Review: Anna And The French Kiss

 annaTitle: Anna And The French Kiss

 Author: Stephanie Perkins

 Release Date: September 18, 2012

 Publisher: Speak

 Description: 416 pages, Young Adult Fiction

synopsis

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. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

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In The City Of Lights

Anna And The French Kiss was a book I would have deemed overhyped had it not been entirely deserving of the attention. Though I am not much a fan of Contemporary novels, I found this one a light yet sensational read, one that took me on an exhilarating roller coaster ride around heartfelt emotion, breathtaking romance, undeniable friendship, and an innate struggle to find one’s way towards home. Though I was, incipiently, apprehensive of the fact that the plot seemed to deal with certain first-world problems that would leave me no more than apathetic and supercilious, I was soon to find out that this was far from the case. Anna’s endeavors were not as exigent and life-or-death as is featured in most fantasy books, which remains the genre I offtimes embrace. This did not prove itself a setback however, as the conflicts and clashes of interests felt real just because they were. The situations were relatable, and close to heart, and I found myself appreciating the genuine verisimilitude, the reality behind the characters, who in addition, were charismatic and wholly appealing. I was completely sold to the setting—Paris, the City Of Lights—and in my opinion, Stephanie did a remarkable job not only in exquisitely portraying flurries of affection and melancholy, passion and vehemence, humor and sentiment, but also in keeping her readers on edge for most of the book, fallen hopelessly in love with a story so masterfully woven.

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Love Is In The Air

Anna was a very forthright character, though she took care not to remain indignant and abrasive, especially when it came to the people who mattered to her the most. Though I, at first, had a hard time adjusting to her disconcerting attitude, which seemed to bridge the gap between sprightly and exasperating, I soon found myself warming up to her spunk and high-spiritedness. Her chemistry with St. Clair was pure and undeniable—despite the fact that they hadn’t known each other for long, their relationship didn’t feel even remotely like instalove. The build-up was deliciously gradual, and I loved how their friendship was pellucid in that it was profound and refreshing. Though I was a bit reprehensive of her rashness at times, I appreciated the way she tried to pick herself up and fight back. Though she was a distant cry from my idea of an excellent heroine, I was happy to have found, in some way by the end of it, an appreciation for her perfect imperfection.

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Loyalty And Foreboding

I, unfortunately, had to withhold one star due to the toxic, back-and-forth motion of Anna’s relationship with St. Clair, which seemed blissful one second, and cataclysmic the next. At one point in the book, it frustrated me enough to make me think Anna should have considered giving up, because the both of them weren’t making it work, and they weren’t even together (no worries, no spoilers here as to their status by the end of it, just in case you haven’t read the book. A tragedy, that is). However, I was fond of their constant resolve to keep working towards reconciliation, and I did agree to an agitation far worse if it ended differently. Étienne St. Clair was the highlight of the experience, none too surprisingly. Though I could hardly imagine him shorter than Anna (it’s an awkward mental image, believe you me), and found his crooked lower teeth funny, I nevertheless thought he was enormously attractive and dead-sexy. Étienne did not stop at good looks however. He was an enigma, charismatic and larger than life. I loved how he always seemed to have a positive outlook on life, and only broke down when he had good reason too. Sure enough, I loved him, maybe not as much as I believed I would after the consecutive recommendations, yet I still believed him swoon-worthy and interesting, incredible where it would count.

“So what do I wish for? Something I’m not sure I want? Someone I’m not sure I need? Or someone I know I can’t have? Screw it. Let the fates decide. I wish for the thing that is best for me.”

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One Follows The Heart

Overall, the book was an enticing read, a constant page-turner, and a romantic masterpiece of sorts. Despite the romance being drawn front and center, which I (under normal circumstances, which these aren’t), would look askance at and subsequently disapprove of, I found myself loving the plot, the characters, the prose, and the book itself. The plot itself was hardly fantastical, and yet it was refreshing and unique, and one that kept me interested. The sense of friendship and togetherness was overwhelming, and I found myself emotional for most of the heartfelt scenes between them. Meredith, Josh, and Rashmi were flawed, yet fallible; reckless, yet staunch.

Though contemporary with more romance than anything else may seem all too crummy and saccharine, I strongly believe otherwise. This book is a perfect read for those looking for a holiday escape between the pages of an astonishing book, one that will leave you in sentiment, in nostalgia, in melodrama, and in love, wondering for yourself where your own Étienne may be.

“If you ask me to kiss you, I will.” 

