Release Date: Already on shelves
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?
I heard about this book continuously. I lusted for it hopelessly. I fell for it the minute Anna made a Hogwarts reference.
Anna Oliphant is loving her American life when her novelist-father ships her off to a boarding school in Paris. Anna is not happy. Girl can't even speak a word of French! She's devastated to be leaving behind her friends and almost-boyfriend, Toph. Not to mention her little brother, Seany, who she adores. But it doesn't take long for Anna to settle into life in Paris after befriending her dorm-neighbour, Meredith and Mer's friends. Rashmi, Josh... and Etienne St. Clair. Oh St. Clair! *and girls across the world swoon in his wake*
Anna is one of those girls. He's gorgeous, 3 inches shorter than her, he wears a knit-cap, is afraid of heights, is oh so funny and charming and sweet and flawed and he has an English accent. American boy with an English accent living in France. We girls are such suckers for accents, aren't we? What hands down, made this novel was the CHEMISTRY! Anna and St. Clair's chemistry could generate enough power for France to survive off for two years and still have reserves to power-up the US and UK if a race of alien's ever attacked and cut off the world's power supply so they can ruin our lives without tv or internet (but at least we'll still have books. take that your green-brained suckers!). Every encounter they had, every look, every touch, every heated moment or laugh or cry or drunken outburst had me glued to the pages, not being able to turn them fast enough to see what happens next.
They know they can't be together - St. Clair has a girlfriend and Meredith is not-so-secretly in love with him, which Anna does not want to ruin things with her new friend. But love doesn't listen to excuses and pleas of "No Cupid, sir, please shove your arrows up your ----", if people are meant to be then love isn't going to make it easy for them to resist. We see the transition from "OMG HOT GUY! Listen to the accent!" to crush to deep-best-friend-relationship to "Holy crap, I'm in love with him". I love how it progressed. Love wasn't instantaneous. Sure, lust was. But you could SEE the love growing over the course of the year.
St. Clair and Ellie's relationship was kind of on the rocks and while I do not condone any kind of cheating, whether it's physical or emotional, you can understand Etienne's reasons for maybe dragging out the part where he finally breaks it off. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and sometimes we cling onto things out of fear or comfort. His reasons are explained, even if in theory he should have broken it off the moment he realised he was falling for Anna. Or buying her a book of love poetry for school.
Oh gosh. I love this book so much. I love romances in fiction and even though I stupidly don't read as much contemporary as I do paranormal/dystopian, I adore these kind of books. I absolutely loved Anna. She's so funny and neurotic and flawed and hang on a minute... am I crushing on Anna or St. Clair?? *puzzled look* Oh fine, maybe both! I'm actually surprised I managed to write a review. It took me a while to form a legitimate sentence that didn't involve "EEE! Hehe! St. Clair! Squee! Anna! French! kiss kissy kiss *swoon* OMG! Love!" Hmm. Not as engaging to read!
I can't express how much I loved this. Anna and the French Kiss will have you grinning from ear to ear, laughing out loud, sighing, swooning, wishing, hoping, loving loving loving every minute of it. Funny and beautifully written, Stephanie Perkins is officially an 'instant buy' author. I don't care if her next book is about a starcrossed love between a turtle and a lion who is battling his animal instincts to eat the love-of-his-life, she could pull it off with bells on.