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? (Goodreads Synopsis)
As I mentioned in my last post on Lisa Glass’ series of books, I am a huge YA fan and the book that started it all off is the one I’m reviewing today. Anna and the French Kiss was always one of the books I’d seen on the shelf at Waterstones but never really picked up because in all honesty it does sound a little cliché. However my main motivation to buy this was when I was watching a John Green video where he mentions and praises Stephanie Perkins book: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gep4QH6U27M Start to 49 secs). The next time I went to the bookstore I made a beeline for YA section to pick up the book and my goodness did I fall in love with it!
Having loved France and Paris from my first trip there when I was in primary school, sixteen year old me absolutely devoured this book and is still one of, if not my favourite YA read. As the synopsis describes the story revolves around Anna, a girl who in her senior year of high school is shipped off to a boarding school in Paris by her father. Initially she is extremely self conscious of her American citizenship in the cultured city, despite going to SOAP (School of America in Paris), where all students are American. Cue St Clair, the American boy raised in England with a French name, who’s about to make life a lot more interesting…
This book is such a wonderful piece of YA fiction, Anna for me was instantly likeable, the way Perkins words her inner thoughts and idiosyncrasies are both humorous and endearing. Not only is the protagonist a richly developed character but so are her friends. St Clair, Meridith, Josh and Rashimi have equal degree of character development throughout the novel (most are also included in the subsequent books in the trilogy). The inclusion of the characters to enrich the love story revolving around Anna and St Claire’s relationship gives off the same kind of feeling to me personally as the F.R.I.E.N.D.S gang, a group you cant’t help but long to be a part of yourself!
As the novel is further encompassed in the beautiful surrounding of Paris, Perkins transports the reader to the Latin Quater, The Panetheon, the famous Shakespeare and Co bookshop (which this book made me want to visit so badly!) and the notorious Notre Dame/Point Zero, a perfect and unique setting for a YA romance.
Another aspect I loved of the book and the series is its immersive quality. As a reader if I love a story or a character I tend to remain pretty loyal to it and love merchandise etc to do with the story. Perkins gives her readers such a treat with extra content for this series, her website containing deleted chapters, bonus scenes, a playlist of songs she listened to while writing and playlist spoilers that give the songs context in line with the novels events, kind of like a soundtrack to the book! (which I’m actually listening to while writing this review: http://stephanieperkins.com/extras/).
Ultimately for me, the book was an unputdownable read which I have enjoyed many times since first reading it. I also continued to buy Perkins subsequent books in the series: Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After (which I’ll probably put in other reviews at a later date, purely because I love the series so much!). The book is a definite must for any lover of romance and travel, or in want of a book that you just can’t stop reading!
Has anyone else read this series of books? Please comment your thoughts or message me via Instagram 🙂
Till next time, Aurevoir!