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?
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is another book from my list that came both highly recommended and cautioned against, so I waited a while to read it. It came up as a Nook Book sale, and I finally bought it. I found that both the praise and the cautions were well-deserved.
I’m going to start with what I liked about this novel, because I really did enjoy it. I absolutely adored the writing style for this novel. It flowed so nicely, and made reading this in one sitting so easily enjoyable.
Every one of the characters felt incredibly real to me, even too-good-to-be-true Étienne St. Clair, with all of his flaws. Anna’s love and dedication to movies was really great, and I loved that she used the movies as her escape, just like any actual human would.
While I sympathized with Anna’s crush on him (because who hasn’t had a crush on a friend who seems entirely unattainable?), I found Étienne’s actions to be realistic, but unsavory. I found his treatment of the aforementioned serious girlfriend, as well as his admirers, to be seriously terrible, despite the fact that she didn’t treat him that well, either. I have to admit that he and Anna worked really well as a couple. His admission of love at the end was just awesome. In a vacuum, I would have loved Anna and Étienne together.
One of the things I didn’t like is the aforementioned treatment of the girlfriend. I felt like, with all of the other issues that St. Clair had, the girlfriend’s existence was unnecessary. He was messed up enough that the stuff with his parents would have been plenty of reason for him to not want to date anyone or to want to wait until he knew Anna better to start dating. Lack of interest in their other classmate would have been plenty of reason for him to not be dating anyone. Since we never saw her in the narrative, I felt like she was really just a placeholder and a reason to torment St. Clair even more.
I also didn’t particularly care for the fact that there were two people of color who were mentioned in the story, and neither of them had any significant role to play. This is France, you’re telling me there were no rich brown people in the school? Come on, now. Something to work on for your next novel, Stephanie.
That being said, the writing was amazing. I think I will enjoy her other novels! Overall, I’m rating this a 3 star rating.
It’s a cute, fluffy and romantic read that I would recommend with the same cautions that were presented to me. If you don’t want a love triangle or a cheating boyfriend, don’t read this book. If this sounds like your thing, you can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.