“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?"
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is one of those books I saw EVERYWHERE on the blogs a few years ago. I had remembered the name, and the mostly positive feedback about the novel, so when I was scouring the media center's bookshelves last week for this #15in31 challenge, I snatched it, thinking it would make a quick read and break up some of the other titles.
So, I read it. And it was mostly enjoyable because it delivered on what it promises to be-a YA contemporary romance with a happy ending. Every once in awhile, we need that. Not everything can be all doom and gloom!
The novel opens with Anna Oliphant (really, her name...) being left at an American school in Paris by her parents for her senior year of high school. Her father, a writer very similar to that Nicholas Sparks fellow, determined that being away in Paris would be good for Anna, even though she doesn't speak any French.
Anyway, Anna struggles through the first few days and weeks, but falls in with a great friend group. There's Meredith, who lives next door to her in the dorms. Josh, who's a fabulous artist but not so keen on all the school nonsense. His girlfriend, Rashmi, is probably my favorite secondary character because girl doesn't put up with nonsense. And last, the beautiful Etienne St. Clair, an American with a British accent and a French father.
The novel basically follows Anna and her friend group through the year, as well as Anna's growing feelings for St. Clair who has a girlfriend. The novel takes the readers to many of the sights in Paris, which provides an amazing backdrop to the story. As someone who has no interest in going to France (for many reasons), it was nice to see the city in a different way.
The story has a lot of elements of your traditional YA romance. Boy meets girl. Girl has feelings for boy. Boy is already taken. But that doesn't stop a friendship from growing. Obstacles stand in their way. They kiss. They fight. They find their way back together.
It's adorable. And it's done well. I mean, what else would you expect? It's a book that delivers on it's promise of story, and the writing is well done and entertaining, so the book itself was fun to read. It's just one of those books that delivers well and leaves you all warm and fuzzy feeling because it ended the way it should. Sometimes we need that.
There are two companion novels to Anna and the French Kiss, which I may pick up at some point in the future if I need a similar warm, fuzzy feeling. And if you need a light read, I highly suggest giving this a try.
“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”
^That line slayed me. :)
**This was my third read for my #15in31 challenge! HUZZAH!