Anna and the French Kiss - by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss

"This novel made me wonder why I don't read more often."

Anna Oliphant is forced by her father to study abroad at the School of America in Paris for her senior year. Enraged by many factors such as lacking knowledge of the French language, living without her best friend Bridget, and missing her family, Anna does not want to be stuck in Paris. She is quite down about the situation until she runs into Etienne St. Clair, a French boy with an English accent located at an American school. Is this going to be enough to change her attitude?

The novel Anna and the French Kiss may sound like the typical, cliché romance novel, but in fact, this novel made me wonder why I don't read more often. It is the kind of story that will make you feel as if you are involved in the novel itself and it is that fairy tale you have always dreamed of… meeting a handsome man in a foreign country and becoming emotionally attached to that person. The characters in this novel really do reach out and grab the hearts of the reader. In reading this book, I can honestly say that I cared for these characters and didn't want the book to end.

Anna is quite a character and extremely comical at times, but Perkins balances the relationship between comedy and romance very well. Etienne was constantly at the center of the story. I loved that Perkins used British slang and that Anna constantly made fun of him for it. Their playful relationship really starts to get serious, and I enjoyed watching the transformation over the period of months. Not only was I enlightened by their relationship, but I was also encouraged. I was encouraged with the hope that I could end up with a relationship that blissful and romantic. Watching two people fall in love in a novel is sometimes boring and cliché, but not this novel. This novel turns love into an entirely new emotion that you desire as a reader.

St. Clair, Etienne, is a perfect "book boyfriend." He is, in my mind, handsome, British, but not perfect. This makes him become real in my opinion. He is shorter than Anna, and Anna has a gap between her two front teeth, which also helps to vision the couple as real people and not so fantasized. Perkins drew them together well by giving them something in common, a weak and less than perfect father figure. Yes, opposites do attract, but every couple likes to have things in common.

This novel, along with romance, is partly about growing up and coming of age. Anna is forced to grow up and become an adult when she is shoved out into the world in a foreign boarding school. It is interesting to watch her navigate through situations and putting myself in those situations. It was easy to look at situations that she was put into and find myself thinking of ways that I would work through them if I were her. St. Clair also had some growing up to do in the novel. Choosing to stay with Ellie but being attracted to Anna seems like a teenage issue, but Perkins does a nice job of showing him mature as he works through that. This novel really does demonstrate what it's like to grow up enough to have a mature relationship. Even thought I'm not the biggest cheerleader of reading, this novel is definitely worth the time.

    -Callie B.

" "For the two of us, home isn't a place. It's a person."

And this novel shows what women everywhere constantly dream of: True Love. Anna and the French Kiss tells the magical story of a girl named Anna whose controlling father ships her off to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. How would you like to spend a year in a foreign country not even knowing what "Soupe" is or how to order it? Luckily, she instantly makes some pretty cool friends, including a very special friend named St. Clair. He is gorgeous, charming, and did I mention he has an adorable British accent? Of course, there is always a downside… St. Clair is not available and has been in a happy relationship for the past two years. While struggling with her own family issues as well as being a teenager, Anna turns to the support of St. Clair and they become super close. Will she and St. Clair become more than just friends? Or does his own harsh family life get in the way? You must read to find out!

I personally loved this book! Sappy love stories like this novel always grab my attention. What girl wouldn't want to travel to Paris for a year and become best friends with a gorgeous guy with an adorable accent? Of course, it isn't always that easy to fall in love and be with the person you want to be with. St. Clair's girlfriend, Ellie, is obviously a major obstacle getting in the way of Anna expressing her true feelings for St. Clair. Thus, she has to hide them, making you able to feel her heartache and jealousy. Contributing to this problem is the fact that Anna still has a crush for the guy she left back home in Atlanta: Toph, her former coworker that she had to leave with just a kiss and without knowing where they stood in their relationship. Anna's love life is pretty messed up with the confusing mixed signals that St. Clair sends her as well as the emails she receives from Toph.

Perkins does an amazing job of portraying the setting of Paris as well as the people in it. I could clearly picture myself standing and making a wish at Kilometer Zero as well as seeing the Eiffel Tower light up the "City of Love." I felt like a true Parisian despite the fact that I have never been there in my life. Perkins also does a great job in portraying characters through their looks and personalities as well as making them seem like real people. I could picture Anna with her "skunk stripe" hair and the gap between her two front teeth as well as St. Clair's brown curly locks and charming smile. The flirtiness and physical tension between St. Clair and Anna gave me those love butterflies in my stomach, making me wish I had my own cute British boy.

