Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Read This: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss 
by Stephanie Perkins

The Short Story 
Instead of finishing up her senior year at home in Atlanta, Anna gets shipped off to boarding school in France. She makes new friends, including the perfectly taken boy, and learns a lot about herself.  Nice take on a familiar idea.
5/5 Eiffel Towers

Come for the...
I heard so many good things about Perkins' debut novel I had to check it out.  And I'm fangirl-ily happy I did.  The plot is familiar: girl meets boy, boy has girlfriend, angst, flirting, kissing, swooning, sighing.  Just add water touristy French landmarks.  But it's done well.  Anna is an incredibly fun read.

Why?  Because of Anna.  I could completely relate to her neurotic self-consciousness.  Maybe it's having spent time trying to adjust in another country or being completely gobsmacked by a cute boy.  But I got Anna.  I bet you will, too.  And I loved reading her become increasingly more confident all while making me snort with laughter.

For example, Anna on the cafeteria:
I'm such a wuss. I'd rather starve than try to order in French. "Oui, oui!" I'd say, pointing at random words on the chalkboard. Then Chef Handlebar would present me with something revolting, and I'd have to buy it out of shame.  Of course I meant to order the roasted pigeon! Mmm! Just like Nanna's.
On her Christmas break:
In the history of terrible holidays, this ranks as the worst ever. . . . Worse than the Halloween when Trudy Sherman and I both went to school dressed as Glinda the Good Witch, and she told everyone her costume was better than mine, because you could see my purple "Monday" panties through my dress AND YOU TOTALLY COULD.
Oh Anna, never change.

Stay for the
Nicholas Sparks mocking; some Pablo Neruda; the cute email-only chapter; Nutella and Girl Scout cookies.  Oh, and the boy.  Short English-French-American boys aren't usually my thing, but St. Clair definitely grew on me. (haha)

Don't think about this too hard
Overall I really liked the book.  But if you want to find fault....
  • Some of the characters were a little flat, like Meredith. Not to mention drama mama Amanda or Ellie.  I couldn't figure out why Ellie would have appealed to St. Clair to begin with.
  • The conflict(s) resolved too quickly for me. Seriously, that was all it took to thwart St. Clair's dad?  Meredith is just cool with everything?  Where did Amanda and all her talk go?

The Big Three
Language: yep, in all its colorful varieties, including a few f-words.
Sex and Stuff: mostly innuendo, some making out (you caught the title right?), Katniss/Peeta sleep overs, and that one scene in a graveyard. Or was it a cemetery? Also a guy pees in a shower.  Gross.
Violence: not an issue


  1. Ok, great book but I still have to make fun of the cover just a little...
    The book has "french kiss" in the title, the cover is facepalmy, and Rusty asked me if both people were girls (a more gentle version of the "What kind of book is this?" he gave me when he saw the cover of City of Bones).
    Add to it that it's set in France (which I've always inexplicably had something against), and that the love interest is short, and I probably never would have picked it up on my own.
    Don't make that mistake. Pick up the book.

  2. I love your review format and especially "The Big Three." It's always nice to have a little warning. I'll be reading more in the future!

  3. LL, thank you! I'm just getting started but will have posts every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Thanks for stopping by. :)