Anna and the French Kiss-Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Source: Around the World Tours
Anna was 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. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
Okay, first things first, the entire time I was reading this book, I had Etienne by Tori Amos playing in my head. Et-ien-nne, over and over. Good thing I love that song, and I loved this book. Anna is such a great character. She's naive, but in a way that's endearing, not annoying. Etienne St. Clair has to be one of the most swoon-worthy boys ever. As I read this book, I was reminded what it's like to have a catastrophic crush, where you can't even be in the same room with the person and breathe normally.
Secondly, this book is set in one of my favorite places in the world, Paris. When I was Anna's age, I was obsessed with everything French, and made a vow with myself to go to Paris before I was twenty-five (I was twenty-three the first time I went). Paris is not just a setting, but a character, and a compelling one at that.
I read Anna in just over a day. That's pretty unique for me, because I'm the type that doesn't really read slow, but I tend to savor the books I'm enjoying. I just couldn't put this book down. The tension between Anna and Etienne is expertly crafted, and I couldn't help but think back on the two major crushes I've had in my own life, and like Anna, both guys had complicated girlfriend situations. That's yet another reason I loved this book. When you can connect with characters and think back to your own life experiences-well, that's great book, hands-down.
I could gush on forever here, but I'll end with this. I don't read a lot of contemporary YA, and especially not YA romance. Nothing against the genre, I just have a harder time finding books that appeal to me. If you're like me and this genre doesn't appeal to you or especially if it does, pick up Anna. It's a funny, joyful, and sometimes sad tale that will stay with you even after you've put it down.