Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: December 2, 2010
Source: ALA
Anna was 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. So she's 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
Ay dios mio, I am in love. Words cannot even begin to describe how I felt about this book. But I'm going to try to explain and I'll try not to gush like a crazy fangirl.

Reading Anna and the French Kiss was an emotionally beautiful and magical experience. Once I realized I was heading towards the last few pages of the book, I almost wanted to stop because I didn't want Anna's story to end. But after finally convincing myself that I had to finish the book, I didn't just close it and move on to another one. I wasn't able to think about anything but Anna and St. Clair for a few days.

The story nestled into my mind, blanketing any other thoughts that I may have had rolling around in there.  Wherever I'd turn, Anna's voice followed me around for days, never vanishing from my thoughts and admittedly I didn't even try to block her out. I am so thoroughly enchanted with this book that I wish I could climb into it and live in the City of Lights with Anna, eating crouissants, walking to the old movie theater and listening to that mysterious opera singer late at night.

Anna was a charming main character and I loved the fact that she was a movie critic. I also loved that her father (while cheesy and Nicholas Sparks-like in attitude) was a novelist. And there aren't enough adjectives in the English language to properly describe how much I dig Étienne--and his friendship (and then some) with Anna. They went through all the ups and downs and while I got dizzy sometimes, their gradual friendship and attraction to each other was thrilling and best of all, realistic.

ALSO. I have to commend Ms. Perkins for crafting some excellent minor characters--their stories weren't front and center like Anna and St. Clair's but they all had their moments to shine. There were no flat (or pointless) characters in this book whatsoever.

I have to say, this was the best contemporary YA novel I read in 2010. I fell hard for this book and that's rare of me when it comes to contemporary YA lit--I much prefer epic fantasies and paranormal YA. But I will always love, cherish and cuddle with Anna & The French Kiss.

A million thank-you's, huggles and chocolate chip cookies to Jenn for getting me a copy of this book at ALA.

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