Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Published: Dutton (December 2, 2010)
Pages: 372
Format: Hardcover
Source: I purchased this book

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads Summary: 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. 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.

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: You know when you leave the dentist after getting a filling and you're totally giddy off laughing gas? Constantly smiling and pinching your cheeks to make sure you're not dreaming and that you really do feel this good? (And let's be honest, you're drooling a little more than is socially acceptable.)

Anna and the French Kiss is literary nitrous oxide.

I don't care who you are or what you're doing. I do not care if you just found out you have 4 hours to live. Spend those hours reading ANNA. Do you have a sad? Well, you don't need St. John's Wort or B-Complex vitamins! Nay, good people. You just need ANNA to boost that mood.

Stephanie Perkins has such a refreshing, invigorating prose and it seems so effortless. Like she just woke up one day and thought, "I'm going to write a book about the awesomest protag and the dreamiest British dude ever. Yes, I think I will." Anna's voice is so relatable and enjoyable. I love how she respected the fact that St. Clair had a girlfriend (for the most part.) But I had to throw her a bone... It's ETIENNE ST. CLAIR we're talking about. I just loved being inside Anna's head, period. She was delightful. Not to mention that Anna possesses my favorite book heroine quality: IMPERFECTIONS! She has a gap in her front teeth, so I immediately bonded with her because I do, too. When she's betrayed, she handled it like any emotionally-charged teenager would: BLIND FIERY RAGE. There's no guidebook on how to handle all of life's problems, and I think Steph P. perfectly captured the essence of the fact that we have no idea what the crap we're doing. Whatever feels right.

And what to say about St. Clair. He was so adorably...ordinary. There was no fierce, murderous staring and evasiveness. He's just a happy guy with a British accent who loves people, who's actually kind of French and American, too. Sure, that sounds plain enough, but Perkins is obviously magical and transforms St. Clair into one steaming helping of nom. I cannot put my finger on what it is I love so much about him. You'll just have to read and find out.

And OH, the drama. Are you worried there aren't mean girls in France? Perhaps a little relationship drama? Because it's the City of Love, isn't it? Never fear, dear reader. This bad boy is filled to the brim with evil, conniving ladies and lots of fights. This is well-written, realistic drama. THE BEST KIND.

I was so worried this wouldn't live up to the hype. It did, you guys. I'm still thinking about it days later. I want to re-read it sooo bad. I cannot wait for Stephanie Perkins' next novel.

And Anna from Anna Reads has thrown out the suggestion of "Jen and the German Hickey" as a potential title. I concur. It's only fair, because she's got her name in an awesome book.

21 comments:

  1. I swear everyone freaking loves this book. To be honest, I keep putting it off because of the title and cover haha that's exactly why I avoid contemps a lot. This sounds good though...oddly enough ;)

    Great review!

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  2. Seriously, I can;t stop laughing. Jen and the German Hickey will be SO AMAZING. That is pure comedy gold and this NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

    I totally agree. Perkins is such an incredible writer. I think she has nailed it when it comes to the pitch perfect teen voice. Every situation Anna was in rang true because she reacted how eery teenager would act. Not so sure about the whole St Clair being the second coming though, but other than that I LURRRVVEEEDDD this book.

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  3. I was about to say that I feel like I'm the last person in the world to read this, but then I see that Melissa hasn't either. I've going to pick it up from work today and see what all the fuss is about.

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  4. I love this review. The prose really is amazing and I want my own Etienne St. Clair. I would totally read Jen and the German Hickey, btw.

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  5. fun review, and I definitely agree! Nothing like a legal upper to make your week better.

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  6. Awesome review! I picked this up once and had to put it down, even though I love contemps. The writing and dialogue seemed a bit too "omigosh"-like. But now I kind of want to give it another shot.

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  7. Thanks for a great review. I'll have to add it to my to-read list.

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  8. This review is everywhere, and I haven't seen a single person who disliked it. I might actually have to pick this up. I've kind of been avoiding the cover/title like Melissa. ;p

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  9. I read this book and I've read so many reviews of this book and yours by far is my favorite. :o)

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  10. So I was just scrolling through my blog roll, and there were 3 posts in a row just GUSHING over this darn book. I'm happy to hear that you thought it lived up to the hype, because I feel like "Anna..." is practically the second coming!

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  11. Loved this book! What more can be said than it was awesome in every way.

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  12. Can't wait to read this! It looks amazing! Awesome Review!

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  13. Future fans: Don't you worry, Jen and the German Hickey is in the works. It will be my first book to hit the NYT Best-Seller List. You heard it here first.

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  14. Great review. Every review I read for this book says how amazing it is.

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  15. Love the comparison to the dentist! I really need to read this book. I've been kind of wary that it wouldn't live up to it's hype too because the title kind of threw me off... but there are so many good reviews for this one!

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  16. Hahaha I love your reviews! People are giving me funny looks because I am sitting here laughing to myself. It's a good laugh though and I don't mind all of the hushed whispers ;)

    "And let's be honest, you're drooling a little more than is socially acceptable." - LOL

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  17. Your review is so cute. I am glad you like it. I dont think anyone disagreed with this book.

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  18. I must read this. Everyone just raves about it. Great review.

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  19. I just adored this book. Everyone does. I loved how nice and normal the characters were. I loved how St. Clair was a sweet, romantic guy but not inhumanly perfect. And how Anna wasn't just a blah character.

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  20. LoL at the dentist reference.. but it's so true. That's the same feeling it gave me.. The husband kept giving me funny looks because I was smiling and giggling through the whole book.

    I'm waiting to get Lola for christmas.. and if it's not under the tree, he's going to be in big trouble. :)

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