Review - Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Series: N/A
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: December 2nd 2010, Dutton
Pages: 372 Pages, Paperback
Source: My own!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
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?
* Another review I forgot to publish*

 I have heard endless good things about Anna and the French Kiss since I started my book blogging. It has been sitting on my shelf for a year now yet I've been hesitant to read it, due to all the hype surrounding it, I didn't want to read it and find myself disappointed. Yet, when one of my best friend's read it and completely fell in love with Anna and the French Kiss, I decided to read it this summer holiday. I started reading this book on Christmas day and I finished it when I went to bed that night. I fell in love with this book, just like my friend, and the rest of the bookish community, guaranteed I would.

Anna and the French Kiss is about 17 year old Anna, whose father, best-selling author of sappy romance books, sends her to a boarding school in Paris for the year. Anna is not happy at all, she has her best friend Bridgette and things with her crush are finally looking more serious, but when she meets Ètienne, she hopes that maybe she'll find romance in the City of Love, problem is...he's off-limits. But as they become best friends they both realise there's undeniable chemistry between them, but with lots of obstacles blocking their way, will Anna get that French kiss she has been waiting for?

Anna and the French Kiss is a magical read. The author perfectly describes the scenery of Paris. I've always wanted to travel to France and through reading Anna and the French Kiss, I was able to do just that. I loved navigating the cobble stone streets with Ètienne and Anna, eating the sophisticated Parisian cuisine and viewing the vintages movies at the authentic cinemas lined up along the street. I absolutely fell in love with Paris in this book, and I hope that one day I will be able to visit it myself.

I think I'll start this review by saying how I adore Stephanie Perkin's writing. She has such a magical way of writing, and her novel is just such fun to read. I also love that it's not this fluffy read, it has depth to it and deals with serious issues that makes you sympathise with the characters, experience turmoil and you really feel a connection to them and are just rooting for them the whole way through.

Like I said, Perkins is an utterly fantastic writer and I spent the whole day in bed, or on the couch, just constantly reading and devouring the stunning story that Perkins has weaved with her enchanted words, loveable characters and swoon-worthy romance. It is seldom that I find a book that I enjoy so much that I read it in one sitting. Anna and the French Kiss is one such novel.

To me, the most wonderful thing about this novel are the characters. They're so real and they all have such powerful voices and powerful words that resonates inside the readers. They're all so authentic, and there's this witty dialogue and heart-warming moments that will have you producing tears and sighs of contentment. It's all just so perfect! I can't describe the sweet, romantic and frustrating moments that take place in this need to experience it for yourself.

I absolutely love Anna! She's got such a honest voice and such a charming personality. I found that I could really relate to Anna, not in the way of being sent to live in Paris or such, but by the way she is a perfectionist, she is a natural worrier and freaks out about germs. There were times when I was reading that I was like "That's so me!" or "I do that!". Anna is also a great friend and she generally makes decisions based on how it will benefit her friends. I also love Anna and Ètienne's relationship, but I'll talk about that later. I just honestly love Anna as a narrator, she's just so cute. I love how she loves watching movies and has a website where she reviews movies, which I can relate to with my book blogging...knowing this also adds a more personal aspect to the novel.

Ètienne...Oh MY GOSH...I finally know what all the hype is about! I absolutely ADORE him! He's just so sweet and loving and perfect! My heart broke for him when he had family issues and I just wanted him to feel better again. I just love him so much!

I absolutely adore the relationship between Anna and Ètienne. It built up from this sweet, innocent friendship to this full on romantic relationship. I love how they're best friends and then they become more than that. Everything about the relationship is just so perfect! The way Ètienne slowly coaxes Anna out of her shell and shows her the ins and outs of Paris was beautiful to watch. I love how they built each other up and made each other more confident. Their romance was so extremely sweet and I love how they were best friends as well as being in love. It did infuriate me though when they kept denying their feelings for each other, as I just wanted them to officially get together. Perkins wrote their relationship wonderfully and she perfectly captured the roller-coaster of emotions of falling love in all it's bittersweet glory. The hope, the joy, the wondering....the heartbreak and devastation.

The secondary characters were written brilliantly as well. From Rashmi, Josh and Meredith, Ètienne and Anna's friends. I didn't really like Rashmi, I could never warm up to her. I didn't actually hear of Josh that much, but he seemed like a nice guy and an extremely talented sketchist. Meredith was sweet and I felt extremely sorry for her towards the end...especially seeing as she's in love with Ètienne too. There were also some jerks at Anna's school and I felt so sorry for her when false rumors started circulating around the school.

The story in itself was stunning. I loved how we got to familiarise ourselves with Anna and how her and Ètienne friendship slowly built up to something bigger. I loved exploring Paris with both of them, I loved the whole story.

I loved Anna and the French Kiss and I found it a charming, delightful read! You'll fall in love with the characters, especially with an English boy with a French name. The story is scrumptious and I completely devoured it. Anna and the French Kiss is definitely one of the best contemporaries I've read, with stunning, realistic characters, beautiful scenery, an exquisite story and a heart-warming romance, Anna and the French Kiss has everything (and more) that you'll be looking for in a contemporary.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!