Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: Five stars
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.
I've heard so many amazing things about this book, but I never fully understood. Reading the summary, it sounds interesting, but nothing special. I finally understand what all the hype is about.
My love for Anna and the French Kiss is going to make it very difficult to review. I want to marry this book. I want to live in this book. Most of us are familiar with the moment when you're reading a book and suddenly the whole world around you does not exist anymore; this is the case for Anna and French Kiss. It has an element of some sort that makes it extremely addicting, allowing me to devour it in close to one sitting. Near the end, I found myself rationing out the last pages to savor every last minute of it.
The story began with Anna being sent to boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. At first, she's reluctant to leave her friends and job at the movie theater, terrified of being away from home. But almost immediately, Anna and the readers are transported to Paris- a new world, a new life of endless possibilities.
I can't pinpoint exactly what made this book so amazing; it's a tie between the romance and the characters. The romance was one of the most flawless amazing things I've ever read about it. The romance is very gradual and starts out as a friendship based level. Friends or more, they always had a bond, they were there for each other through thick and thin. St.Clair or Entienne was so swoon-worthy, I'll admit if I fell for him too. I don't think I've ever read about a male in fiction, so perfect in my eyes, flaws and all. Their relationship was more than real, it was the closest thing I've read that compares to a real life romance.
The characters are so realistic, you start to feel as if they are your own real life friends. They are flawed actual people, that will leave your heart aching. Anna is quirky and authentic. I love the fact that she loves old movies and is always herself no matter what. She was very easy to relate to and at times reminded me of myself. It was refreshing to finally read about someone who didn't let boys control her, who had interests other than the opposite sex. Not to mention she is hilarious; Anna's commentary will leave you laughing out loud and most likely having a huge grin on your face throughout the book. The minor characters- Josh, Rashmi, and Meredith- were just as well developed and fantastic as the main characters. Together they formed their own little family.
This book will have you wanting to drop everything and fly to Paris as soon as possible. The descriptions of the food had my mouth watering. The scenery, the beauty, and the architecture had me yearning to experience it for myself. Paris is such a beautiful setting for a book, it makes things appear magical.
You honestly won't be able to understand the amazement of this book without reading it for yourself. Not only is Anna and the French Kiss a love story, but it deals with more serious issues like family and illnesses, which made it even more lovable. Anyone who enjoys charming, well written books, set in one of the most romantic/amazing cities in the world will fall in love with this book.