Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is the first in a loose trilogy of contemporary, cutesy young adult romance novels. It is followed by Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. It tells the story of Anna Oliphant who is spending a year studying in Paris at the fictional School of America in Paris. She makes friends and has a romance with Etienne St Claire a young Londoner also studying at the school.
What I liked
The setting. I adored the setting. The school sounded fantastic and I loved Anna’s and Etienne’s strolls through Paris. I’ve only spent a couple of days in Paris myself, and I would have liked to have spent more. Perkins really brought out the sense of the city in her writing.
The character development. I loved seeing how Anna grew in self confidence during her stay in Paris. The Anna at the end is a very different person from the one who spent her first evening in the school crying into her pillow with homesickness. I also felt that the development was earned. Her experiences in Paris and the friends she makes there allow for such a progression to be possible.
The cutesy romance moments. These were squealably cute.
What I didn’t like
The romantic development itself. I know that is kind of contrary to my last comment, but let me explain. I loved the cute date moments Anna and Etienne spent together, but I felt that they were their own worst enemies in terms of their romance. All their problems came from their own actions and lack of communication. I felt if they’d sat down at the beginning and really communicated, there would have been nothing coming between them, which really frustrated me. All too often I wanted to bang their heads together.
I did enjoy Anna and the French Kiss, but I didn’t adore it as much as many reviewers seem to have done. I will read the other two in the series at some point, though not immediately.
I gave Anna and the French Kiss four stars out of five.