This book was enjoyable because there were so many situations I could relate to. Pretty much every American girl, or at least all of the ones I know, are obsessed with boys with accents. Having a British accent gives you major bonus points on the attractive meter. Let's just say I was pretty jealous of Anna and would give anything to be her.

Another aspect of the book that I could relate to was all of the "awkward moments" that Anna went through. Let's be honest, being a teenager in high school is rarely ever all rainbows and butterflies, and I know that I am constantly placed in awkward situations every day, whether it's with my friends, parents, or boys. When Anna was placed in an uncomfortable situation with St. Clair, I could personally feel her embarrassment, having reacted in the same way in similar situations.

Anna and the French Kiss is a sweet, charming, and happy read that literally kept me smiling the whole way through - and I admit I even teared up at parts. It gave me hope that someday I will meet that special someone and experience true love just as Anna and St. Clair did. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves happy endings and cute British boys! Stephanie Perkins did an amazing job and you won't regret reading this book.

    - Lindsay D.

"Be ready to have your heart stolen by Perkins' vibrant characters."

Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss is a magical young adult novel that truly captures the feeling of being in love. Prepare yourself to step into a world filled with charm, love, and romance. With every turn of a page, you'll want to live inside this story more and more as you become absorbed in this new world. Perkins uses the enchanting Parisian setting to believably portray a consuming tale of young love.

Anna Oliphant is an ordinary American girl except for the fact that she finds herself spending her senior year of high school in Paris. She can't speak a word of French, misses her best friend Bridget and little brother Sean, and just wants to go home. However, the more time she spends in Paris, the more and more she seems to become enchanted. Anna soon finds herself making new friends, including St. Clair, a handsome boy who soon manages to capture Anna and the reader's heart. There's just one problem—he has a girlfriend. Anna and St. Clair's relationship becomes complicated as each wonders how the other feels. This brings about the age-old question of whether the other likes him or her. The school year follows a tantalizing and suspenseful path that brings other problems dealing with friends, family, and other roadblocks in life.

When you decide to read this book, be ready to have your heart stolen through Perkins' heartfelt language and vibrant characters. Save some time because you won't be able to pull yourself out of this romantic love story. Many authors create a synthetic world that is difficult to connect intimately with. However, she achieves the impossible by perfectly expressing the emotions of young love. Instead of simply reading about their passion, it becomes real. Her vivid characters are relatable and possess problems of typical teenagers such as drinking, parental issues, emotional confusion, and jealousy. They are far from perfect, all with their own regrets and mistakes.

Anna is sweet and desperate for love, just like any other teenager. As Anna and St. Clair's relationship develops, it is easy to imagine yourself as Anna. You feel her heartbreak as if it is your own. You become overtaken with the fierce pounding of your heart at the slight mention of St. Clair, the perfect boy with a cute accent and good hair. Anna describes any girl as "hard-pressed not to develop a big, stinking, painful, all-the-time, all- consuming crush." I found myself so charmed by St. Clair that I even sometimes wished I could take him for myself.

This is an absolutely stunning book that sucked me into the world of Paris. This perfect choice of setting adds to the sense of magic with its magnificent architecture and history. Often considered one of the most romantic places in the world, the "City of Lights" holds true to this namesake. Romance isn't just present in this book. Romance is the recurring focus and theme. As I read through the book, I found myself smiling at the warmth and true emotion created by Perkins' magnificent prose. With each page, my connection with the characters grew to the point they seemed real. If you are looking for an emotionally laden story difficult to tear your eyes from, this is the perfect book. It is relatable while maintaining a magical aura suggesting anything can happen. You come to believe in the magic of Paris and its potential for romance. The city marks the birth of Anna and St. Clair's relationship and their journey down the path of love. As a reader, you travel down this path with them hand-in-hand. The suspense and longing of your heart becomes overwhelming until you read the words "The End."

    - Taylor M.

"a page turner that would make an excellent movie"

Have you ever wanted to be a foreign exchange student? Well, now you can by reading Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins! Anna and the French Kiss is the story of Anna Oliphant, a senior in high school, who goes to a boarding school in Paris, France even though she doesn't want to. However, her thoughts change when she meets a smart, handsome boy named Etienne St. Clair. Stephanie Perkins uses a very unique style in Anna and the French Kiss. The story is told in Anna's point of view, and there are emails that are sent between Anna and her friends. This makes the story more interesting because you don't see this writing style in books that often and because I send emails all the time.

