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Book Review - Anna and the French Kiss

 Monday, 10 January 2011

This was my first book finished of 2011! And what a fab book to kick off the year with!

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date: 5/1/2010 AM
Source: Bought
Description: 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? (Description taken from Goodreads)

My Review
Considering how many people have raved and gushed about this book it was highly likely that I would enjoy it, if not make it one of my favourite books of the year. And you know what? It probably will stay as one of my favourite books of 2011 for the rest of the year (it'd have to be something *really* awesome to kick it off the list). It's a shame almost that I read it so early in the year but you can bet your baguette that I'll be re-reading it at least one over the next 12 months.

The premise of the novel is simple and so fantastic - it would be equal parts exciting and terrifying to be sent to a boarding school in another country even if you did speak the language but for Anna it's even more alien because she barely speaks a word of French. So it's a good thing really that her school is specifically for Americans.

Anna as a main character was wonderful, she felt so realistic with her narration and all her quirks and flaws made her so likeable that you couldn't think too badly of her when she did something vaguely reprehensible. That being said she was rather naive at times and made assumptions which nearly screwed a *lot* of things up for her. Despite that I still loved her and her neat-freakish ways.

Now there's not much I can say to sum up how amazing I found Etienne. Although I'm mostly immune to cute British accents  (when you have one yourself it doesn't have the same impact. *not* that I'm claiming to have a cute accent, that'd be up to you guys to decide :P) I'm sure I would still get a tad swoony around St Clair with his mix of English, French and American accent and generally gorgeous scruffiness. He's funny, kind and oh-so-adorable! He's also got an intensity to him that really gets your heart racing so it's not surprising the effect he has on Anna!

The way the relationship developed between Anna and Etienne was so tingle-inducing and yet so frustrating at the same time. I'm sure most of us have felt that feeling of "god why doesn't he notice me?" and with Anna being his friend as well she has the extra barrier of "just friends" between them to make things even harder. You find yourself urging Anna to "bloody *do* something!" when she's alone with Etienne and sometimes I did want to shake him for being a daft bugger as well.

Steph Perkins has done a absolutely fantastic job creating a romance that is passionate while still being reasonably chaste (by that I mean no clothes go flying) and that's believable as well so hats off to you! Also I absolutely adore all the quirky phrases that had me giggling while I was reading - there's nothing like a scene about shiny wangs to put a smile on a girl's face :P (Yes, I *am* that crude).

Overall I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book, I kept wanting to slow down to make it last but at the same time wanted to speed up and find out what happens. Even as I'm writing this review I had to pick it back up and re-read the first few chapters- it took a fair bit of willpower to not read the whole thing again. It's one of those books that you smile about days after finishing it, that you just wish you could keep re-reading even when you have as massive a TBR pile as I do (200 books and counting!). I'm determined to get my sister to read this even if I have to beat her about the head with it and I'll tell anyone who asks me for recommendations to READ THIS BOOK!

I cannot *wait* to read whatever Steph Perkins writes next although I would love to read another book about Anna and Etienne. But I'm sure anything she writes will be awesome and I'll devour it happily.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

So if you haven't already read this then I strongly suggest you get your hands on a copy or I'll tut at you in French whenever I see you :P

Jusqu'a demain mes amies


Kristen 10 January 2011 at 10:36  

I SO agree with you on every point. What a great book! I just finished reading it too and have been recommending it to everyone as well!

Christina T 10 January 2011 at 11:40  

I've requested this from the library so hopefully I should be getting it soon. I'm so glad to hear you loved it and that it lived up to the hype. Good luck in getting your sister to read it. I try to convince my sister to read books I like too. I usually buy them for her for Christmas and birthdays so then she is more likely to listen to me!

Zakiya LadyWings 11 January 2011 at 19:28  

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Marg 16 January 2011 at 21:02  

I have seen nothing but good reviews of this book. I have finally caved and requested this book from the library.

Katie,  26 January 2011 at 04:57  

I read it as well. AMAZING! You're right, It was romantic but realistic and Anna was very relate-able. And Etienne St.Clair...*sigh*

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