Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Released: December 2nd 2010
Pages: 386 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Buy on Goodreads
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?
SOBBING. That isn't a very elegant way to start a review, but I think it's the only word that can sum up my feels for this book, aside from asdfghjkl. I hate contemporary romance. Anna and the French Kiss is as contemporarily romantic as it gets. And I loved it.
I don't even care that the word 'contemporarily' has a squiggly red line underneath it because I am still on a high! I do have a general hate for romance novels - I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a bit of romance in a book - but I just don't like it when that is all. that. happens. There is more to life than guys, but I'm starting to second-guess my resolve, as Perkins has convinced me that some guys are worth having no life. I have another character crush - UGGGGGH. I'll get to that later.
Anna - can I just state that I freakin' love her name? Why? Because Anna is simple and ordinary and totally normal. Some authors pick weird names for their characters, like Genesis, or Salmon Jo, or Tookie, but nope - Perkins chooses Anna, and this is the first thing that I loved about this book.
The second thing was how it was like the character of Anna was your best friend, and the story was told as if she was literally sat beside you, recounting it all. It was so easy to read. I just found myself slipping into the story and becoming engrossed - hours would go by, and in the end I'd look up and realize I'd missed my bus stop, or the school bell had gone for the next lesson. This took me under a day to read. I just couldn't put it down.
Each character was amazing - even the minor characters. They each had their own individual personality which stood out so that when even their name was mentioned, I knew exactly who Perkins was talking about, and would thus give the most appropriate response. The main characters were even more perfect. I would have loved to find out more about Bridge, Josh, Rashmi, Meredith, and Ellie - but it was fine getting inside the heads of Anna and St. Clair.
Anna was so lovable, right from the beginning. I just couldn't not like her. She was so...normal. I couldn't get over how normal Perkins made her, and how I related to her so thoroughly. Cringey stuff happened that most authors would leave out of their books, because they want their protagonists to be immaculate and amazing - but Perkins put it in deliberately to reach out to awkward teenagers and capture their attention; to show that Anna was just like that. And she was, she was just like me. I loved her.
The one person I loved more than her was St. Clair. Étienne St. Clair. Y. U. M. It seems that Perkins is another author who wants to ruin my life with perfect characters. He was the ultimate heartthrob, and I fell head over heels for him, alongside Anna. Some of the things he said were cheesy, but it didn't matter, because he was too busy being perfect in every other sense.
Perkins has created the perfect young adult romance novel. It's funny, the characters are perfect, the heartthrob is gorgeous and charming, and you can't help but fall in love with the characters alongside them. It was perfection, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe there is something to this romance genre after all?