A few days ago, I finished reading Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. It took me only a week to finish this book—it kept me on my toes. This book became my guilty pleasure. I’d think about reading it when I had a moment off during class and I felt empty when I’d forget to put it in my bag. It made me scream, plead and cry—just like any modern TV Drama would do.
Now, I won’t call this book brilliant—because it’s not. But if you like teen romance even the slightest bit, I recommend that you pick up this book as soon as possible. It is filled with romance and is intertwined with morality, friendship, drama, anxiety. There are lots of sympathies for you to get wrapped up in. This novel features a clear climax and rising action. It is 372 pages long, but it is a quick read. This book isn’t meant to be intellectually challenging, it is more suited for entertainment.
Anna and the French Kiss is set at the School of America in France. Anna, the protagonist, was thrown into this school by her father just before her senior year of High School. Back home she has an awesome best friend, a great job, and a crush that was blossoming into something more. Now Anna realizes that she knows no French, and almost nothing about France. After some tears, she becomes friends with 4 students who have been friends all throughout High School. One of these friends happens to be a boy named Étienne St. Clair. He is everything a girl could want, and sadly, a girl has already won him over. So why bother paying attention to him? Because he is just so perfect.
One of the many underlying motifs this book exemplifies is the difference between France and America in terms of the freedoms teens are given. When teens are given the opportunity to drink, smoke, leave campus freely, spend money however they want, skip class, and live in a reckless dorm, all when they know their parents have no say in their decisions, what will they do? In this sense, the school seems like an intimate, more immature, version of a modern college.
I give this book a 9/10. I loved this book with all my heart, but it was a bit too easy for my taste. This book seems much too simple on the surface, and you won’t learn anything from it if you forget to pay attention to the minute details Perkins threw in. If any of this review interested you, I hope you decide to give this fantastic book a try. I am already looking forward to re-reading this book and falling in love with the characters all over again.
P.S. I just found out that this book is the first in a series of three books by Stephanie Perkins. I am planning on reading the other two very soon and I will post my thoughts on those books promptly.