Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna Oliphant is far from pleased that her successful writer father has sent her to a school in Paris for her senior year of high school. She had been counting on spending as much time with her best friend and working on developing a possible romance between her and her crush. Instead, Anna now has to deal with a whole new language, a new city, and a new set of classmates.
Luckily, Anna quickly makes some good friends, including Etienne St. Clair, a charming, good-looking, and genuinely nice boy with a British accent, family troubles, and a gorgeous girlfriend. Anna and St. Clair hit it off immediately, but are they meant to be something more, when there seem to be so many obstacles against them?
If you’re craving a heartfelt contemporary YA romance with splendid character development, you absolutely must check out Stephanie Perkins’ debut novel. Set against the wondrous backdrop of Parisian city life, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is nevertheless a thoroughly down-to-earth book with a realistic romance guaranteed to warm the core of your very being.
Anna and St. Clair’s relationship is nearly unmatched in terms of realistic development. Anna does initially acknowledge St. Clair’s looks—but he turns out to be so much more than just a pretty face. If you like nice guys, then St. Clair is your man. He’s friendly, sensitive, and loyal, exactly the kind of guy that every girl should have. As Anna and St. Clair gradually become friends and then perhaps something more, readers will no doubt be able to relate to the alternating giddiness and tensions that are all part of a budding romance.
If St. Clair is the perfect nice guy, then Anna feels a bit like the everygirl. She’s believably uncertain when circumstances call for it, yet she is also not entirely a social pariah and is able to make friends. I would’ve liked a bit more exploration of Anna and St. Clair’s family troubles, but it hardly deterred from my enjoyment of their story. Stephanie Perkins also makes great use of the story’s setting: Anna and St. Clair wander Paris with the fascination and familiarity that a foreign student in an amazing city would feel.
Stephanie Perkins has written a wonderful contemporary YA novel that will no doubt work its way into many readers’ hearts. I’m genuinely looking forward to more wonderful stories by this talented author!
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover discussion: 2.5 out of 5 - I'm not the biggest fan. I can believe that the model is Anna--oh wait, where is her hair streak?? And since you're showing Anna's face, why not show St. Clair's, I'd like to see him and "awww" over him, thx. It just feels kind of blandly forced to me. I want more pizzazz! More charm!
Dutton Juvenile / Dec. 2, 2010 / Hardcover / 384pp. / $16.99
ARC received unsolicited from publisher.