Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2 stars)
Kel Sunday, January 11, 2015 review
I don't read a ton of contemporary YA, but after getting a copy at one of Stephanie Perkins' signings, I figured it was time I found out why people raved about Anna and the French Kiss. Now, I understand.Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Published on July 16, 2013 (first published Dec 2, 2010)
Published by Speak
Final Rating: 2 stars
Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?
I understand why this story resonated with so many people. In a lot of ways, it's like a Hallmark movie. It's light, fluffy, a little silly, and it leaves you with a goofy-smile happily ever after ending.
The story reminded me of If Only, the NA study abroad Scotland romance I read last year. A shy, withdrawn girl goes to study abroad, meets a hot guy (who likes her, but is in a stale relationship and unwilling to break it off), and they dance around each other (with much failure to communicate) until one of them makes a decision to change and sticks to it.
As with If Only, I had a lot of issues with the story and characters. The characters feel very "teenage" in that overly dramatic, self-centered manner I expect of teenagers but don't necessarily like to read. The majority of the conflict is romance-centric and results from a failure to communicate. Which irks me. (If two sentences/questions/apologies would have clarified everything for everyone, why didn't you say them?) I am also less than sympathetic to the plight of unrequited love. I get that you can't always turn feelings on and off, but you can choose to carry on with life and not fixate on a guy who's obviously not interested enough to commit. :P It really comes down to the fact that I am not the intended audience.
Having said that, the writing was acceptable and I read the book quickly. If you're looking for a light romance and don't mind the younger feel, you'll probably dive into this book as many others have. :)