I’ve never been to Paris, and I don’t have a passport. But thanks to Stephanie Perkins, I don’t need one just yet! Anna and the French Kiss was loaned to me by a friend who purchased a copy of it at Comic Con and had it signed by Ms. Perkins. I’ll admit I was not too interested in the book, even after hearing Stephanie speak (she is, by the way, a lovely speaker). I just wasn’t sure what Contemporary YA meant and was a little scared by the talk of “romance” (I imagined Harlequin novels for Teens in my head).
Fast forward to December… my friend INSISTS, MANDATES, DEMANDS! I MUST READ ANNA! She’s read it no less than THREE times straight in a row and it’s so happy, feel-good, and wonderful. At that point, I was still skeptical but a bit more open-minded than I was before. But, since she is my literary soul mate of course I do trust her judgement unconditionally.
I fell into the amazing world of Anna, Etienne, Mer, Bridge, SOAP, Point Zero, many quaint movie theaters. This book literally made me hungry with all of the food references. It makes me want to go to Paris! It makes me wish I could be a teenager or college student again and study in Paris! Paris, Paris, Paris! What a lovely setting to this novel. Francophiles, this book is for you!
Anna was spunky, awkward, endearing, and like an old friend. I absolutely loved her character right down to her “skunk stripe”. I have two more words for you: Etienne St. Clair. Okay maybe that is actually three but wow what a guy! I loved his british accent, his turmoil between his feelings for Anna and his feelings for his girlfriend Ellie. I just loved him flaws and all, just like Anna does!
If you want a feel-good (yes I’ve been converted) book that makes you fall in love with giddy, ridiculous, teenage first love all over again, then you need to pick up Anna NOW! Stephanie Perkins is a master of portraying teenagers and the teenage brain. She is a gifted comedic writer and I was laughing so much during my reading that I had to think back if a book has ever made me laugh so much. Maybe throughout the series of Harry Potter books perhaps, but I am unsure.
I have a lot of favorite parts in this book, for those of you who have had the pleasure of reading ANNA: The scene where two characters make out in a part in front of everyone and children sailing their sailboats hilarious! Girl Scout Cookies scene, adorable. Thanksgiving Break-swoonworthy and steamy. The Detention showdown-fantastic. Fight that leads to detention showdown-even better! Oh and anytime Seany says BOOOYYYFRIEND, I laughed. The back and forth Christmas break emails- too funny!
I smile everytime I think of the banana glass bead and Etienne saying “Ahna Bahnahna” 🙂
Thank you Stephanie Perkins for your superb writing and the ability to break down my negative and unfounded bias against Contemporary YA Romance. 🙂