Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Étienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

I added Anna and the French Kiss because almost everyone I knew had loved the book and had given it five stars. I was certainly surprised by this because if you read the title, look at the cover and read the synopsis it comes off as a light chick-lit read. Something to put you in a good mood for a bit but not something that would garner the amount of positive response from readers that it had received, so I picked it up.

It didn’t take me long to finish Anna and the French Kiss, it really was a quick read filled with humour, romance and charm. The main character Anna has been shipped off to boarding school in Paris for her senior year without her consent and at first she’s upset about this because she’s being pulled from the only life she knows and being forced to adapt to a new culture and make friends. However, it doesn’t take very long for Anna to find a group of friends to tag along after and soon after that it takes her even less time to become one of them especially when she instantly clicks with the beautiful Étienne St. Clair.

This novel was very much a romance and I knew that going in but I wasn’t really that much invested in it. I certainly think that both Ann and Étienne have great chemistry, the way their dialogue just flows naturally back and forth between them and the way they both just seem to understand each other but I didn’t really care if they got together and only wanted them to be together so that Anna could stop fawning over Étienne. What I really enjoyed was that the story wasn’t just about the romance; it was about Anna coming to terms with herself. Like any other normal teenage girl Anna makes mistakes and she has flaws and dreams and it was great watching her make mistakes and learn from them and grow. It was also fun to read about her new group of friends in Paris, they were all unique individuals that stood out very fresh in mind and who I wouldn’t have mind learning more about.

So I will be picking up Stephanie Perkins’ next book (Lola and the Boy next Door) which is a companion piece to this novel about a different set of characters, because I did enjoy her story even if I didn’t love it as much as everyone else.