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. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
Why I read this book: I have heard a lot about Anna and The FK over the last few months. I tend to stay away from YA Contemporary and Contemporary in general...I get bored, because theres no magic or death(well...the fun murder kind of death) but this was such a good book that I might have to explore the genre a little further.The book had an excellent plot, fabulous characters, and everything was realistically portrayed. A lot of the action and drama revolves around the relationship being formed which was different for me. I'm used to the romance being a sideline so I went into reading this book with a little trepidation.However, I have just decided that Anna and the French Kiss is my favorite piece of Contemporary YA Fiction to date. It is FANTASTIC. I had SUCH a good time reading it! I was on the lake all day, but instead of swimming and tubing and drinking and all those things you are supposed to do whilst at the lake, I was reading while my friends partied around me. And you know what? I didn't care lol.There were so many quotes full of awesomeness that I can't even begin to list them all here. You'l have to read the book for the full experience. For example, were you aware that the word Callipygian can be defined as : Having shapely buttocks? (tehe) What was that? You want me to use it in a sentence? Well, ok. "As I was creepily spying on the boy next door as he mowed the lawn, I couldn't hep but notice his Callipygian physique. hahahah I now have a new favorite word.
So basically there are several things going on in this novel. When Anna gets dumped in this new boarding school, she hates it...which is dumb, because who WOULDN'T want to go live in Paris for a year even if it was your senior year? I would be packed and ready in ten minutes if my parents had allowed me to go off into another COUNTRY for a year. But heck...my parents had trouble letting me walk the mile home from high school by myself because I could get kidnapped...I can understand Anna's frustration though. She is leaving a best friend, a kind-of sort-of romance, and her senior year behind in exchange for a place where she knows no one and doesn't speak the language. That could be a scary thing.
THEN she meets the glorious Etienne St. Clair. Etienne and Anna's relationship is so REAL. I think that's what I loved the most about this book. Even though you could tell St. Clair is drawn to Anna from the beginning, what really makes him attractive is the frienship that grows between them. They talk about everything, from films to food to family, and you really see the feelings growing on both sides. I love that Etienne really struggles through the tough descisions that he has to make. Even though it is hard for him and for Anna, HELLO PEOPLE! That is what happens in real life. Sometimes people are already in a relationship when you meet them. Sometimes it can be hard when you have been in a relationship for a long time, and suddenly you find yourself drawn to someone new. You don't know wether or not that person feels the same way you do, or if it could possibly be as good (or better) than what you have now. Anna and the French Kiss is a really honest portrayal of not simply teenage puppy love, but friendship, developing feelings, and the beginnings of a true relationship. Also, Etienne is his own person. He isn't just this spout of romantic words and whatnot. He has thoughts and beliefs and opinions different than Anna's which makes him that much more attractive to me. Best of all, there isn't an instant "I love you, we're made for each other, you are my destiny" speech. That speech was swoon-worthy the first time I read it, 9 of the exact same speeches later, it just makes me wanna chuck whatever book I'm reading out the window. So I was really charmed by what Etienne ends up saying near the ending of the book.
Another favorite part of this book was that it was chock full of issues that teenagers face, without becoming totally devoted to that one problem. Take for example, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It is a great book...but the constant mantra of "Be who you are" "It's the you on the inside that matters, not the you on the outside" is sort of pounded into your head. Anna and the FK deals with soooo much that a teen can go through: abandonment, divorce, moving, culture barriers, homesickness, betrayal, serious illness, and love. And the best thing is that it weaves all of these things into a fantastic plot without being too heavy or feeling like Ms. Perkins is preaching to us about one thing or another. Each facet of Anna's personality is taken out and cross examined through all of the issues and obstacles that she faces. I really enjoyed seeing not only Anna, but Etienne and the pair's group of friends all grow into new people throughout the book.
Rating: I give this book a 10 out of 10. This is a run out and buy all the other books by the author type book.(Too bad this was a debut and there isn’t anything else by Ms. Setphanie Perkins :(...though hopefully there will be a sequel or something...) Anyways, I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss!If you haven't read it, drop whatever you are doing right now. Go to the store. Buy Anna and the French Kiss. Begin Reading. You WILL be happier :D