Saturday, August 6, 2011
Anna and the French Kiss
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Anna-French-Kiss-Stephanie-Perkins
Summary: 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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited? *summary taken from barnesandnoble.com*
In the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to Anna Oliphant, or, as she's known back home in Atlanta, GA, "Banana Elephant", is at the School of America in Paris. SOAP. (That made me smile when I first read it) Her father, who is basically a clone of Nicholas Sparks, decides to send her to this school in France to expose her to 'culture' and other country's customs. Once at this school, she meets Meredith (a soccer-excuse me, football playing tomboy) Rashmi and Josh (the couple sucking face in the cafeteria), and St. Clair (the main heartthrob of the novel).
When I first started reading the story, I immediately saw Anna as a regular ol' teenager. Plain, but pretty girl with plenty of insecurities and just as much wit. The things that went through her mind were things that PLENTY of teenage girls can relate to. Does my teeth look yellow in this light? Oh my God, they're probably neon in this awful flourescent lighting. Oh God, my breath probably smells. I'm a freak. That type of thinking is instilled in Anna's mind for the better part of 300 pages. Hopefully, that won't get on your nerves too much and you'll keep reading.
Anna's relationship with her friends back home and her friends in Paris change throughout the story. Fights, breakups, makeups, and hookups are inevitable. You can probably guess that she grows apart from the friends back home and closer to the ones in Paris. The parallel in the story between Bridgette, Toph, and Anna AND Meredith, St. Clair, and Anna is one that the reader can pick up on easily and interpret just as quickly. It teaches a nice little life lesson about friends and boyfriends, and for girls, it introduces them to the 'Girl Code'.
When it came to the romance in the story, it wasn't bad. Nice romantic tension, physical and otherwise, rang throughout the story and never once faltered. Thank you, Ms. Perkins. I loved the comical back-and-forth between St.Clair and Anna. Their relationship seemed easy, especially since they're best friends for the most of the book. It wasn't what you see now in most stories, with the whole relationship seeming strained. Although, there were awkward, uncomfortable silences, which happens in normal, everyday life, it just made everything seem much more realistic. Especially with the issue with St. Clair's parents. Most stories would focus on the main character's troubles, but making St. Clair's problems as important as Anna's makes him more real.
Speaking of St. Clair, I appreciated how Anna distinguishes between calling St. Clair by his last name (St. Clair- funny, flirty guy everyone loves) and his first name (Etienne- the one behind the front. the more vulnerable side.). True, she did switch back and forth OFTEN, but she does make up her mind at the end.
And the end. I felt the end was truly special. Truly romatic and truly wonderful.
If you're thinking about this book, do not hesistate. Go to your bookstore, computer, whatever and buy/order this. It's worth it.
X's and O's and Happy Reading,