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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie…
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Anna and the French Kiss (edition 2011)

by Stephanie Perkins

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1,3752345,556 (4.33)79
Member:Kellyangel77
Title:Anna and the French Kiss
Authors:Stephanie Perkins
Info:Speak (2011), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
I hate Goodreads' rating system because that 3 should totally be a 3.5

Now don't get me wrong - but why the hell is Anna and the French Kiss and the rest of the series so highly hyped? Whist I enjoyed this book, I didn't find it a masterpiece, which should have been, because not a person I know hasn't given this book a 5.

It is set in Paris and the writing style manages to involve you into France. I appreciated this book, the characters, the plot, everything. I felt connected to the many character for being a cinema fanatic such as myself. The love intrest is totally attractive, even to a reader. Anna is forced to go to Paris, to a boarding school, leaving her life and friends behind. Étienne St. Clair has been going to the boarding school for a long time and is pretty familiar with it.

Something I really enjoyed was the descriptions; and the way it is, to a certain extent, a realistic story. I read some reviews where people mention how bad St.Clair is but I don't totally agree with it. People who mention so totally didn't understand the whole book premise.

But as I mentioned before, it's not as much as a masterpiece as everyone else made me think. Not much happens in this book, nothing that made me go like I MUST KEEP ON READING. Too long for its own good, Anna and the French Kiss is good, but not the best. However, I'll be reading the rest of the series for sure. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
I hate Goodreads' rating system because that 3 should totally be a 3.5

Now don't get me wrong - but why the hell is Anna and the French Kiss and the rest of the series so highly hyped? Whist I enjoyed this book, I didn't find it a masterpiece, which should have been, because not a person I know hasn't given this book a 5.

It is set in Paris and the writing style manages to involve you into France. I appreciated this book, the characters, the plot, everything. I felt connected to the many character for being a cinema fanatic such as myself. The love intrest is totally attractive, even to a reader. Anna is forced to go to Paris, to a boarding school, leaving her life and friends behind. Étienne St. Clair has been going to the boarding school for a long time and is pretty familiar with it.

Something I really enjoyed was the descriptions; and the way it is, to a certain extent, a realistic story. I read some reviews where people mention how bad St.Clair is but I don't totally agree with it. People who mention so totally didn't understand the whole book premise.

But as I mentioned before, it's not as much as a masterpiece as everyone else made me think. Not much happens in this book, nothing that made me go like I MUST KEEP ON READING. Too long for its own good, Anna and the French Kiss is good, but not the best. However, I'll be reading the rest of the series for sure. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
In "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins two teenagers that were sent to a boarding school in Paris fall in love. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this novel is basically slow. Really darn slow. I've rarely read a romance novel in which the protagonists that are obviously going to end up with each other, are taking it so slow that you just catch yourself mumbling "Are you guys for real now" half the time.

Perkins is trying hard to make it realistic, but makes the crucial mistake to take it so slow throughout the novel that the ending comes around the corner way too fast and is - in fact - rushed. I'm not a fan of characters that proclaim their love for each other quickly. The fact that Anna and love interest Étienne St.Clair aren't even remotely dating until about the last ten pages, just makes it worse. Even if they're friends before, nobody goes from zero to "I love you so much you're my entire world", ok, Anna didn't say that but she basically implied it when she called him her home. You're 17. Please calm down. Else the novel just didn't really interest me. All plotlines revolve around Étienne, St.Clair or whatever the hell Anna is calling him now. I just don't like how the scenes seem so forced to end in an encounter with him, when he's not there in the beginning of the chapter, he'll join. Or she'll RANDOMLY meet him somewhere.

This leads to another thing that bothers me - if you have any idea about Paris and about French, this novel is no fun. Paris isn't a pretty city. It's one of the dirtiest capital cities I've ever seen, the people are insanely rude and you just don't walk around there by foot. Who does that, walk insane distances in Paris? You're begging to get mugged there. I know it's obviously set in Paris because it's a love story, but please do your research first. I can hardly imagine how a teenager who struggles with even buying FOOD from the school cafeteria can afford going to the movies in some fancy arthouse cinema in PARIS twice a week and casually pay for all the touristic activities there. Do you know how much it costs to go up the Eiffel Tower? Trust me, you don't want to. Also, yeah ... you can't learn French in 6 months. I'm talking about the scene in which Anna overhears a conversation between native speakers in fluent French and understands everything. I'm rolling my eyes so hard right now. She can't even conjugate verbs but she understands Parisians? Good luck with that. (Plot 1/5)

I've had the impression the characters were well thought out though. Sadly I thought that about everyone besides St.Clair. After forcing myself to read 370 pages, I still have no idea who that guy is. Exept I do know now that he's got perfect hair and rushes to Anna's side like a sick puppy whenever someone takes a deep breath to say something rude about her. This is not how teenage romances work. Teenage guys aren't like that, fyi. Therefore I didn't care about him unlike Anna who was madly in love with him since the first second she saw him, obviously because she thinks he is attractive. Then he turns out to be a knight in shining armour that secretly loves her as well but is too shy to admit it. Well, not breaking up with your ex-girlfriend when you're in love with someone else isn't necessarily what I'd call the result of being shy. It's the result of being a douchebag.

