Saturday, 10 May 2014

Book Review: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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?

'Long awaited' is right! My goodness I've never been kept waiting that long for an inevitable kiss to happen! But you know what? It was well worth the wait.

I loved pretty much everything about this book. The cover was what got me interested in the first place, the one on the right was the one I saw on Goodreads and thank god I clicked on it. I put it on my 'to-read' list immediately after reading the synopsis but pushed it back. Then, when my Amazon order messed up and I didn't get the books I was waiting for I took to iBooks to look for something to read in the mean time. Imagine my surprise when I saw Anna and the French Kiss was available for FREE download! So, I thought to myself 'ah what the hell' and downloaded it. This is the one and ONLY time I will thank Amazon for screwing up because what I read in the next couple of days was an emotion packed adventure.

First of all, the characters; it was so so easy for me to relate to Anna and her internal monologues, her mannerisms and I eventually found myself feeling what she felt. I mean I was genuinely angry, sad, happy and excited when she was. Oh and I was also hopelessly in love with St. Clair by the end, I was sad when the story ended but happy for Anna all at the same time. My poor heart.
For an author to be able to create such a strong connection between the reader and the protagonist is a skill some should learn to use but Stephanie Perkins need not worry. You met my expectations and then proceeded to give me more and for that I applaud you!

There was a good mix of humor and drama for this genre of writing. I like romcom books simply because, whilst there are a lot of drama/thriller/mystery orientated books, romcoms have a way of removing you from your own reality and into a character's world. I was giggling all the way through this book and smiling to myself like an idiot.

"Josh rubs his belly like a skinny Buddha."

"Oh god. What. Is with. The scary enthusiasm?"

"Cheeseburger is always wearing this expression of surprise, like someone's just called his name and he can't figure out where the voice is coming from."

"It's Victor's ghost, wanting to know why you wont touch him. Woooooooo, stroke me, St. Clair."

That last bit of speech made me laugh uncontrollably! Of course all of the quotes there are better if you know the context of them and I urge you to go and read the book to understand the delightful humor this story offers.

I found it incredibly easy to see a bit of myself in Anna. For example;

"...she's smiling now. It's a good look for her. She should utilize the corners of her mouth more often."
""It's okay. It's not my business. My friends fight, too. I mean...  my friends back home. Not that you guys aren't my friends. I'm just saying... all friends fight." Argh how distressing."

Like Anna, I too have foot-in-mouth syndrome and can barely control it especially in awkward and uncomfortable situations. Anna's inner dialogue just seems a lot like my own and whether that's a personal thing or not, I still enjoyed the connection and the familiarity.

At first, I didn't like the fact that Anna constantly moaned about being sent to Paris for school. I just kept thinking, "Girl, you are in PARIS! Lighten up, you are in the city of romance and home to the most beautiful buildings in the world!" But then, as the plot went on, Anna's character showed more and more signs of development. Towards the end of the book I understood that in order for any character development to happen, the author had to make Anna seem a little bratty and unappreciative so that in the end, she realized how lucky she was and everything her dad did was for her own good. If her dad hadn't of sent her to boarding school in Paris she'd still be waiting for Toph and numerous other things she didn't resolve until she moved away. She'd never have met St. Clair and that would be an awfully big missed opportunity.

So, I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is 12+ due to a small number of bad words that are thrown around in the second half of the book. (Slut, fu**ing) But other than that it's a very enjoyable read and something that can be read as a distraction from everything else. Immerse yourself in the world of Anna Oliphant (Banana Elephant *wink wink*) and learn a few French words as you go along!

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