Why not start 2011 with a little romance? How ’bout a little Paris? I promise you if you pick up Stephanie Perkins‘ debut, Anna and the French Kiss, you’ll get romance, Paris, and more (wait a sec… what else is there?).
You only need to spend about two minutes on Stephanie’s blog to get a sense that this girl has a delicious sense of humor. Read a post or two and you’ll see what I mean. She also feels like this about the upcoming film version of Jane Eyre, so you’ve gotta know she is your soul sister. Oh, and John Green says he thinks Anna is sort of fabulous. Check, check and check.
So I was more than prepped to love Stephanie’s book.
And I did.
When Anna Oliphant gets sent by her parents to a Paris boarding school for her senior year, she is less than thrilled. She would rather stay in Atlanta and hang out with her best friend and get a little closer to the guy at work she’s had a crush on for a while. So Paris has a lot of convincing to do, and it takes many crepes, some great movies, a bunch of cool new friends, and one particularly dreamy guy named St. Clair to win her over. Will she and St. Clair ever be something, or will she have to wait forever for that french kiss?
It is lovely to read a book that is completely, unapologetically romantic, that is starry-eyed and sexy and sweet all at once. It’s also refreshing to have so much of the novel be about the fact that Anna and St. Clair are developing an awesome friendship before anything else. We don’t see enough great guy/girl friendships in YA. Perkins nails the dialogue, and writes characters who are believably complicated. All of the Paris details were jealous-making and satisfying. I wanted to run away and hide in the Latin Quarter in nearly every chapter.
Read it. You’ll see what I mean. Anna and the French Kiss is winning and heart-warming and it will make you antsy for Stephanie Perkins’ next novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, coming in September 2011.
I give Anna and the French Kiss five macarons out of five! (Oh wait – four and a half out of five… but that’s only because I took a bite of one. ).
Anna and the French Kiss is published by Dutton.