Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

I’ve heard so many good things about this book that I had to put it on my summer to-read list.  And then I got a little ahead of myself and got it from work a tad earlier than summer.  But I am glad I did, =)

This was such a good book!  The story is about Anna, a high-school senior who has been unwillingly shipped off to Paris to attend an American school there for her final year of high school.  Soon, she meets a group of awesome friends, including the gorgeous St. Clair.  Over the next nine months, there are several ups and downs in Anna and St. Clair’s relationship, as they grow closer and closer and their feelings for one another get more complicated.

This is not a very original book, so if you are looking for something that makes you go Wait…What?!?  then this probably isn’t the best read for you.  But if you are looking for a simply wonderful love story, this is fantastic!  It’s so well written, and FUNNY.  I laughed out loud so many times during this book at Anna’s inner thoughts and her friends’ conversations.  There is drama, of course, but I found it blissfully light on teen angst…there were bigger issues at hand that made the angst present not quite as hard to take.

There are also tons of references in this book.  For one, they are in Paris.  Which means if I hadn’t already wanted to go on a trip to Paris before, I certainly do now.  The scenery is gorgeous, and so perfect for a romantic story.  And don’t get me started on the food *drools slightly*.  But Anna is also a big film fan (as I myself am), and St. Clair loves history–my favourite part is when he tells Anna all about the death of Rasputin.  I love books that have quirky character traits like these, and they make for awesome tidbits of knowledge strewn in throughout the story.

There were only two things I didn’t like about this book.  1: St. Clair is beautiful, and every girl in school thinks so.  I have no problem with Anna thinking he looks perfect…that’s often what happens with love.  But I hate characters that are so gorgeous that no one can possibly resist them.  It doesn’t work like that!  Even if I think of the typically considered “most attractive” people in the world, I know plenty of people that don’t think they look that great.  We’re all different, and thus we like different things.  That goes for attractiveness, too.

2: I HATE the “Boy has girlfriend.  Boy falls for new girl.  Boy continues to date old girl because…???”  I think this is such a jerk move, for everyone involved.  Even if things between Boy and New Girl don’t work out, is it at all fair to keep Old Girl on a string, when Boy doesn’t want her anymore?  Nope.  Not at all.  I really wish characters would stop doing this…it pisses me off.

But I digress.  I can forgive these things, because the story is really good.  Well-written, interesting characters, a convincing relationship, and lots of humour.  Even though this book takes place in all the seasons except for summer, I would definitely recommend this as a good Spring/Summer read, and as a good romance/travel story as well.

Definitely a good one!

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