Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 3/5 Stars
|Anna is 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. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne 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?
Anna and the French Kiss was a light-hearted, cutesy read that was perfect to begin my binge-read of contemporary books. The characters were relatable-especially Anna and her awkwardness. Perkins is a master at encapsulating the thoughts and feelings of teenage girls. Plot-wise however, Anna and the French Kiss was almost a little too buddy-buddy with some other realistic/romance YA novels that I’ve read in the past.
Anna embodied the teenage spirit and emotions.
She felt and she felt it deeply and sometimes overdramatically. Often, I can catch myself overreacting in a situation and while reading this book, I was able to identify with Anna. I am truly in awe of Perkins’s ability to capture these feelings in their whole entirety. No, I’m not saying she or other authors aren’t/couldn’t be able to accurately portray teenagers; I’m making the observation that sometimes, authors can overlook the complexity and genuine emotions of us. We teenagers are complex beings that simply continue to grow even more complex as we continue to grow and develop. Anna and the French Kiss portrays teenagers in a way that doesn’t devalue changes in emotions or mistakes.
Perkins’s writing style is girly, flowery, and flowy. While some may find this style to be shallow, I found it to be a perfect fit for this genre and type of book. It coordinates well with the characters and allows the book to be a pleasant and relaxing experience-in contrast with other genres, like Game of Thrones for instance. For me, contemporaries almost solely centered on a romance aspect require a similar writing style because without a more flowery-ish writing style, I might feel like the romance is forced or doesn’t fit.
“Why is it that the right people never wind up together? Why are people so afraid to leave a relationship, even if they know it's a bad one?”
Although I did enjoy Anna and the French Kiss, some of the plot was too cliché. It’s difficult for an author to make their book stand out because there’s already so many books that attempt to capture the emotions and feelings behind teenage romance and first loves. I definitely saw some common plot points of the contemporary romance YA genre within Anna and the French Kiss, which made it a tad bit less special and stand out-ish.
Anna and the French Kiss was just what I needed to get back into contemporary YA fiction. It had stellar characters and genuine emotion, yet the plot felt slightly similar and overdone.