Anna the French Kiss Review

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Woah. I have to contain myself right now because I just finished reading the best summer read by far. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of this by or now or read it yourselves, but I am so happy I saved it until I was on vacation- where I have time to keep daydreaming about Paris, and escaping to a whole new foreign city. Right, back to the book. If you don't have Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins in your to-read pile, do it now, ASAP. I'm still sighing over it. It's that good!

To give you a little run down, the story centers on Anna, the main character who is whisked away to Paris, France to attend her senior year in high school abroad. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Anna is very relucatant to go away and is ultimately forced by her father- a cheesy, Southern contemporary writer. Leaving behind her mom, her best friend, Bridget, her little brother, Sean, and her crush, Toph, her expectations for Paris seem grim. But as we all learn in high school, ultimately you get something out of it, eventually moving out of the nest and growing up. And that's exactly what happens to Anna in the City of Lights...that and so much more! To learn more about her year abroad and that French kiss mentioned in the title, you would have to pick up the book. Also, there's a really charismatic and handsome boy in the novel, nicknamed St. Claire, and he's another reason why you will fall for this story. Trust me.

Now, if you don't want spoilers do NOT continue reading but if you do or have read the book, then keep reading to see why my heart melted in all the right places and why I'm so bummed I'm not traveling anywhere this summer.

Let's start with the beginning, because that's what instantly hooked me in. Everything Perkins wrote about what Anna knew about Paris and what to expect was spot on. Basically those are the same exact things I know too- "Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel tower and the Arc de Triomphe..." And as you get to see later on in the novel, all those "touristy" places are also the ones where you get to see the beauty of Paris-what people travel so many miles to look at and marvel. I loved that Anna and St. Claire's special place became the Notre Dame, because even though I've never seen it in person, Perkin's description of them being there and looking up at it, made me want to be there ten million times more.

The cliche storyline has always been to travel across seas and finally meet the person of your dreams, and even though that's what this book entailed, I absolutely loved it. The location of the book just added more of a fantastical feel to it, yes definitely more romantic but also adventurous. Because coming from what's considered the South of America too, it would definitely be a complete change moving to France- especially with the language. I could sympathesize with Anna on being a bit intimidated by learning French, as I'm horrible with learning new languages (taking French I for a semester was enough for me). But when you're young and capable everything seems a bit easier and capable tough to tackle. So even though I only know one other person in "real life" who's had this whole traveling abroad and falling in love thing happen to them, I do believe it's out there and can happen.

Anna and St. Claire's relationship seemed entirely relateable to me and my group of friends- even if we are in our early 20's. And I'm sure it might even relate to people older than that. I liked that they began as friends as first and that throughout the entire story they were each others best friend, because in a relationship you should be each others best friend. That person to lean your head on, know what you're thinking and how you're feeling. At the end of the day, they can be that effortless conversation to have and not think about what to say.

Even though the end was left with Anna and her friend's moving away from each other and going to different universities, it left me satisfied. Because that's what happens when you grow up; moving away but still keeping in contact with good friends is inevitable. And the fact that Anna and St. Claire were left together to be in the same state- yeah, I was absolutely crushed at that point- in a good way!

If you've read this book or any other Stephanie Perkins novels let me know. I'm thinking about picking up Lola and the Boy Next Door! I think everyone needs more books like this in their life and once in a while be able to get lost in another romance. I gave Anna and the French Kiss 5/5 on Goodreads and I think I will definitely be re-reading it sometime later this year!


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