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4 hearts

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So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments!siggy

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20 thoughts on “Review: Anna And The French Kiss

    • Thank you Eveline! ❤ Me neither, but I found myself enjoying it too! I've never come across that many books set in Paris, so that along with the characters and the romance definitely spurred my appreciation 🙂

    • HAHA that’s alright 🙂 I guess I liked the other aspects better than you did, so the whining didn’t bother me as much as it did you, although it did XD I’m working on the sequel, which is going well so far, so yeah I hope you try them out! Perkins is a definitely a talented writer 🙂 And thank you Mel ❤

  1. I’m so happy you liked this book! I didn’t expect Anna and the French Kiss to be as good as it was either so I was really surprised too! But it is such a great book and it’s one that I know I’ll come back to time and time again. Great review, Jasmine!

    PS. I really want to go to Paris now!

    • Awww me too! The title was sort of off-putting, so I withheld for a while HAHA XD I thought it would be all about this girly, cheesy romance I wouldn’t appreciate, but it’s so much more than that, thank the heavens! And yeah, maybe one day, when I finally conquer my TBR pile, I can go ahead and reread this book 😀

  2. Really good review! I’ve been going back and forth on whether I should read this book or not for a while now. There’s SO much hype surrounding it that I almost don’t even want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. But, honestly, hearing about it so much has made me just want to do it, so that I can get it over with haha. I’m sure I’ll end up caving in soon 😉

    • Thank you Miranda! 😀 HAHA yeah, sometimes the hype gets scary and it deters you, but I definitely recommend this one. I hope when you do cave in, you like it just as much as I did, or perhaps even more 😉

  3. I appreciate you breaking down what you liked and didn’t like it, because I see so much fangirling over this one that I can’t help but wonder if the hype is just because it’s swoony or if there’s more to it. The part about their relationship not always being the healthiest makes me wary, though.

    • Yeah, I had to say it XD It’s definitely a swoony book, being set in a swoony city and all, but I think that the emotion and the rawness of the story is one to look forward to 🙂 But hey, a perfectly healthy relationship would have been boring, so maybe if you’ve gone past the wariness, you can try it out too 😀 I’d love to know what you think, since I haven’t really known of you to have read anything Contemporary XD Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

  4. This sounds like such of an adorable read. I’ve seen three reviews of it pop up in only a week. I guess that this is a sign ^_^ I love it when you can easily relate to a character’s problems. Sometimes, authors fail to make a character’s problems feel real, so it isn’t easy to relate, but it sounds like Perkins did an amazing job at this.

    Anna and St. Clair sounds so adorable. I like spunky and high-spirited characters so I think I will like Anna just fine. And St. Clair is shorter than Anna? Is it weird that I think that this is cute? 😛

    I will be sure to get this book soon! I’ve been seeing it get praise way too much to not! Great review!

    • IT IS! Haha, and if you believe in signs and all that, then imma hop along and tell you it is :> So read it! Yeah, I always like it when authors manage to get me to actually relate to the story and the situation, which is rare even in contemporary. So glad this one did it for me! Anna isn’t one of the annoying whiny heroines, even if she does get confused a lot, but that’s normal behavior I can relate to anyway XD She had good reason, so yeah I think you’ll like her well enough! And nope, that’s not weird. I’ve seen a lot of this, and it IS really cute! I just couldn’t stop imagining him like, several inches shorter, when the difference isn’t really that glaring. HAHA! And I hope you get to read it, thank you as well 🙂

  5. So here comes the review for the novel we were bantering about on Twitter! 😀
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasmine! It is seriously ADORABLE xD I’ve just started reading it, thanks to your recommendation, and so far, hearts are flying everywhere along with the laughter and swoons!
    But hmmm. Their relationship isn’t very healthy? Okay, I’ll be sure to take note of that!
    Thanks for breaking it all down for us! And may you find your own Etienne in the pockets of your heart 😉
    Lovely review, Jasmine! Thank you for sharing with us! 😀

    • HAHAHA yup! And YEEEES I am so glad you’re liking this one ❤ I hope it doesn't go downhill though, cause the next few chapters are the ones that get really intense and complicated 🙂 But I think not! This book was real even with the unhealthy relationship bits XD HAHA I hope to find my own Etienne too! One day when I get to Paris. You're welcome and thank you as well Emily! 😀

  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!!! This is one of my all-time favorites so I get scared when people read it haha. I just want them to love it! 🙂 Lovely to read your review!

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