Seemingly everyone in the book blogosphere was telling me to read Anna and the French Kiss. I felt as if I was the only one who hadn’t read this book though it was only published 10 months ago. Now, that I read the story, I can’t understand why I waited so long. It’s amazing, I love it. It’s an amusing young adult romance. No fancy paranormal or dystopian elements (not that I don’t like these either), just a plain normal contemporary story. But there is nothing plain about it. First of all, the writing is superb. There is so much wit, the language is modern and there a plenty of phrases I loved. More than once I was giggling loudly. Secondly I absolutely adored the characters. Not only the main characters, St. Clair and Anna, but the supporting cast was interesting and added a lot to the overall story. Stephanie Perkins managed to give each of these teenagers individual and endearing characteristics. The resulting dialogues are sometimes hilarious.
With Anna she created a imperfect girl, which makes her even more loveable. Nothing is more boring than perfection, especially in people. Anna is a bit shy, loves movies, and in the beginning she is quite lonely and lost. Her OCD, that her things belong to distinct spots in her room, made her even more likeable. Can you imagine having your last year of school in Paris, without speaking french and the next relative being on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? Sounds great, at least initially. But you can feel quite lost and most importantly alone. That’s what happens to Anna. Luckily she make soon friends and she meets Etienne St. Clair. A most charming, charismatic, a bit chaotic history nerd, who is also short and most importantly has a girlfriend. The latter becomes an issue soon, as Anna falls very fast and hard for him. I loved how St. Clair takes care of Anna in the beginning, how he introduces her to Paris. Their small adventures together. It’s an adorable story about friendship and about falling in love in the most romantic city in the world. I liked the pace and character/friendship development. I felt with Anna, when she was desperate or happy or …. just everything. The only thing which annoyed me a bit was St. Clair’s reluctance to make a decision. There were clear signs that he liked Anna a lot, he was even making very direkt hints, but then he went back to his girlfriend, came back to hang out with Anna, back to his girlfriend, and so on. On more than one occasion I just want to kick his butt. But that was just a minor thing.
Overall this is a captivating story with an amazing cast and very loveable main characters. Well done, especially for a debut novel.