Anna and the French Kiss Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

published on December 2nd 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
young adult | contemporary | romance | travel

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her attention. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking of word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend.  Stmart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all… including a serious girlfriend.

Unfortunately, he’s taken—and Anna might be, too.

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? And will it be all she’s been waiting on?

Book Review

Let’s make this review short and sweet. (Okay, maybe not sweet… but you get the idea.)

Anna Oliphant:
She was an idiot. I’m not even going to try to lie. Anna’s the epitome of an unbearable and ignorant American tourist. After getting dumped in Paris and forced to attend a school for Americans (which to her was completely unfair. Oh, the horror!), Anna meets a handsome boy, who I will get to later. Her stay consisted of realizing that:
1) oui is not spelled wee
2) French people hate Americans (and if they’re all like her, for good reason)
3) French people don’t spend their free time watching mimes every day
4) it’s ok to order food even if you don’t know French in a place where everyone speaks English!
5) starving and isolating yourself in fear of having to speak French is stupid and probably a bad idea
6) history is interesting!
7) Paris is the home of films! Read closely: this girl wants to be “our nation’s greatest film critic” and yet had genuinely no clue that she was living among a city known for its focus on film. To make matters worse, Anna has the audacity to watch American films… in Paris… A CITY OF FILM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ignorance is astounding.

Étienne St. Clair:
Was he dreamy? On the surface, sure. He had it all: the American citizenship, the British accent, the ability to speak perfect French, good looks, intelligence, a perfect name, an invigorating aura, the charm, etc.. But after analyzed, one can tell that despite the author’s effort to write him as perfect, this guy was a jerk. Instalove blared to life as soon as Anna and St. Clair first encountered, yet it took about 300 pages before they decided to do something about the situation. What was holding them back? Well, my dear, St. Clair had a girlfriend (cue the groans). This guy, although seemingly perfect, had no regard for anyone’s feelings but his own. Anna was in love with him, one of his closest friends was in love with him, his girlfriend was in love with him, the whole school was in love with him, but who cares that he’s hurting each and everyone as long as he has his own problems to deal with? Right? Not.

I found it repulsive for him to stay with his girlfriend for such a long time, knowing he had no feelings for her, out of fear of being alone. I found it repulsive for him to lead Anna on knowing he wouldn’t leave his girlfriend because he wasn’t “ready”. I found it repulsive that he was aware for so many years that his closest friend was in love with him and yet didn’t make any effort to clarify anything between them. I found it repulsive that he took an eternity to fix his mistakes. But what I found to be most repulsive was the cheating.

Cheating:
Anna’s best friend dates the boy she knew Anna liked without at least speaking to Anna about it. Of course, Anna was furious – and rightly so. Fast forward a few pages and Anna does the EXACT same thing; she kisses St. Clair while he has a girlfriend, hurting both their friends and St. Clair’s girlfriend. Aside from kissing, Anna and St. Clair find themselves sleeping in the same bed, flirting with each other, holding hands, sneaking longing glances at each other, and resisting their mutual feelings. I don’t care how much you love someone else, cheating is not acceptable and there is no excuse for it. What’s more ironic is the fact that Anna never realizes that if St. Clair did it to his (ex)girlfriend, he’d also do it her. Cheaters never quit.

Don’t get me wrong: I admired and felt their chemistry. What ruined it for me was that they handled the situation all wrong. The worst part of it all is that if they simply communicated with each other, the trouble and drama could’ve been avoided. But then there’d be no book… awkward…

Overall:
This book is painfully and eerily like Maybe Someday (which I hated and bashed on too… any book that makes cheating come off as acceptable is not a worthy book in my opinion). I can’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy the friendships, conversations, and situations, because I was genuinely entertained. However, Anna was a whiny hypocrite, St. Clair was a jerk, and both led this book down a very nasty road.

Skulls 2

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You can find this review on Goodreads.

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About Sara

I’m Sara, a Colombian teenager with a never-ending enjoyment for reading. I’m a Netflix and Disney enthusiast and my monumental obsession is coffee.

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38 thoughts on “Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  1. I didn’t love this book either. I had the same issues as you did. Anna being so oblivious about Paris when she wanted to be a film critic. And don’t Etienne. Ugh. They basically screwed over everybody to be together.

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    1. They could’ve not screwed over everybody to be together if they had just spoken to each other about it. But instead, they spent the whole book keeping their feelings silent and hidden. They acted like children who had no idea how to handle relationships.

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    1. Thank you! Some people loved it. I can admittedly see the appeal, because I enjoyed reading it as well. But there were a few sour points that completely ruined the book for me.

