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Anna and the French Kiss | What YA Reading?

Ana's Rating


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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?

 

My friends forced this book on me the second I found out about my exchange program-concerning future. Their argument was simple: my name was Ana (albeit the one ‘n’ difference), I was going to Paris, and I needed to read this book stat, dammit. Can I take this time to say thank you? I did read it. In fact, that day I stayed up all night reading it. And let me tell you, it was so worth it. Anna and the French Kiss is quite possibly the most delicious, fluffy, cheering romance I’ve yet had the joy to read.

Above all, Anna and the French Kiss is a love story, no more and no less. I cannot stress this point enough. This is not a coming of age tale of a struggling young woman, or a novel providing powerful insight in regards to a controversial topic, or a daunting intellectual challenge or the next The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is not a book read for its literary value. This is a marshmallow of a novel, airy and sweet, and its sugar is delivered straight up– for which I am incredibly grateful. Sometimes you just need to stop thinking and be swept off your feet.

Because Étienne St. Clair is, in three words, downright swoon-worthy. There’s no way around it. He’s thoughtful, he’s charming, he’s charismatic, and he’s one helluva mama’s boy. Need I say more? Sure, he also has some serious unresolved issues regarding change, commitment, and loyalty, but that’s another matter altogether, oui?

Beyond any doubt, Anna is a protagonist riddled with flaws. She’s insecure, hypocritical, selfish, ingrate, and moreover perhaps not the world’s most knowledgeable aspiring film critic. Be that as it may, she is definitely relatable as a character and narrates effortlessly. Her voice is engaging, easily readable, and all-around fun.

The only thing even remotely as  delectable as the novel’s romance is its gorgeous setting. The postcards don’t say that Paris is three letters short of paradise for nothing, nest-ce pas? From the characters’ residentiary Latin Quarter to their various escapades across the remainder of the capital, I was thoroughly infatuated with Perkins’s world. City of Love, City of Lights, City of Facetious Relationship Melodrama– whatever you want to call it, it’s an absolute delight.

Some of my fave spots from Anna and the French Kiss (because unlike Anna, I’ve been shamelessly taking photos everywhere):

The top of Notre-Dame’s towers (I had to ascend 387 stairs to get there! It really is a place of miracles.):

 

The point zéro from which all distances in France are measured:

 

The Panthéon (currently under restoration, but luckily this in no way interferes with your opportunity to see dead people):

 

A word of warning: as to be expected given its properly scandalous synopsis, Anna and the French Kiss contains instances of (almost) cheating. Therefore if you happen to be sensitive to this topic, do avoid this novel at all costs.

Stephanie Perkins will definitely be going onto my insta-buy list. I cannot wait to get my hands on the book’s companions, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After, the latter of which is out mid-August. Just in time for a last summer beach read!

Recommended for all of those dying to indulge in something that’ll satisfy their literary sweet tooth, in need of a break from day-to-day drama, and cotton to a much-deserved few hours of  giddiness, giggling, and just a general, unchecked romantic high. 4.8/5 stars. 

 

I’ll keep you posted,

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