Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Tags: YA, romance, Paris, boarding school


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!

Similar Authors
Sarah Dessen
Carolyn Mackler
Morgan Matson

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

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.


  1. I don't know if I've found anyone who doesn't like this book. I can't wait for it. I love seeing genuinely nice guys. There just aren't enough of them in YA. I'm glad to see that not all authors find them boring.

  2. STEPH!! I think this is the first time in a couple weeks that i've been able to get on here and comment so i apologise for the excitement. This is one of those books that i've heard so many amazing things about and I am SO pleased that it seems to be living upto the hype. Your review made me happy. It made me glad that i'd ordered this over the weekend. YAY!

  3. Yay, good to know that you liked this one! I've been seeing good reviews of it so I'm really excited for it to be released.

  4. Every review I've read of this has been amazing. I'm so looking forward to reading it :)

  5. "If you’re craving a heartfelt contemporary YA romance with splendid character development" ... YES this is exactly what I am craving, how did you know? Must read. So happy to hear that this is living up to all the hype for reviewer after reviewer.

  6. What I really enjoyed is how the book takes place during an entire YEAR. There's none of that having to read like, four books in a series-and having it only span three months or something of the like. No, I really liked how Perkins didn't dwell on anything too long, so really, we get to know the characters, but you have to have it in your mind that this is over the span of 12-months. So, Anna is really given the chance (as well as the other characters, too!) to develop, and then I think that this gives readers a better chance to connect and relate to characters and situations.
    Then the setting-Paris. Who doesn't want to read about an American who doesn't speak a lick of French survive in the City of Light? That alone should entertain, even without the hot British guy!


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