Anna was 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. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt. (from book jacket)
Wow I cannot believe I waited this long to read Anna and the French Kiss! What an amazing book! Anna and the French Kiss exemplified everything I love about contemporary YA and it is the perfect book for many rereads.
First off, what setting is more awesome than a boarding school in Paris? Anna is a little upset that her father sends her away for her senior year (the reason why her father makes her go wasn't explained that well) but I would have been thrilled. At least, after I got over the homesickness. But Anna isn't a moper and soon makes friends and gains her independence by venturing out into the city alone. One of the friends is the gorgeous and charming Etienne St. Clair... I'm in love with the name alone. Seriously, though, Perfect YA Guy Alert! St. Clair has an English accent, speaks fluent French but is also American. So he's worldly, smart, funny, hot, the list goes on. I'm very surprised that Anna is able to form sentences around him.
Anna was a great protagonist. She's a little wary of being in a foreign country, but as she starts learning French she becomes more outgoing and settled at her new school. Anna is also a movie buff and aspires to be a film critic, so she and St. Clair go to a lot of movies together. The relationship/friendship between Anna and St. Clair was really interesting to read about. St. Clair has a girlfriend but him and Anna become really close. I would love to have a best friend like him. They tell each other everything and are always together, so random people start mistaking them for a couple.
The book jacket summary states that the story is full of "romantic near-misses" and this is a perfect way to describe the plot. There is a lot of back and forth between St. Clair and Anna and it's very "will-they-or-won't-they" which can become very contrived. However, this is not a problem at all in Anna and the French Kiss. The uncertainty really keeps the tension flowing and you, as the reader, are practically shoving these two characters together. Don't worry, you shall be rewarded for your patience.
Overall, I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss a lot! It's definitely up there as a favorite contemporary novel. It has a beautiful setting and a romantic interest that will make you swoon. Watch out girls, St. Clair is mine :)
Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from library.
2010/Dutton Books/372 pages.