Grade: 4.8 stars out of 5
"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. Claire: 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."What can I say about Anna and the French Kiss that others haven’t already said? Oh that’s right—nothing. So I’m just going to outline why Anna, the character and the book, is so great.
You should read Anna and the French Kiss because:
- It's set in France. It may not sound like a big deal, but Perkins emphasizes on the difference between America and France. She also brings forth the insecurities and paranoia of what others may perceive of foreigners. Having considered myself as a foreign because I looked different from my peers I was extremely self conscience of how I acted and how my family acted. I can connect to Anna in that way and it only makes me so much more attached to her.
- Flaws: character flaws and physical flaws. The main hero of the story is not perfect by any measurement. Etienne St. Claire is short, doesn't have straight, pearly whites, and isn't the all knowing-mind reader. But he's comfortable in his skin and he understands feelings; he just doesn't know how to respond to his feelings and that's reasonable. Human beings have flaws. Etienne is human so he must have flaws.
- Anna herself doesn't exactly have that modelesque beauty that some heroines have, but they just don't realize it. She, like Etienne, doesn't have that perfect toothpaste commercial smile. She's stubborn, kind of blind-sighted, but knows what she wants...half the time.
- Wooooo everyone is still smoking in this novel though.
- Relationship wise I like how Perkins delve in straight into attraction at first glimpse, but then stepped back and reinforced everything. There were open dialogues and excursions that both members of the party participated in that built memories. Perkins took the initiative to move the story along from strangers to acquaintances to friends to possibly more.
- The punchline. Oh Nicholas Sparks attacks *giggles*
Anna and the French Kiss was a superb novel that made me have faith in contemporary novels yet once again after a few disastrous misses. While it tends to slow at some points it shouldn't deter readers.
Source: ARC from Dutton Juvenile
Published: 2 December 2010; hardcover