Released: December 2nd, 2010
Cover: 5/5 stars (Note: this is the yet to be released paperback, I like it so much more than the original one!)
Plot: 5/5 stars
"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. 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?" -Goodreads.com summary
Allow me to start off by saying Anna and the French Kiss is one of the best books I've ever read. It's got the whole formula down: great characters + excellent writing + a complex love story + a beautiful city to be set in. Toss in a guy like Etienne and you've got me sold! Those of you readers out there that cringe at the cover (the original one, not the new gorgeous one I have up) and the title and think it's going to be cheesy, not even giving it a second glance on a bookshelf, know that Anna and the French Kiss is so much more than someone would imagine. Katie and I met Stephanie Perkins at a signing a few months ago, and we absolutely adored her. She's a wonderful person and I figured hey, maybe this book is worth a shot. I didn't know what it had in store for me.
Anna is the best and one of my absolute favorite narrators. She won me over almost immediately. She is realistic and has her flaws and mistakes, but get this: she learns from them. If it's one thing I adore in books, it's character development. Etienne St. Clair is not just your run of the mill swoon-worthy YA love interest. He, like Anna, makes a fair share of mistakes and I couldn't love him more for them. He's hardly perfect as some people might imagine given that he's adorable, hilarious, and has a british accent (which I think is a factor worth considering). Best of all, he truly loves Anna.
While this book maybe considered romance, I think it runs deeper than that. What Anna and Etienne have is something that transcends lust and passion. They're best friends. They'll stick with each other through thick and thin. Their relationship had quite a few bumps on the way, but they'll always be there for each other. Anna and Etienne have romance with the finest point: friendship. After I finished the book, I couldn't help but pump my fist in triumph, wholly satisfied with the ending.
Anna and the French Kiss made me laugh and it broke my heart at times too. It has by far the best written romance I've ever read and it started with a light in my heart until it put a smile on my face. Not only did the book have exactly what I was looking for, but it exceeded my expectations as well. If you're looking for something light but meaningful (with a swoon-worthy interest included), I highly urge you to follow Anna to Paris.