Book Name: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Format: Paperback checked out from the local libraryGoodreads’ words: 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?
My Words: Aha! With Anna and the french kiss, I am back to my world of teen wonderland! After reading a host of -let’s call them “grown up” books, AATFK was like my very own blissful reward..sigh! Don’t get me wrong, grown up books- so called by me- are not bad..in fact they are also one of the best, too. But they also make me realize my real age and the whole responsibilities hoopla. Whereas books like Anna..just float in my mental age! 😉
So, yes this book is totally a chick-lit! Confused,lonely,frustrated-with-the-world-in-large – protagonist, faithful but not so faithful friends, an indifferent ex, cute, funny, witty but unattainable someone – who is not the ex,School, the opposition, of course and the backdrop of a beautiful city like Paris! With some feathery romantic moments, and a lil bit of teenage drama added in, we have the beautiful cocktail of a YA chick-lit! My favourite kind! 🙂
With everything said, I have to admit that this is a YA contemporary book. And Stephanie Perkins has done a great job of giving her characters the teenage voice and emotions throughout. All the characters from Anna, Etienne, their friends felt real teens, even the always arguing couple, Mer who feels she was betrayed by Anna, and Rashmi too for feeling abandoned. Even Etienne goes through the teenage emotions of confusion and insecurity when choosing between Anna and Ellie. Although I have to admit that he does lead Anna on for a while which is not really fair to either Anna or Ellie, even if he was a teenager. I think teenagers have that much maturity to avoid such scenarios. I also liked how the characters evolved after a while showing subtle changes in them that come from just life passing by. Like, when Seany asks for the Christmas present that Anna got for him, or the changes in Anna when she comes home for Christmas break, or Mer’s reaction to Anna kissing Dave etc. etc.
And Paris! With a background like that thrown in, in a YA contemporary book, who can resist dreaming of living in those very dorms and walking through the Latin quarter or climbing atop the Notre dame! Books like these make feel more and more eager to visit all these places. And one day, I will!
My favorite scenes in the book: Anna and St. Clair’s tour of the city, their Turkey dinner in Paris, yelling down the halls and stairwell during the holiday, sleepovers, multiple trips to the cinema, the flight home, the emails back and forth, the New Year’s telephone call, Whyareyougivingawaythecookies?, the banana bead, Pablo Neruda poetry book!
My verdict is that it is definitely a must read for people who like YA contemporary novels. I give it a 4 out 5 rating. The 1 I take away because of the St. Clair’s -Mom’s-Cancer factor. I am no Nicholas Sparks fan, but Perkins makes fun of his illness inducing deaths in every book. And that’s just what she has done in the book. She gives Etienne’s mom cancer and makes the readers feel sympathetic for him and forgive for mistreating Anna and Ellie. If that Cancer angle was not worked in, I would not understand his fumbling yet flirty attitude even a tiny bit.
Besides this, the storyline is perfect, and the light romance is a thing of sheer beauty. It’s not going to be one of the best books on my shelf but I sure am going to re-read it when I need a little cheering up. I could go on and on about how this book made me feel light-hearted and happy… just plain old happy, but you’re just going to have to experience it for yourself.
“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?”
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”
“How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else’s – be pulled and stretched and twisted – before they snap? Before they can never be mended again?”