If you read YA contemporary, then the chances are you have heard about this book. You probably have already read it. Because honestly, how did it take me this long to get to Anna and the French Kiss?
Uh, well, first of all, that title. I’m not gonna lie, it put me off time and time again, no matter how many good things I kept hearing about the book. And it was only made worse by that original cover. We do judge books based on their covers and that first one was terrible. This is the one I’m talking about, by the way. Shiver. They changed it to a much better one now, but I still bought the book to read on my Kindle. I don’t know what that says about me but there you go.
Despite of its questionable title and cover, the story itself is very fun and enjoyable. I really loved the second half of the book, while the beginning left me slightly disappointed. It’s one of those situations in which hype is bad for a book. Because I had heard so many great things spoken about it, and I wasn’t seeing it. I found it, eventually, in the second half, but I fear people might stop before they reach that point.
Anna And The French Kiss follows our main character, wait for it, Anna, while she moves to, you guessed it, France, to complete her final year of high school at SOAP. No, not soap. School Of America in Paris. There she meets a group of friends, including a very hot british/american/french boy called Etienne St.Clair. But people call him St.Clair.
And you can probably tell where the book is going from there. And you wouldn’t be all together wrong. It does get there. But oh, the journey is so much better. I wasn’t very impressed, at first, by St.Clair. His motives and the way he handled things were pretty convoluted, and I would have personally stayed away from a guy like him. But the chemistry between him and Anna was on point and I rooted for them in the end.
The friendships and struggles that Anna goes through in the novel feel real and familiar, and while I didn’t always agree with her decisions, she was well written and felt like a real person.
And lastly, Paris. I love books set in Europe, as we don’t get too much of them. Which is why I set my own book in Vienna. And while Paris isn’t exactly unexplored in media, it still remains a fascinating and deeply romantic setting. The little quirks Anna discovers as she begins exploring the city and learning the language immersed me into the setting and the locations she visits were well chosen.
I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely continue reading Stephanie Perkins’s other books.
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