Published: Dutton (December 2, 2010)
Source: I purchased this book
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 Étienne 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.