Review: Anna and the French Kiss



*Spoilers Below*

Taken from Goodreads

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?

I am not a romantic in real life. It makes me wildly uncomfortable when someone attempts to be romantic with me, I’m not even sure I would know if someone was trying to be if I’m being totally honest. The concept of the idealized relationship and activities had in said relationship is lost on me. In books however I can sometimes find the stomach for romance. I have a few ground rules about it though. 1. It can’t be abuse. I’m looking straight at you 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. 2. I like it to be original, or at least mildly so. If you’re going to do a romance the least you can do is go full throttle and put your characters somewhere different and have them be ridiculous. I mean, life is already ridiculous. 3. It can’t be forced. This happens a lot with straight romantic interests I’ve noticed, they’ll be thrown together and then made to make out before they even really know each other’s last name. *cough* Captain America: Civil War.

Anyways. If I’m going to read a romance, I try and find one that adheres to those three rules. I read Anna and the French Kiss mostly on a recommendation from a friend and I was very skeptical at first. I always am when it comes to contemporary YA romance. A lot of it sucks. Past experiences aside, I enjoyed this book. It was cute and sweet in all the right ways and hurt just right. Anna and the French Kiss is the cheesy rom-com you watch with your best friends on movie night. The blossoming interest between Anna and St. Clair is not abusive, they are always very conscious of the others emotions and well-being, even after moments when they are angry at one another. It was mildly original. The whole “girl in a foreign country falling for a foreign guy” is something I’ve seen before in 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but focusing the foreign experience into a senior year was a new one. A little unrealistic, but new. The characters were also all ridiculous enough to feel real. Each member of the main cast was dynamic, having their own storylines and interests. Their friendships with one another and their experiences were genuine, which helped the story not fall flat for me. Finally, the relationship wasn’t forced. It developed slowly, easily, like a good cup of coffee. Anna and St. Clair began as friends and built a repertoire as each other’s closest confidant before shit hit the proverbial fan and everything the reader had been anticipating began to swing into motion.

I don’t have many complaints about this book. Stephanie Perkins has an encapsulating style. She creates a bubble with her words that she traps readers in without them even noticing, making her story effortlessly atmospheric. Some fair warnings I would have for the aromatic and romance wary readers would be: typical high school drama (it is senior year after all), relationship drama, and endless pining. If you come into this book expecting those things, then you will do just fine. I would highly recommend hot chocolate while reading this book, I hear it does well for new beginnings.


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