Publishing Info: December 2, 2010 by Penguin
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 26, 2014
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me
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?
DEEP BREATHS. DEEP BREATHS. Because I know I fell in love with this book when I first read it but I forgot exactly how in love with it I was until I read it again this year as a part of the #IslaIsComing Read Along (and blog tour)! How I managed to write a coherent review for this book the first time around is beyond me and how I will manage to do it again… Seems impossible.
Okay, first… Let’s talk about Anna. I still feel quite a bit of a connection with her and I just see so much of myself in her character! The whole movie review blog, the way she reacts to things, the way she talks, the way she cares about her family… They’re just all things that I relate to and I still feel like Anna is one of my favorite female leads of all time. I love how much she grows in this book from not wanting to put herself out there (for being in/exploring France as well as with new friends and crushes) to feeling okay — even confident — to take risks and do things on her own. She’s far from perfect but she’s willing to admit her mistakes when she recognizes them and she does try to be a good person.
I’ve come to the realization that the reason I connect so much more with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS versus LOLA or even ISLA is because of the romance between Anna and St. Clair. It’s not even just their romance but how it develops. I LOVE the best-friend-turned-boyfriend concept and I was discussing with Sandie after we had both read ISLA how Anna and St. Clair just have this instant chemistry and it just never felt forced. They both had an instant attraction to each other but they had a great friendly banter and camaraderie that was at the core of their relationship so it never felt like insta-love even though they had just met. This romance really just combined everything I love in a romance: a great friendship, a slow burn, and a forbidden aspect. Put all of those together in ANNA and I was just constantly falling in love and tearing my hair out watching their interactions — and it’s a re-read so I already know how it ends!
What makes this book so special to me in part is the connection I made to the characters but I think a big part of WHY I connected is because Stephanie Perkins just wrote them so well. Each character — but especially the two main characters, Anna and St. Clair — all felt incredibly real. Anna and St. Clair feel like real people and not just characters in a book. I feel like I lived part of the book and other parts feel like I’m reading about my best friends. I really was just able to put myself into the book at any given time and it felt like home, despite the fact that I’ve never been to France or even anywhere in Europe at all.
I don’t know how she does it, but Stephanie Perkins is amaaaaazing at infusing this book with ALL THE FEELS. Honestly, almost all of my status updates as I was reading had some sort of capslocked words or flailing. All of the butterflies and tender moments and perfect quotes all come together flawlessly. Nothing felt like it was overdone. Everything fell perfectly into place. Not all moments were perfect and each character had a bit of their own ugly moments that everyone in life must go through to learn about each other and to learn about themselves.
What more can I say about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS except the fact that this has been by far my favorite re-read ever. Picking up this book again has solidified it on a list of my all-time favorites and I think I can say after re-reading that it’s easily my favorite YA contemporary novel that I’ve read so far. This book is the tops, my friends. For me, it doesn’t get any better than this.
I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Anna Oliphant // Character Obsessions: Movies, home, Toph, friends.
I wish Anna was a real live person. We could get along SO well. I honestly would just love to stick myself in this book and be best friends with Anna. I think we would totally hit it off and be the best of friends… until I try to steal St. Clair from her 😀
Etienne St. Clair // Character Obsessions: Art, friends, having fun, his mom.
Can I just say ALL THE SWOONS and cover it? No? Well, okay. St. Clair just has that confident swagger but not swagger in a cocky way because I hate that. He’s just a confident person and that’s just an attractive thing. He’s funny and supportive and emotional and kind and basically everything any girl could ask for. He just makes me swoon.
Kept Me Hooked On: The best. contemporary. ever. I am so glad I re-read this book. It was amazing to re-read it and have just as many feelings and maybe even more so since I was already invested in this story! I think I may need to do a regular yearly re-read of this!
Left Me Wanting More: Anna & St. Clair, all the time. I could read about these two forever. I just love their chemistry and their connection. Stephanie Perkins really knocked it out of the park with this couple.
If you haven’t read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS yet, even if you’re not a contemporary reader, DO IT. It’s so swoony and so lovely and so wonderful and I can’t imagine anyone hating it (although I’m sure SOMEONE does, but we may not be friends for that reason (just kidding (kind of)) so if you haven’t read it yet, you absolutely MUST!
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(Click the cover to see my review!)