into the hype. 

That's what makes this book so hard to review. I really liked it, but I was expecting to love it. So since my expectations were so high, I was disappointed. However, I think if I had come in with low expectations then I would have liked it more. However, either way I would have given it a solid 3 for reasons I'll discuss later. 

However, I feel like my review is a fair depiction of this novel. Anna is ticked that her romantic-sop of a father is making her spend a year in Paris, her senior year in Paris. She's leaving behind her best friend and Toph, the boy she's been crushing on for forever. He was just finally starting to act like he liked her. 

But once in Paris, Anna quickly becomes friends with a girl named Mer and a boy named Etienne St. Clair. There's no denying that St. Clair is hot, but there's also denying that he has a girlfriend and that Mer is also in love with him.

But as their friendship grows and deepens, Anna becomes less and less able to deny her feelings for him. Besides she's supposed to like Toph. 

Anna was obsessed with film. She wants to be a film critic and so when she learns Paris is also the city of cinema she goes to film after film. I loved that part of her personality. Anna was a character who I actually really liked. She wasn't perfect, but she also wasn't whiny and annoying.

Then there was St. Clair. I know that several people were frustrated with him for the entire novel, I won't lie and claim otherwise. However, I really liked him. I could see where he was coming from and he just seemed like a great guy.

Perkins' writing was compelling and I was drawn into the story rather quickly. Not to mention, I loved the characters. So why only 3 stars? 

I love it when chick lit novels delve into deeper issues and have more profoundness to them. Perkins had deeper issues both Anna and St. Clair had issues with their parents, but that wasn't as developed as I would have liked it to be. 

Basically, this book was enjoyable, but I've read a lot of enjoyable books. This one just lacked that extra something to make it memorable enough to be a 4. It was cute, fun, enjoyable, and light-hearted. If you love YA realistic contemporary romance, then this one will be an enjoyable read. 

In Summary: Perkins' debut novel is excellent. Her characters are quirky, lovable, and entertaining. Her writing is beautiful. Her plot is intriguing. All in all, it's an enjoyable read, but in my book it lacked that extra something to knock it over the top. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Mild language and minor sexual references. Really though this is mild YA, that I wouldn't have a problem recommending to younger teenage kids. 

The Wrap-up: I really did enjoy this book though. I read it in one sitting and flew through it. I definitely see the appeal of this novel. It was excellent, just not excellent enough to be an incredibly memorable book for me. 


Danica Page

Up Next: Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

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