Anna isn't really a nice character either which gave me a hard time sympathizing with her. She does drop her friends the second they aren't interesting anymore, like her pastime-friend Rashmi stated. I just find it horrible how she drops everyone when St.Clair only breathes in her direction and I refuse to romanticize the idea of that. Just because you're in love, you don't become an asshole and drop everything and let down everyone you know. AND if you happen to do this, your friends sure as hell won't be there anymore to cheer on you when you finally got the guy. I couldn't sympathize with the protagonists, sorry. (Characters 3/5)
I do think that Perkins knows exactly what she's doing though and she can write, she writes even extremely pleasant. But I think the paragraphs were too much, After every line of dialogue there's an internal monologue and I found myself sighing whenever I turned the page and saw that it was all paragraphs. (Writing 3/5)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Overall: Do I recommend?

No. There's much better YA out there that doesn't bore you half to death. I don't like for YA relationships to be horrible rolemodels and I don't support selfish characters that drop everything for love. I'm not interested in the sequels and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. If I want a quick, fluffy read I'd rather go back to the basics and choose a Sophie Kinsella novel.

- See more at: http://thebookavid.blogspot.com ( )
  bookavid | Sep 6, 2014 |
I thought this book was really cute! I kept hearing about it, and though I am far too old for this kind of thing, I took the plunge. I was happy with what I got. An adorable romance with believable characters, which is all I ever want.

Admittedly, my BS senses were tingling for the first part of this book, as growing up in a fairly poor and run-down area gives me a natural inclination to dislike stories about people going to international boarding school. Especially people who I'm supposed to feel sorry for going to international boarding school. But the setting was novel and wonderful, and I loved all the descriptions of what the characters did in Paris. Way to take advantage of the city!

I really liked Anna and St. Clair a lot, and I liked what they had going on for pretty much the entire book. But as someone below points out, I hate that the main conflict at the end pretty much comes back to St. Clair having a girlfriend... because it seems a little jarring and out-of-character for that to be a thing at that point. And everyone seems to blame Anna for what happens at the end, and she accepts and fixes it... admittedly, she could've used that advice concerning her Atlanta relationships, but it didn't work for me when applied to the situation at the end of the book.

Great book, crashed a little bit at the end for me, but I still loved it. Will probably read the other books by the same author very, very soon. ( )
  ConnieJo | Aug 26, 2014 |
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Before I launch into what will be, for this book, a fairly negative review, I want to get some things straight. First, I don’t think Anna and the French Kiss is a bad book; in fact, I think it’s good, but in some ways not good for the particular person I am. Second, this review’s going to be somewhat ranty, but I really did like and sometimes even love much of Anna and the French Kiss. If my ranting will upset you because you love everything about this book, I’m envious that you had all the feels and send you on your way with my blessing.

Perkins most definitely has the makings of a contemporary author who will write books that I personally will love. Even though this hasn’t been an entirely positive experience for me, I will undoubtedly be reading the rest of her books. She has great snappy dialogue and tons of pop culture references, both things that are total Christina bait. Plus, I totally adore the setting at SOAP (School of America Paris) with it’s dorm rooms that are small and awful to Anna but absurdly amazing as dorm rooms go. It’s great too because most boarding school books end up being so depressing and full of intense melodrama, but Anna and the French Kiss is free of that.

The familial relationships and friendships in Anna and the French Kiss were largely great too. Anna’s father, James Ashley, an obvious reference to Nicholas Sparks, amused me no end. He forced her to go to Paris, so he can feel cultured. Initially, she’s very anti-Paris and doing the poor me having to go to France thing, but it’s really that her agency was taken away and not that Paris is awful. Plus, Anna’s very afraid of being rude or doing something wrong, which is something I can relate to in her fear of venturing out in France not knowing the language.

I like the way that Anna’s new friends draw her out of her shell. She could, had she not found good friends, have ended up like Cath, shut up in her dorm room for much or all of her year at SOAP. Instead, she discovers resources within herself she never knew she had and ends up having an amazing experience.[Aside: St. Clair takes her out for panini and she's amazed at this rare and unusual sandwich, but this book came out in 2010 and Panera is everywhere. There are all kinds of sandwich places in Atlanta that serve paninis. It's possible, but seriously?] I think the whole crew of friends is interesting, though I would have liked to get to know Josh, Rashmi and Mer a bit better. I think Rashmi ends up getting the best development and their relationship helps Anna reevaluate a lot of how she perceives others.

