Saturday, August 15, 2015

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 4, 2011 by Speak (First edition published in 2010)
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Awards: Cybils Award Finalist for Best Young Adult
               Fiction, 2011
               YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults, 2012

MLA: Perkins, Stephanie. Anna and the French Kiss. New York: Speak, 2010. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0142419403. Paperback, $9.99.

Find it in your local library!





Verdict

Don’t be deceived by the cover: I can assure you that Anna and the French Kiss is not your typical YA romance. Though the love story between Anna and St. Clair is definitely the heart of the book (no pun intended), they are multidimensional characters with distinct – and sometimes conflicting – personalities and problems unrelated to their connection to each other. Anna and St. Clair’s romantic relationship develops slowly over the course of the novel; they are friends above all else, which is a refreshing change from the chick lit genre’s typical “love at first sight” clich√©. Both Anna and St. Clair misinterpret each other’s cues and make some pretty cringe-worthy mistakes, but it lends credibility to the novel because we’ve all been down those awkward roads before. (At least I have. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. I was a gawky, self-conscious mess at Anna’s age, and probably would have died of embarrassment daily if my parents had shipped me off to a country whose language I did not speak.)

Stephanie Perkins creates a truly memorable protagonist in Anna. She’s funny, smart, flawed, and totally real – you’ll want to be friends with her immediately. I found myself laughing out loud and nodding my head at some of Anna’s observations about teenage life, and I really identified with her even though I haven’t shared her experience. Her descriptions of Paris are stunning and made me want to book a flight there, like, yesterday. Overall, I fell in love with Anna and the French Kiss in much the same way as Anna and St. Clair fall in love, and as I turned the last pages, I didn’t want it to end. Recommended for teens 13 and up, especially romance buffs and those interested in contemporary Parisian life.


Did you already read and love Anna and the French Kiss? If so, here's a deleted chapter and a bonus scene (that you SHOULD NOT READ until you've finished the book) that Stephanie Perkins graciously posted on her website. There's also the official 8tracks playlist for Anna and the French Kiss, complete with a link to the stories behind the songs (once again, spoilers).

I also made a Pinterest board inspired by Anna, St. Clair, and the beautiful City of Lights.

Finally, Anna is a huge movie connoisseur (and reviewer), and she mentions some awesome films throughout the book. One of my favorites is Roman Holiday, starring the utterly perfect Audrey Hepburn and the utterly gorgeous Gregory Peck. Here's the trailer:


Teen Talk:

“I do read realistic fiction, but not as much YA. I like Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult because of the romance and the interesting stories.” - Kate T., 16

I highly recommended Anna and the French Kiss to realistic romance fans like Kate, you won't be disappointed!


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