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    1. Paris was the only good thing about this book. What I just don’t understand is that I see so many say, “omg St. Clair is perfect” and here I am thinking, “Did you not read the book?” He had charisma, I’ll give him that, but was a total jerk.

      I don’t think I’ll be reading it. I heard it has similar problems to Anna & the French Kiss. Have you read it yet?

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    1. Ha, I’m glad it made you laugh. Usually, my reviews on books I give 3 stars or less are a liiiitttlleee bit mean and comical. Let’s just say when I dislike a book, I give it hell.

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  2. I’m glad I never picked it up. I agree with you that cheating doesn’t have an excuse and it shouldn’t be romanticized.

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    1. It was awful to have to sit there and read about their love and life problems. Though I can’t I wasn’t entertained while reading the book, they were just too annoying for words.

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    1. I say go for it! I had actually been looking forward to it, too, and it didn’t completely disappoint me. It was funny and heart-warming. I was actually ROOTING for Anna and St. Clair, because they were so dang cute and had amaaazing chemistry. What ruined it for me was Anna’s ignorance and that they handled everything the wrong way. But a lot of people have managed to look past it and enjoy the book, so if I were you, I wouldn’t cross it out just yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a shame you didn’t enjoy this, Sara! I completely understand why you didn’t like it though – cheating is wrong and it is the worst when you have to read about it. However, I have to admit that I loved this book (apart from the cheating, obviously) and only wish that the author had built a story around Anna and St Clair that didn’t involve cheating.

    Oh and BTW, the same problem occurs (from what I remember) in the second book too so you might want to give that a miss. Hopefully you enjoy your next book more – happy reading!

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    1. I loved Anna and St. Clair… as a COUPLE. They had chemistry and were so darn cute together. However, I hated them as individuals and I hated how they handled the situation. So I want to clarify that I did enjoy this book, I was genuinely entertained, but my reviews focus more on my critical thinking rather than what I feel for the book. Therefore, if I hadn’t analyzed this book, I would’ve maybe given it 3 stars. I also wish the author had built the story around them without involving cheating, it would’ve made reading the book more bearable.

      Oh, dang it! I was planning on reading it. But thanks for the heads up!

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      1. I agree with that and I understand completely. It’s hard to know when to critically review a book (objectively) and when it is okay to rave about how much you loved the book, despite knowing deep down that it had some major problems.

        Lola wasn’t a fave of mine, and I wouldn’t go around recommending it but that just IMO. And I thought you might want to know about the cheating rather going in blind and being horrified… again!

        P.S. Sorry for the late reply! It seems I missed the notification for your reply. Oops!

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    1. Thank you! I’m a very blunt and direct person and this can obviously be seen in my reviews (trust me, I bash on books A LOT). I also hope the next book is a bit better, thank you :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard nothing but love for this book–until now. And now I’m so not looking forward to reading it, because I HATE CHEATING AND IT’S NEVER OKAY. Unless the author makes it clear that there are LONGLASTING CONSEQUENCES and doesn’t romanticize it. GRRRRR. Nice review.

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    1. While reading, I had to keep making sure that I was reading the right book because there was nothing BUT praise on the book. I HATE CHEATING TOO and it is just NOT OK. However, I still encourage you to give it a try because I admit it does have a few redeeming qualities; I just simply could not overlook the flaws (especially the cheating). Thanks, C.J.!

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  5. OMFG, THANK YOU! I read this book, and I kept going back to make sure I read reading the same book as everyone else, because this book was horribly wrong.

    Anna Oliphant:
    She was an idiot.

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes.

    Étienne St. Clair:
    …this guy was a jerk

    Yes yes yes yes yes.

    I think the part that pissed me off the most was the party scene, where Anna gets upset when another girl, which was Anna’s friend, tries to talk to St. Asshole. I can’t remember her exact line, but it was something along the lines of “He’s mine.” And THAT was when I just gave it up and admitted that I hated the book.

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    1. So glad you agree! The party scene was completely ridiculous given the fact that Anna thought herself “entitled” to take St. Clair away from her friend just because she felt intimidated.

      St. Asshole… HAHAHA I’VE NEVER LAUGHED HARDER.

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  6. Wow it’s so refreshing to hear a negative review of this book! I’ve never read any of Stephanie Perkins’ books, but they always get great reviews.

    Anna sounds like one of the most annoying people you could ever encounter. She seriously wants to be a film critic but knows nothing about France and their film culture?? Ugh and the cheating! That sounds so messy and gross. Now I’m actually kinda glad I haven’t read any of these.

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