Book Review: Anna And The French Kiss


aatfkAnna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins (2010)

Goodreads rating 4.20

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?

Where to start?  Basically, I wanted something light and fluffy to read and that is exactly what I got.  You know how it is, it was Christmas and there was family all around, and to escape the (occasional) stress, I needed a little romance.

I’m going to come out and say it right away, I hated Anna.  Right from the very beginning.  She was pouty and self indulgent and annoying.  I guess it was a good depiction of the ‘typical teenager’ Anna was supposed to be, but most of the time I just wanted to yell some sense into her. And all that time she was talking to St Clair about that almost-boyfriend she had at home!   I’m not sure how other readers felt, because I tended to avoid reviews previously, as I knew I would be reading this one day, but I’m sure I’m not alone.

I liked Anna and St Clair’s relationship.  I liked that it was slow developing and was formed, mostly, on friendship and that they fought and made up and chatted and had fun.  My favourite aspect was that she was the only one to use his first name with him; something about that just screams romance to me.  But I didn’t understand what they saw in each other – not really.  I mean, sure, he’s smart, but mostly he’s a babe with a troubled family or whatever (and if I were still 16, I’m sure I would have been madly in love with the boy myself) and Anna?  She’s pouty and self indulgent –

Anna is, well, she’s Anna.  The only aspects of her personality that we were told or shown were all negative, but she is praised for being something else.  I don’t have a problem with the female MC being a little clumsy, or not being confident with the language as soon as she moves to France, or struggling with maths.  I do have a problem when these facets of a character are brushed under the rug by the other characters who proceed to perceive her as something other than what I, the reader, have been shown/told by the author.



For all of my issues with the main character, it was so cute!  All of the Parisian landmarks, the will-they-won’t-they’s, the but-he-has-a-girlfriend’s!  The Bottom line?  I enjoyed it, it was exactly what I wanted, and I will probably be reading the other books in the not-quite-series whenever I next feel the need for a little romance.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Anna And The French Kiss

    • I know what you mean, but for all that, it was a quick and enjoyable read. I’d say, you should definitely give it a go, until you’re dwelling on Anna’s lack of endearing personality traits too much to get into the story. So many people adore this book!

      • I filled my January slot with Aeneid(yes, I love to torture myself! :P). But if you think it might be interesting, I’ll try to give it a go in Feb. Will surely tell you how it went.

  1. Ah, I’m sorry Anna didn’t quite work for you. This is one of my all-time favorite books, but I totally understand where you’re coming from. She’s going to Paris! Be thankful! Like you said though, the other aspects of the story make up for it, and the setting is really extremely well-done.

    The companion novel, Lola, is really great. Lola is not pouty and ungrateful. Instead, she’s got a flair for the dramatic without being a mean girl, drama queen. She’s got a very loving heart and a personality that personifies the word flamboyant. And really, I wasn’t expecting to like Lola, truly. But she captured me and made me laugh, and then my heart broke when things happened to her, and I reread the end all the time. Seriously. It’s one of my go-to pick me ups to read the end of Lola.

    • I know, I know, and I wanted to love it, but Anna? I just couldn’t. Oh, wow, what a vote of confidence for Lola! I’m excited to get my hands on it now and will definitely be picking it up next time I want a YA read!

  2. I really liked this book, but I can see where you are coming from. I got annoyed at Anna when she was just being completely oblivious to St. Clair’s feelings. I mean he followed her around like a puppy dog and she was just like oh he likes me????? Plus cheating is not a deal-breaker for me in books, but I didn’t really GET why he stayed with Ellie for so long. It started to feel weird after a while. But other that that, I loved the feel of the book and all the Paris things!!

    • Oh, Anna. She really is clueless, isn’t she? And you’re right, after a certain point hanging out with Anna for six days in the week and then running off to be with Ellie for one felt REALLY weird. I’m still glad I read it though, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on LOLA yet!

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