Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Book Revew: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Pub. Date: 2nd December 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372
Readership: Young adult
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Rating: ★★★★★
Buy: Paperback
More: Goodreads

Anna Oliphant is enraged after her father demands that she goes to live and study abroad at the School of America in Paris for her senior year. Anna can’t speak a word of French, misses her best friend Bridget and little brother Sean, and just wants to go home. But then she bumps into Étienne St. Clair. Can this boy (‘French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused’) be just what’s needed to change her mind?

Excuse my cheesy, cliché, and frankly uninspiring synopsis. I doubt there’s a description that will make this not sound like your average teen romance novel, but I assure you it isn’t. Anna and the French Kiss reminded me why I love reading — not so I can talk about it on the internet or add it to my Goodreads shelf — because I love that feeling of becoming completely absorbed in a story, caring deeply about its characters, and never wanting it to end.

Anna and the French Kiss is one of the few books I’ve liked where the romance isn’t part of the story — it IS the story. I adored Étienne St. Clair instantly. I loved that he was a fellow Brit (sort of) and that Stephanie Perkins acknowledged British slang throughout the novel. And I loved that Anna constantly makes fun of him for said British slang. Although we get to find out a lot about Anna outside of her complicated relationship with Étienne — her personality (e.g. her obsession with cleanliness), her attitude towards her friends and family, and what she has a passion for in life — Étienne is constantly at the centre of the story. Even so, we still get to see Anna shine. She’s a fantastic protagonist: feisty and extremely funny (‘Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.). I enjoyed how believable the relationship was. Anna and Étienne start to fall in love after getting to know each other for months and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.

Anna and the French Kiss is the sort of novel that makes me ‘squee’ and type in unnecessary capitals. It makes me wish I hadn’t waited until the paperback release to read it because now I won’t have two matching hardbacks on my shelves that make me smile every time I look at their pastel spines. I desperately wish Isla and the Happily Ever After was coming out this year instead of next. It’s one of my favourite books of the year so far; compelling and indulgent and has some really wonderful scenes. I’ve already purchased Lola and the Boy Next Door and it’ll be the next book I read. OF COURSE!

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21 thoughts on “Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Great review! I agree completely about not usually liking books where the romance is the main plot-line, but liking this one.
    You probably already know this, but Anna and Etienne appear in Lola and the Boy Next Door!

    • Yup!! So excited about ‘seeing’ them again! I was also going to mention this is the review but didn’t: I loved the moment when I realised who Isla was!

  2. I am rather fond of this book too and have been itching to read it again. Glad you get to read Anna and Lola back to back. Hope you enjoy Lola just as well. I saw on twitter that Isla will be out either in Summer or Fall 2013 – so far away!

  3. I just ordered this book and super excited to read it. I’ve been putting this book off because of the cover, I know stupid reason… but your review was great made me want to read it more!

  4. […] Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins I *loved* Anna and the French Kiss. You can read my review here. […]

  5. […] Lola Nolan is an eccentric costume designer who loves to stand out with her outrageous outfits and colourful wigs. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl. Lola’s parents—Nathan and Andy—disapprove of her rock star boyfriend. Max is mercilessly grilled by them during weekly brunches and his moody demeanour does not help to abate them. The only thing Lola wishes for is 1) her parents to accept Max and 2) to attend the school dance in her fantastical homemade Marie Antoinette outfit. That is, until the Bell twins return home. Cricket Bell is the boy next door and someone who Lola is not going to be able to ignore. Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss. […]

  6. […] and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (e-galley) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Love, Aubrey by Suzanne […]

  7. […] Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson Londoners by Craig Taylor Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins And Then There Were None by […]

  8. […] Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson Ashfall by Mike Mullin […]

  9. […] Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins It took me so long to buy this because the cover is so utterly girly, and it took me so long to read it once I had bought it because I don’t even know why, but I did this year. And I loved it. Everything. I’ll definitely be pre-ordering Isla and the Happily Ever After. […]

  10. […] Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Attend a boarding school in Paris, France. Anna and the French Kiss is the sort of novel that makes me ‘squee’ and type in unnecessary capitals. I read it against recently as I took a day trip to Paris. […]

  11. […] life and her own happiness, which is brilliantly done and told with honesty and conviction. I love Anna and the French Kiss. I think it’s cute and wonderful and perfect, and at first I thought Just One Day was fairly […]

  12. […] and the Happily Ever After was one of my most highly-anticipated novels of the year. Anna and the French Kiss is still one of my absolute favourite books and I read it for the third time this year. Did Isla […]

  13. I remember when i first read it,i didn’t want it to be over because it was that good.I really want to read Lola and the boy next door.Have you read it?

  14. […] Huntley Fitzpatrick One of my favourite boys in YA contemporary fiction is Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss and Jase Garrett is now up there with […]

  15. I love everything of this book and the next serie. Btw, the third time i read the book after i read your review. I still happy about the really sweet ending..

  16. This book made me squee too, you’re not alone :3

  17. Hi Stacey, you have got a great book blog here!
    I just finished reading Anna and the French Kiss last night and I’m out reading what other people felt about it.
    I found it a nice romantic book that makes you go all warm and gooey over the characters. I agree with what u said in the review!

    “French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused” is my favourite line!!

    BTW I’m a book blogger too. Going on to read more reviews from you! :D (http://dramaticsoul.info)

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