December 31, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Date Started: December 22, 2010
Date Finished: December 24, 2010

Summary: Anna is shipped off to a boarding school at 17 away from her friends and her family. On top of that she's in a foreign country, granted that it's Paris, but she still doesn't speak the language. Anna settles into things and makes friends and meets Etienne St. Clair, who is hot and British, and has a girlfriend. She can't help but feel attracted to him, even if he's technically off limits.

Likes: I loved this book. I'm surprised I did, because when reading the summary, it doesn't sound like a book I would ever read. I mean boarding school stories aren't really my thing, reading about teenagers in other countries makes me a bit jealous (even though I went to London for a week when I was 15, that hardly counts, but it's more than a lot of people), and romantic relationships? Ugh... not for me. But when I read the book, I was pleasantly surprised.

I really liked Anna's character and how accessible and easy to relate her character was. I could understand her frustration at being shipped off to boarding school. I think I connect to this story so much because when I was 17, I started college and I was on my own. Granted it was my choice, but still I felt the apprehension and trepidation Anna felt when she was alone for the first time.

The romance, though cheesy (see warning below) was probably one of the best in terms of natural progression. It starts off slowly, as friends, then good friends, then so and so forth. It doesn't start with mind blowing OMG I'm totally in love type of things that has saturated YA in recent years and turned me off from that aspect in general. The voice is fresh which saves it from being melodramatic when dramatic things happen.

Dislikes: The story starts off kind of slow, but it takes off when the big event happens. I thought it was going to go one way, but it took another direction. I mean, when I figured out where it was going, it was still predictable after that point and the romance was a little cheesy at times (but that's coming from someone who doesn't like romance that much anyway, so your mileage will vary), but it's bearable. Maybe it was just me rushing to find out what happened in the end, but I felt like some parts were rushed and/or glossed over. It didn't hurt the book, but it still would have been interesting to read (or at least humorous).

Overall: I didn't really think I'd enjoy this book as much as I did. I mean, Anna and the French Kiss... ugh... what can I expect from a book title like that? But I was pleasantly surprised. This book reminded me why I love reading YA. I love getting nostalgic about the good times and the bad times of high school. When I think about it, I had a lot of good times in high school. It's not nearly as bad as I make it out to seem. At any rate, this book was just adorable.

Recommended by: John Green! (and a bunch of people on the internet, but mainly him) How could I dismiss a book who has been endorsed by John Green? It really is like if he and Maureen Johnson had a book baby with John Green's voice and Maureen Johnson's style.

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Aylee said...

This doesn't seem like the kind of book that I would like either for the same reasons you brought up. But everyone keeps saying it's a really good book so I'll have to read it soon. And John Green recommended it! haha, I take it you subscribe to the vlogbrothers :) Thanks for the review.

Najela said...

Yep, I'm an avid nerdfighter.

It really is a good book. I mean, I'm not really a romance fan and it was a little cliched, but the writing was so fresh and it wasn't melodramatic in my opinion, it made up for any cliches.

I hope you get a chance to read it.


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