I also thought that this book was fun to read because it was well written. There aren't too many details or details that are missing. Instead, it seems as if Anna is sitting right next to you and telling you all about her amazing trip. Her personality is also really nice, so you have to be friends with her. Even though you can't physically hear Etienne speaking, you know that he has that amazing British accent just by reading his dialogue! "My mum is American," he says to Anna.

The best thing about Anna and the French Kiss that it takes place in a different country other than the United States. If it had taken place in the United States, it would not have been as interesting. The way Stephanie Perkins begins the book is excellent. Instead of starting the story in the first chapter, she gives a brief summary of what has just happened to Anna. Then, in the second chapter, Anna is saying goodbye to her parents before they head back to their hotel. Also at the beginning, Anna is unhappy with her parents' idea of sending her to the School of America in Paris. However, after meeting Etienne, she begins to start liking him and is glad that her parents made this decision for her. This shows that trying something new may seem bad at first, but eventually it turns out to be something unexpected.

Speaking of surprising things, Etienne also has a girlfriend and Anna has a crush back home in Atlanta. Another cool thing about Anna is her friendship with her brother, Sean. Instead of fighting with Sean, she takes care of him and is really nice to him. She also calls him Seany. Anna is very close to her family even though she doesn't agree with her parents sometimes. My brother and I don't along most of the time. Sean might be nice to Anna in return.

I think that Anna and the French Kiss is a wonderful book and definitely a page-turner! You have to find out what happens next! I believe that this book would be an excellent movie as well. I wonder who would play Anna and Etienne. Etienne also sounds like the perfect guy for a girl! He is smart, charming, handsome, and has a British accent. So, if you are still thinking about becoming a foreign exchange student or want to take a trip to France that you'll never forget, then start your journey by reading Anna and the French Kiss. It is one of those books that you don't want to stop reading.

    - Sayantoni D.

"I'm probably going to read this five more times."

If there's one book you could crush on - Anna and the French Kiss would be it. This book willkeep you turning the pages until you've reached the back cover. It is your typical love story, with a charming, humorous, and non-stop gushing twist.

Anna spends her senior year in boarding school and falls for a lovely guy and he just so happens to be the last person she should have fallen for. And what better place to have a love story centered on than Paris, France? The book has a similar feel to a novel by Sarah Dessen. Stephanie Perkins does an excellent job portraying the dialogue as a true teenager. She even applies her own personal experience into the story, as the main character is from Atlanta, where Perkins attended university. Overall, I am probably going to read this story five more times.

Anna and the French Kiss is the perfect escape for any normal high school girl, like me. It is filled with moments that will make you tingle from head to toe. When her father wants her to have this cultural experience - like any other girl her age would react - she doesn't want to go. Who can blame her? She's leaving her life, her best friend, her crush, her family- all in Atlanta. However, soon after her arrival she meets new friends and one extremely perfect boy, Etienne St. Clair. Not to mention she is in the "City of Love.".

This book left me wanting to go eat cakes in a French bakery and at times I could feel my mouth beginning to water. Perkins did an excellent job of portraying the scenery, as well as the characters. Their dialogue was very similar to one that I would carry on with my friends. At times, it did feel as though all of the love triangles between the friends would get confusing, but it was overall an excellent plot. The characters are written in a very applicable manner. Anna was a likeable high school girl with sarcastic, yet funny dialect and I could relate to her easily. Etienne, however, is not the average boy you would find walking around your high school. In fact, if we had more Etienne's walking around my school, I could guarantee that I would enjoy all of my classes. He is almost too perfect to be true. He was born in America, grew up in London, and can speak French. Romantic and witty, he is also flawed in many ways.

However, something that sets the story apart from others I have read is that the characters make mistakes -- but they grow and learn because of the errors they have made in the past. The friendship between Anna and Etienne was my favorite relationship in the novel. Perkins succeeds to capture all the emotions, anxiety and drama that build up in the romance. Then when feelings begin to unfold towards intimacy you feel the awkwardness, shyness and hesitancy to progress the friendship to a romantic level.

The book does an excellent job of demonstrating what it's like to be in love. If you aren't interested in a mushy love story, I would not recommend this. I had so many moments where I caught myself smiling or "awing" without realizing. There were many nice attentions to detail - such as the structural design of the sights in the city, the imageries of Parisian delicacies, and even the literature the seniors were reading for English. Anna and the French Kiss brings Paris alive in its pages. It is a book that will wrap around you like your favorite blanket. The story is funny, heartfelt and realistic. I highly recommend you add it to your book shelf.

    - Sara Kate F.