Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tahleen reviews: "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak, 2011 (paperback)
Okay, okay, I know. What took me so long. Life got in the way, kids. But I finally made it, months after everyone else. And of course, everyone was right.
Anna is being sent to France against her will for her senior year of high school. At least it's an American boarding school, but still, she's pissed at her dad (a famous author who sounds suspiciously like Nicholas Sparks) for taking her away from everything she knows and sending her to some foreign country on her own. But she eventually settles in, makes friends, and is forced to get to know the city by said friends, especially St. Clair (that's his last name, first name Etienne). Friendship gets complicated between these two though, when both start to feel something more but, oh hey, St. Clair has a girlfriend. Then throw in a mean girl, another dude, and the excitement only Paris has to offer and you get one awesome book.

There's really not much more I can say about this book that hasn't been said, but I'll do it anyway. Yes, St. Clair has a British accent and is a super nice guy and is extremely attractive (and short—my fiance would approve), but he also has his baggage. This includes a truly awful father and the inability to be alone at this time in his life (you'll see why). Anna is equally down to earth, and she has an appreciation for film that is rarely seen in YA novels—her aspiration is the be one of the few female film critics. Their relationship is incredibly real and exactly what a friends/more-than-friends relationship is like. Anyone who's ever been in that sort of situation will feel the same way, I'd guess. And I love that it takes the appropriate amount of time for them each to fall for the other.

Did I mention there are serious issues in here too? No? There are serious issues. Bullying, for one. At one point Anna has to deal with some truly terrible people and I actually cried at how they were treating her. That's not the only real-life issue in here, but that's where I'll stop because I don't want to give any spoilers for the few who have yet to read it.

And how could I forget the setting? This book made me want to go back to Paris, since hey, I was there for only 7 hours between trains. The food, the people, the excitement are all intoxicating. Even though it rained most of the days in the book, I still wanted to be there.
I stayed up late to finish this, something I wasn't expecting to do, and that doesn't happen very often for me. So yes, this book is everything everyone has been saying it is. It's truly worth the read, not only because of how utterly delightful it is, but because of it's depth and the truth behind every relationship.
I know the American cover isn't the best, one of the reasons I didn't read it sooner, but let me show you an alternate cover I found:


Isn't that so much cuter?
Side note: Did anyone else think the way Anna was described sounded exactly like Anna Paquin in X-Men? Gap between the front teeth, bleach in the hair, her name is Anna...

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

20 comments :

  1. YES! She looked pretty much exactly like Anna Paquin as Rogue in my head. I also adore that alternate cover you found. I just finally got around to reading this one myself, so no worries, you're not the last one off the island!

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  2. I've been dying to read this book since I read Jamie's review months ago, but alas, I can't find it anywhere and my budget doesn't run to ordering internationally. Anyway, great review and I love the alternate cover!

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  3. YES, fullllly agree that the cover didn't attract me at first, but that alternate cover is sooo pretty. Stephanie deserves the bestest, prettiest covers. I can't wait to see what they come out with for Isla. I'm so glad you finally read this book! And even happier you loved it! :)

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  4. I love this cover! Much better than the one I bought. Such a great book.

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  5. haha I finished reading this a few days ago and TOTALLY agree, esp. with the Nicholas Sparks part and I love the alternate cover!!!

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  6. I agree with you about the cover - so much better! Still waiting to read this one hopefully in the next few weeks. Great review!

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  7. I love the second cover? Was that a consideration for the cover in the US or is it from elsewhere?
    Great review. I enjoyed the read myself. Cute and fast.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

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  8. I got this one from the library. I'm hoping to get to it this weekend!

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  9. I'm so glad you mentioned the cover in your review. I hate it. And the title too. I probably would never have picked up the book in a store if it didn't receive such glowing reviews from a bookish person I really trust. Doesn't she look too flirty on there? And the clothing. It just doesn't work. I love love that other cover you found. Maybe they'll redo it soon. I hope so.

    Reading your review makes me want to reread Anna. Even if I just did a few months ago. (Four to be exact.) She's awesome. Their chemistry is awesome and at times painful and Stephanie Perkins rocks in every single way I could want a book too.

    What a happy Friday it is now that I read this & I am reminded of all the good in the world (and not all the work piling up in my work inbox) haha.

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  10. I bought this ages ago...why haven't I made time for it yet!! Great review!

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  11. That's a really cute alternative cover. So glad you liked the book, I thought it was great when I read a while ago.

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  12. I just read and reviewed Anna a few days ago - and also enjoyed it despite my low expectations.
    The cover sucks, I agree! It reminds me of a terrible second rate film. And it was part of the reason I thought the book would suck.

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  13. I know how you feel, I read this a while ago but even then I felt like everyone else had read it and I was incredibly late to the party! I was slightly put off by the title to start with (and I'm not wild about the cover, either), but I'm glad I took a leap because it was such a wonderful book. I related to Anna immediately, which I think is what made it such a great read for me. I am looking forward to reading Lola & The Boy Next Door one of these days!

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  14. Yes! She was Anna Paquin in my head the entire time. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

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  15. would love to get this book using any available barnes and nobles coupons

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  16. I agree about the Anna Paquin - xmen comment but when you said Anna Paquin I immediately though Sookie Stackhouse lol. I loved Anne and the French Kiss it was so sweet and wonderfully written.

    I love the alternate cover you found. It's so pretty!

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    Replies
    1. I was just googling alternate covers of Anna and the French Kiss to see if it was an actual edition and I found this: http://the1bookblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-cover_19.html
      It was a cover recreation contest by http://www.princessbookie.com/2010/09/anna-and-french-kiss-recreation-contest.html
      There are a couple of other covers that are much better than the real cover.

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  17. Agreed that this is one novel that definitely lives up to the hype. I was afraid it was going to be a fluff novel but there were so many serious moments and it was all so...meaningful!

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  18. Well, I can assure you, you are not the last to read this book because I still haven't read it! Soon, though, a friend is lending it to me the next time we meet and your review is making me practically dribble in anticipation. This sounds so good - it even sounds like having high expectations is not going to be a problem, because this book will live up to them.

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  19. My language arts teacher said she loved it and all of my friends said that it was amazibg so i think that im going to buy it.... i guess if you like this book you will like charlotte in paris which i did read(in three days) and i definitally recommend charlotte in paris for girls ages 11-13 can someone rate anna and the french kiss with a really good eview? THANK YOU!!!

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