Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis from Goodreads.
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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

Note: Apologies that I have no accents on my Frenchie vowels… my laptop was having a mare. You get the gist.
“Girl Scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable boys.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Urgh, fine. Whatever. I’ll admit it. I swooned… a little. Can we move on?!

High Points.
Anna. Etienne. Paris. Boarding school. Swoon. Clomping boots. Convenient breezes. Canadian flags. Shakespeare & Company (I have a book from there!) One of the sweetest scenes set in Pere Lachaise ( First, obviously. Sewell reference. BOOM.)Chocolat Chaud. Fisticuffs. Notre Dame. Airplanes. Girl Scout cookies. Chocolate moustaches. Dancing on desks. E-mails and New Year’s Eve. Poetry. Briticisms. Victor’s victor.

Low Points.
See bit about Heroine.
See Boy/Girl Angst Scale.
Also… how else do you pronounce ‘directions’? I get the banana/banarna (Thanks Death Proof!)… but directions?! *pouts*.
OH and another thing. I did not go from Year 7 to Year 9 with a mouth full of metal to still be stuck with the whole ‘British have bad teeth’ stereotype!
NOT EVERYONE IN BRITAIN HAS GNASHERS LIKE SHANE MACGOWAN.
So, I do not care for Etienne’s crooked teeth. There… I said it.
*grumbles*

Heroine.
Aww, Anna. You made me giggle and I loved that you were realistically flawed. You were anal and neurotic and you said the wrong things at the wrong time and you dance like a ho when you’re drunk.
I also loved that you had Rogue hair, which I’m going to pretend was intentional so extra Brownie Points for you.
English accents being your kryptonite aside, I really liked you and I would totally go to the cinema with you and talk about films with you and judge you when you ogled a vertically challenged boy when Clark frickin’ Gable is on the screen.
And….OK. I don’t mean this to turn into a rant, but it probably will.
Anna, mate, you’re a film fan.
A film fan.
A fan of the cinema.
CINEMA.
The word alone should give it away.
How did you not know that Paris is cinematically inclined?!
The French practically invented cinema. Literally.
I found it very difficult to believe that Anna could be a super film fan without ever stumbling on a French film that wasn’t Amelie (J’adore, by the way).
Cahiers du Cinema? Godard? Truffant? Auteur theory? Bazin? Cocteau?
Non?
Get thee to Wikipedia, woman.
But fret not, Anna, because I’ve dug out my countless essays on the French New Wave and my dissertation and they are on their way to you.
ENJOY.
Maybe I’m being harsh on Anna because I did enjoy the film chats and I agree, Sofia was robbed.
Yes, I’m definitely being too harsh. You’ve been through a lot. You get shipped off to Paris, the city of lovers and French boys, and ending up lumbered with a short, English man who can’t handle his beer and vino instead of a tall, willowy French man who slinks like a gazelle when he walks who can sup wine all day and not vomit on your legs?
Harsh.

Speaking of short, English men who can’t handle their Strongbow beer…

Love Interest.
Hey Etienne.
I’m going to call you Etienne because I feel like we’re at that stage in our friendship. I know, I know only Anna calls you Etienne but I don’t like calling people buy their second names because I just can’t pull it off. Some people sound cool when they do it… I sound like a complete and utter twat.
Well… I’ll be honest with you, because you strike me as a guy who likes honesty, I couldn’t help but feeling short changed. I was expecting, with a name like Etienne St. Clair, that you would be this delicious hybrid of Gaspard Ulliel’s face and hair and Christophe Lemaitre’s height and adorable way of only speaking like a single word of English (and ability to run 100m under 10 seconds) with y’know… va va voom (said in Thierry Henri’s accent, obviously).
Did I get it? Non.
But as I got to know you a bit better I realised that you are a complete cutie, just not my kind of cutie.
You’re a bit ridiculous (but I’ll go into this later) but your ridiculousness matched Anna’s ridiculousness which was nice. You’re understandably vulnerable. You’re clever. You like history. You can partake in fisticuffs. You like French punk rock. And you know your way around a romantic gesture, which is also lovely.
The afraid of heights things bothered me, even though it was adorable, because sometimes a girl just wants to be taken up the Eiffel Tower without her beloved vomming over the side onto unsuspecting tourists.
Is that too much to ask?
Also, I’ll be you some built up socks.
Sorted.

Best Friends.
YES. I want to hang out with these guys all the time. Even though sometimes it would be teeeense because there is a lot of tension within this group.
But also sweetness, reality and genuine caring for each other.
And hot chocolates.

Theme Tune.

Keeping with the French theme..

No explanation needed really.

Also…

“I’m a high school lover
And you’re my favourite flavour”

From one of my favourite soundtracks ever.
Sofia Coppola reference. Boom.

Boy/Girl Angst Scale.
10/10. Frick. Right… well. Up until about 60% the arrow to the Boy/Girl Angst Scale was teetering around 6/7… which was fine because the eye rolls matched the tummy flips.
But then it all went into italics and CAPITAL LETTERS and a one way trip to Angst Town.
I’m not going to go into it because spoilers lurk within but seriously… Anna. Come on, girl. Don’t make me get the hose.

“I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent.”

*bites tongue*

Also, there were faaaaaar too many people in love with the main characters and faaaaar too many people the main characters were in love with.
Sometimes, I just want to read a book about a girl fancying a boy and a boy fancying a girl without unnecessary faff.

Sadness Scale.
4/10. There were a few genuine ‘Ohhh sadface’ moments. Especially concerning Etienne. But other than that, I think you’ll be OK with this one.
Unless you find the fact that Americans think Girl Scout cookies are a suitable alternative to birthday cake distressing.
Which I really do.
I mean I recently had my first GS cookie experience (Thanks Flann!) and my reaction was pretty much exactly like Etiennes (Rolling around on the floor and whimpering because they were so good) but… nothing will ever beat birthday cake and the inevitable eating it for breakfast the next morning.
Which I.. um, never do.

Recommended For.
People who like to switch off their brains, crawl into bed and read a hilarious and sweet contemporary book. Romantics. People who love Paris. People who love the cinema. People who don’t mind shorties. People who would quite happily live on delicious French bready treats for ever. People who can’t resist the English accent. People who have ever wanted to be sent off to a European boarding school for a year. People who have the urge to dance when they realise there is no one in the building. People who think that sideburns are lame. People who think that Robin flew away and did not lay an egg. People who pronounce directions properly. People who always have and always will wish on eyelashes.

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3 thoughts on “Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins

  1. Great review! I love this book so much. I get what you mean about the cinema thing though, I thought it was a bit weird that Anna didn't know much about French film, but I loved her other than that. And I loved that Etienne totally didn't match his name. I loved how realistic they both were, and how real their relationship was… and the tension, oh the tension! Swoon.

  2. Thanks Belle! This book was really cute, it's exactly what I needed.

    Haha there WAS tension. It seems Ms Perkins is the Queen of Dopey Smiles, because one was permanently on my face when I read this!
    Glad you liked the review. :)

  3. Pingback: Obligatory Olympics Post || YA Edition. « weartheoldcoat

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