Review 06: Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)

06-PerkinsTitle: Anna and the French Kiss

Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult; Romance

Synopsis: 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? (Goodreads)

Rating: 

I’m actually a bit afraid to be posting this review. This book is one of those that a lot of my blogger friends have raved about. I’ve seen this make so many lists of “favourite books” and the hype surrounding it just seems to be monumental. However… I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I understand the appeal, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think that this type of story is for me.

First, the good bits. It was cute, I suppose. I can definitely see this as a romcom of some kind. There are a lot of fluffy and swoon-worthy moments. As a hopeless romantic, I couldn’t help but smile at some of them. I liked reading about Paris and all of its lovely sights. I especially loved reading about the food! French food is one of my favourite types of food.

And now, for the bad bits. I don’t have any real connection to any of the characters. I felt Anna was rather whiny and some of her reactions to things just had me going “… What?” because it just seemed melodramatic and unnecessary. While St. Clair was charming, I have a huge problem with his “I’m going to get close to this girl on purpose despite having a serious girlfriend” mentality. I feel that, in these situations, you have to break it off with the other person first instead of leading both ladies on. I did not like that about him at all. I did not find St. Clair charming, I’m sorry. The only character that I really liked was Matt, who actually realises that people need to be told the truth about themselves so they can fix things.

It felt very much like Mean Girls meets Easy A meets school life shoujo manga, all set in Paris. All of the usual teenage school tropes were there. The mean clique, harsh gossip, drunk parties and drunk words, accidental convenient romantic moments, etc. Actually, with the notable exception of it being set in Paris, this story didn’t seem very special nor did it stand out from other teenage school life stories.

Most of all, I hated the dramavalanche. For those new to the blog, my term “dramavalanche” basically means an avalanche of drama. I hated how it all played out because it pretty much played out exactly how I thought it would. I didn’t find it very enjoyable nor did I think it was really innovative.

Overall: While I didn’t like the characters or most of the story, I still have to give this book three stars. The writing was easy to follow, and if you’re into these types of romantic stories, then this should be good for you. I really liked reading about Paris, but not so much the students. This book was cute but it really just wasn’t my thing.

For fans of this book, I recommend the movies Mean Girls and Easy A. You’ll laugh harder.

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10 thoughts on “Review 06: Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins)

  1. I don’t particularly like Anna as a character either, so I’m glad to find someone who thinks she’s as dramatic and whiny as I do. I much prefer Lola and the Boy Next Door (which I happened to read before I read Anna, in part because the characters are nicer.

    The one thing I did like about Anna, however, is that there’s a layer of complexity underneath all the tropes. I think Perkins does a good job of portraying a difficult situation: Anna likes a guy who already had a girlfriend, and that guy sort of likes her back! That’s really tricky. How much can Anna and St. Clair hang out without him cheating on his girlfriend? It’s something some teens may have to face in their own relationships, so it was pretty interesting to see it addressed somewhat seriously in YA literature.

  2. Aawww. It’s too bad you didn’t like this one. It’s one of my favorite books, and I loved almost everything about it. I could see where you’re coming from though and I know this isn’t all perfect. And to each his own anyway. 🙂

  3. I really liked Anna and the French Kiss, but I didn’t love it either. I can definitely see what you didn’t like about it, as some of those things bothered me too. Like St. Clair, I don’t get his appeal. I didn’t like how he handled the situation so I can’t really say I found him swoonworthy. I did enjoy reading it as I really liked the writing style and reading about Paris, but yeah the character took away some of my enjoyment.

  4. Don’t you hate it when you don’t love a book everybody else seems to adore? This one is actually one of my all-time favorites. I connected with Anna and definitely saw the attraction of St Clair. I understand your disgruntlement regarding his long-term girlfriend, but I also understood where he was coming from. Overall, I just adore Stephanie Perkins writing style. I loved the setting. I loved that she wrote movie reviews. I loved the romance and thought it all felt very real. Hope you enjoy your next book more! Great review!

  5. There was one part where I just wanted to shake her and go “Really? REALLY?! Come on, get it together!”

    Definitely a valid point, and that is a complicated situation that deserves attention. I suppose I just didn’t like the characters that came along with it. Like I said, I don’t find St. Clair all that likeable or charming. Then again, compared with the very teen movie-esque resolution of MC vs Girlfriend having a catfight, I can accept the resolution in this book. 🙂

  6. Ah, someone else who doesn’t find him completely charming either! Yay, I’m not alone, haha! He seems to make so many book boyfriend lists, and when I finally met him, I just went “What. Really? This guy?” I also enjoyed the style and reading about Paris. 🙂

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