Book review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited? (

Ah, another book I bought on the back of many raving reviews and took ages to get round to. Thankfully, after being ordered to read it by Leanna of Daisychain Book reviews I picked it up recently and like many before me, fell completely in love.

Everything about this book was fantastically thought out and executed, from the vivid descriptions of the world’s most romantic city, Paris, seen through first time visitor Anna’s eyes to the complexities of young love and friendships. This is a book that will put you right into it’s wonderful setting and character’s minds and allows you to become part of it’s world for a few hours.

Stephanie Perkins’ characters are believable, interesting and relatable. I really liked Anna, who’s been uprooted from home and sent to boarding school in a country she doesn’t speak the language. She’ so down to earth and I could completely relate with every feeling of uncertainty and vulnerability. I loved the relationships she built with the friends she makes in Paris and one in particular was extremely well written. Rashmi is another girl in the group Anna clicks with, but she’s unsure she really likes her. In an honest conversation between the two it turns out the Rashmi feels the same, we’ve all been there right?

Love interest St. Claire is just gorgeous. I adored him and the very slow relationship that takes the whole book to build. The tension through the pages is electric and so romantic, but once again extremely believable. I’ve read reviews that didn’t like the so called ‘cheating’ element in this book, but you know what …the feelings of attraction and confusion worked for me and both Anna and St Clair came out really well in my opinion. It happens, especially at the age of these characters, that relationships fizzle out while new attractions form and not once did I feel the author or characters dismissed their feelings or the potential injured party, quite the opposite. The whole long drawn out build up had me hooked.

One other main character stood out for me and that was Paris itself, which Perkins vividly brings to life. She captures the very essence of it: the food, the people, the cafés and famous landmarks. Anna is a film buff so we see a lot of the tiny cinemas of Paris too which was a lovely touch. It made me want to pack my backs immediately and just go there.

Anna And The French Kiss may look like fluff from the cover and title, but it’s so much more and is without doubt one of the best YA contemps I’ve read in a while. Stephanie Perkins wows with her perfect ingredients; combining Paris, Boarding School, believable characters and a gorgeous male lead is a definite win and hard to resist. Her writing ensures that the book lives up to all its promises and left me one gooey, happy mess. If you haven’t read Anna And The French Kiss I can only ask…what are you waiting for? Recommended!

Published by Dutton (US) December 2010

5 thoughts on “Book review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  1. Yay! So glad you liked this. Anna and the French Kiss is probably one of my favourite standalone novels ever. I agree with your review – the cover is a bit misleading as there's just so much more to the book than fluff! Thanks for the review!


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