Book/Author: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher/Year: Dutton/December 2010
Pages: 372 pages
Where I got it: bought at Borders
Buy It: Amazon
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
My thoughts: I'm a little late to the party on Anna and the French Kiss but as with any book that gets a lot of good buzz, I was nervous that I'd be let down. I wouldn't say I was let down because I definitely fell in love with the idea of this book. However, I didn't think it was the "OMG skfhsdkjghf this is my new favorite!" that I thought it was going to be. I loved the characters and the slow build of the love story between Anna and St. Clair. It also made me want to get my butt on a flight to Paris right away. I've never traveled abroad but I enjoy planning trips that are probably pretty unrealistic and Anna had me thinking I should just quit my job and run off to Europe for awhile. I am kicking myself for never spending a semester abroad.
Anna was a really likeable main character. She was hilarious, down to earth and someone I would totally want to be friends with if she were a real person. And St. Clair.... ah, how swoonworthy! With his English accent and obvious crush on Anna, it drove me nuts how he kept going back to his stupid girlfriend. It's rare to have a book with characters who are so widely liked by readers. I don't know a single person who didn't like Anna and the French Kiss or the characters of Anna and St. Clair. Stephanie Perkins has a talent for knowing how to make her characters so relatable and fun. I find it funny that bloggers will refer to this book simply as "Anna" and people know exactly what is being referred to.
Other than Anna and St. Clair, I thought a lot of the other characters were also well done. The friendships that Anna built with the other kids at SOAP and the things that she learned about being a true friend added another dimension to the story that made it more interesting. I'm ready to run out and grab myself a copy of Stephanie Perkins' second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, because I've heard it's even better than Anna and the French Kiss.
My rating: 4 stars