The problem is, though, that, in a romance, you’re pretty much sunk if you don’t ship the ship. Thankfully, I don’t quite unship the ship. For a while, I was walking up to board. I had my ticket purchased and my bags packed, ready to depart. Unfortunately, I got about three steps onboard, realized I didn’t like where it was headed and ran back off. This metaphor may have gotten out of my control a bit.

What you need to understand about me is that I tend to have a very black and white sense of justice. I’m a bit like Darcy: “my good opinion once lost is lost forever.” Actually, like him, that’s not entirely true, but it is difficult to convince me to change my mind. My problems lie almost entirely with the character of St. Clair. I’ve tried to forgive him because he’s young and stupid, which is true, and because it’s believable, but I can’t. The last two chapters completely sealed me not wanting these characters to get together or at least not feeling happy that they are together.

Anna and the French Kiss takes place over the course of almost a complete school year. During almost that entire time, St. Clair has a girlfriend called Ellie, who’s off at uni nearby. He spends the whole year alternately ignoring all of his friends and hanging out with Ellie or ignoring Ellie and hanging out with his friends, which also includes flirting with Anna. The flirting initially is mild, just some casual but intentional leg brushes, which is okay I guess. What bothered me from the start was the way that St. Clair would flip flop from friends to girlfriend, blowing off one then the other, like he can’t be a good boyfriend and a good friend at one time; it’s or the other. When he’s actually there, he’s great and so is the banter, but he’s not dependable.

I’d be warned about the cheating thing and, honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I expected in some ways. If the reactions to it had been different, I actually wouldn’t have been bothered so much by this particular scenario. Of course, it’s all gray areas with what counts as actually cheating and blah blah blah, but using the most common definition, St. Clair doesn’t behave too badly. View Spoiler » That I could live with if St. Clair was really incredibly apologetic, which he sort of was but also wasn’t. I’ll move into spoiler tags now for safety.

St. Clair makes so many excuses, which okay he doesn’t want to be alone because his mother is dying, but he also has tons of good friends and doesn’t really like his girlfriend. Why the fuck is he still with Ellie when he’s liked Anna since the very first day he met her? He’s been wishing on that fucking zero point in Paris for her to want him ALL YEAR. He tells her, once they’re together, that he’s never felt this way about anyone. And yet, the amount that he cares for Anna still isn’t enough to make St. Clair risk having to be single. We’re meant to forgive him for sticking with the girlfriend because she’s vaguely horrible in her couple of scenes, an easy target. Plus, he didn’t have sex with Ellie again after the admittedly incredibly adorable Christmas email exchange. Let’s ignore the fact that a couple that was having regular sex just stops for months and neither of them will FUCKING END IT.

St. Clair, despite having a girlfriend, is jealous any time a guy pays attention to Anna. He shames her for kissing someone else, when she has made no promises to anyone. Once everything comes out, he accuses her of being part of the problem because she lied and pretended he hadn’t confessed feelings for her back in November when St. Clair was drunk off his ass. Yup, clearly Anna’s fault that you kept dating a girl you didn’t like anymore. He basically says it’s all also her fault because she wasn’t willing to speak up about her feelings, which is so incredibly unfair and dickish that I cannot even with this guy. And, yeah, they’re young and stupid but there’s nothing in the book to say that this isn’t cool. Anna believes everything he says and takes a share of the blame. Yes, she sometimes pushed him away, but ONLY BECAUSE HE HAD A GIRLFRIEND. Pretty sure she would have eventually said or done something had he been single that whole time. It’s not her job to watch out for his relationship, but she did a better job of that than he did.

Then, once they resolve everything and get together, they’re so damn cheesy and insufferable, which I can’t handle with how un-sorry St. Clair is. He gets everything he wanted and that whole situation worked out fabulously for him. He decides to go to California for her (365), not for his mother or to obtain freedom from his father. They’re not even dating yet! I mean, I know they were best friends most of the year, but he obviously was planning this before he’d broken up with his girlfriend, because of when college applications have to be in. Then the last three lines: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person. And we’re finally home.”

I cannot. I can’t. The ability to can has been suspended. This about a guy who claims to have loved her basically all year but who kept dating another girl for pretty much all of that year. I wouldn’t build my home on that sort of a foundation, but best of luck to you Anna.


So yeah, that didn’t really turn out like anybody hoped. There are lots of good things about it, but I also have many non-happy feelings about one of the most loved YA guys. I has a sad. ( )
1 vote A_Reader_of_Fictions | Aug 25, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephanie Perkinsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duewell, KristinaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandervoort, IreneDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jarrod, best friend & true love
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Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.
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I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.
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From Goodreads.com

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.
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When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.… (more)

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