‘Anna and the French Kiss’: Girl Meets Boy in the City of Romance

August 8, 2015 Rissi JC 15 Comments

There are some books that are hyped to the point of exhaustion. This easily falls into that camp. Most of the time, I can separate that in my reading or film-watching, and usually, unless I despise subtleties, I enjoy even those that fall under the hype umbrella.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Book Review

Her wealthy father ships Anna of to Paris, to a prestigious school. Since he became an overnight NYT best-selling author, Anna’s father may have money, but he lacks class to go along with this. But sending Anna off to Paris seems the solution to their family. Furious to be sent away from her friends and little brother, Anna quickly becomes intrigued with the “it” boy at the prestigious School of America.

Etienne St. Clair has something none of the boys she knows has. Swept up into St. Clair’s group of friends, Anna has a hard time not falling in love with her new friend… only trouble is, he’s got a girlfriend.  

‘Anna and the French Kiss’: Girl Meets Boy in the City of Romance. Review of Stephanie Perkins popular YA contemporary. © Rissi JC

Stephanie Perkin’s writing is genius. That’s all I’d really need to say. There’s a unique quality to it that isn’t widely popular among any genre I read. The humor, the banter, the characters, everything is effortlessly brilliant. Each of the scenes have epic amazingness albeit in a contemporary world (yes, I am using the term “epic” to describe this) that is, yes, sometimes overwrought with teenage drama. The main reason for that drama
is sure to be the pairings. Rooting for Anna and St. Clair to end up together won’t “sit well” with everyone. Anna’s singleness has plenty of “wiggle room,” but St. Clair’s status is never in question (from Anna’s perspective). He’s been with Ellie for a long time and whether or not he or Anna like it, the relationship deserves respect. 

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If I’m being honest, I have to admit addressing that same complaint; I wasn’t bothered enough by this to let it lesson my enjoyment of the book. In fact, I loved that it allowed this pair to become such good friends. Theirs was a unique relationship that blossomed because of mutual understanding of the things the other person was or had gone through. The author throws some curve-balls at her characters, and the emotions packed in those, are very real indeed. Answering that emotion is the humor. I got a kick out of Anna’s dad, who is clearly a reincarnation of an actual NYT best-selling author, Anna’s hobby of blogging and reviewing films, the bite-y wit and moments of unchecked joy. I was giggling before two chapters were gone and loving every second of a novel that turned out to be as good as I anticipated it being.  

Will you please tell me you love me? – Anna and the French Kiss

Between the setting (it’s PARIS!) and the characters, I can safely add this book to one of my favorites. Sure, it has flaws (what novel doesn’t?), but the flaws feel like a part of the essential story. In other words, if they weren’t there, the book wouldn’t have been as well explored or as sincerely told. Part of the charm of Anna’s journey is found in the mistakes she and St. Clair (or as we – Anna and myself, like to call him, Etienne *wink*) experience makes the journey more worthwhile for them and us. If you like YA lit and like me, haven’t picked this novel up, may I inquire, why? Do so with haste. You’ll be enchanted by this journey to happiness in the City of Light.  

About the Book

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak
Source: Bought
Publication Date:
Find the Review Elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads ǀ WordPress
Find the Book Elsewhere: Amazon ǀ  Goodreads
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA/Teen

Content: there’s about 10-15 uses of the f-word, most of which occur in the space of one page in two separate incidents. Plus, there’s a handful of other minor profanities. There are references to “hooking up” and we learn Anna is a virgin. She and St. Clair
do sleep together (clothed) two nights in a row, nothing happens either time. There’s two or three descriptive make out scenes, and true to its title, most kisses get descriptive.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Carlyn Brody August 9, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    Anna and the French Kiss has been on my to be read list for a long time. I still haven't read it. Your review renewed my interest again.

    • Rissi August 11, 2015 at 3:13 AM

      Fun! It's been on my list for an age as well, Carlyn. Such a cute little book. So ready to move onto "Lola." :)

  • Kara August 15, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Yes! Great review, Rissi. And I am so happy you enjoyed it! I will agree that there are a few moments when things happen that could have easily driven the plot down a path that I wouldn't have liked. But I so appreciated that Ms. Perkins had both characters respectful of the prior relationship. While I don't think I'd've chosen to handle things as Anna did, I'm not Anna now am I? :) I especially loved how St Clair and Anna's friendship developed so naturally. I'm a sucker for friendship turned romance and you can tell that these two just got each other. Their chemistry was so natural and adorable! And St Clair is certainly a swoony hero! :D

    • Rissi August 17, 2015 at 6:43 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Kara. I'm so happy I finally "made" myself read this one. It's really one of my most favorite YA contemporaries. As am I a fan of the friendship-turned-romance; there is just something almost "magical" about this particular relationship, too. Anna and St. Clair were amazing together!

      *Happy Sigh*

      I'll second that last sentence. ;)

  • Maria Malaveci March 3, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    I loved Anna and the French Kiss however I haven't read the next in the series, even though they are on my bookshelf!

    • Rissi March 7, 2018 at 6:12 PM

      I have read 'Lola,' but not 'Isla.' Yet. Here's hoping you enjoy the companion novels, Maria! Glad you visited. :)

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