“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss cover

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person.”

Anna and the French Kiss is a contemporary YA romance. The protagonist, Anna, has to spend her senior year in a boarding school in Paris. It’s the story of how she meets and falls in love with Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy… who has a girlfriend.

When I picked up this book, I just thought it would pass the time. I ended up enjoying it. One thing you need to know is I’m Parisian, so I’m very sceptic about all those romances and clichés taking place in Paris, although I’m sure non-stereotyped love stories taking place in Paris exist. As I expected, it was not the case for Anna and the French Kiss.

This was a really nice read. The romance was cute, the characters were okay, it was all adorable and I couldn’t stop reading it.

I have a complicated relationship with Anna. Sometimes I thought she was a nice protagonist but most of the time I found her… irritating. Here’s what I hated about her : she was a hypocrite at some points, but I liked the fact that she realized that. Anna can be such a drama queen spoiler/(that time she screamed at her best friend for “ruining her life”, she was just being irrational and childish)/. She’s not very smart. Most of the time I found her a bit dumb and full of so many damn stereotypes. I was so royally annoyed by the stereotypes she believed. She made stupid comments, but thankfully sometimes she was funny.

wow. If I hadn’t realized I was in France yet, I do now. Because Like Water for Chocolate has sex in it. LOTS of sex.

I wasn’t even aware of this stereotype but you educate me, Anna, you really do…

I had some issues liking Etienne St Clair in the beginning. The way they first met gave me the urge to roll my eyes : the first night after arriving in Paris she bumps into him and wow how attractive he is. And omg he has a British accent how sexy. But guess what he’s actually American just like her. And he speaks French perfectly. And he loves history. And he reads a lot. And he’s so smart. So sweet. It was just too much. Stephanie Perkins didn’t even try to make that first meeting original or surprising.

However, through the book, I loved Etienne’s character! I wish he didn’t have all this list of perfect things about him, I would have liked him so much more. I wish Etienne was a more realistic character.

The romance was very well written. You could understand how they fell in love, and it was endearing. St. Clair and Anna were a cute couple and I loved reading about them falling in love.

My point is, the book would’ve been a billion times better to me if the useless clichés weren’t there. And, if Anna was a bit smarter. However, the book did make me smile sometimes, I enjoyed Anna’s sense of humor and I ended up liking St Clair’s character after all.

“Huh?” I have such a way with words. I should write epic poetry or jingles for cat food commercials.

This is the kind of book I like to read when I’m trying not to think too much and I just want to relax. I can’t rate these kinds of books fairly, because the point is just having a good time without thinking about it too much.

Anyone who is looking for “cutesy contemporary books” will probably love Anna and the French Kiss, because it’s probably the best book of this genre I have ever read. It’s really cute and a pleasure to reread it when I feel a little down.

Rating : 15/20

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