Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published by: Usborne
Publication date: 1st January 2014
Genres: Young Adult/Romance
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Holy actual fudge. Sorry, but I'm trying not to descend into full fangirl mode. This book has been flying around the blogosphere as long as I have; I remember book bloggers going crazy over this just as I started my blog, but I never got to read it. Now, four years later, it has been re-published and I have finally read it. Wow, it was definitely worth the wait!
Anna was enjoying her normal life in the US, but suddenly her father decided to send her off to a boarding school in France, and her life was turned upside down. It was tough, but luckily a group of friends came to her rescue. Maybe she wouldn't find France to be so bad after all...
Firstly, Usborne sent me this book... WITH HOT CHOCOLATE. They sent me hot chocolate! And, I'm ashamed to say, it was the first hot chocolate I'd ever had! So, I settled down on the sofa on Christmas Eve with a mug of hot chocolate next to me, and I turned the first page of Anna and the French Kiss. Oh, what a roller coaster it was. For a few weeks I had been trying to decide which book was my favourite of 2013. I thought about City of Bones, I pondered over Ketchup Clouds...but even though I'd only just read it, I finally decided that the best book I read in 2013 was Anna and the French Kiss.
Never has a book lingered on my mind for as long as this one has. Perhaps this book should have been a cliché - a girl and a boy in the city of love - but Perkins' beautiful descriptions, complex characters and action-packed plot twists kept it from being so. The characters - Anna and St Clair, especially - were just so human. Each person had his or her own voice, and as a book with so many characters in it, I appreciate that it must have been difficult to pull that off. I adored Anna's awkward yet realistic way of being, and St Clair's endearing tone, and even Amanda's...erm...imaginative insults...but the reason I love this book so much is still a mystery to me. I suppose something deep within me just connected with the book.
I hardly ever enjoy reading about love triangles. However, this one was expertly done, and I was rooting for Anna and St Clair from start to finish! Throw in Anna's new friend Mer who also has a crush on St Clair, and Ellie, St Clair's actual girlfriend, and you've got yourself an interesting love...square?...which will definitely keep you on your toes!
The different friendships Anna experiences in this book are so sweet and really fascinating to read about, as they're all so different from each other. There was, of course, Anna's friends back in Atlanta, and also her new group of friends in Paris. It was fun to watch Anna become more comfortable in France, and it was all thanks to St Clair, Mer, Rashmi and Josh.
After four years of waiting, was this book what I expected? Yes, definitely. I stayed on the sofa all day to read it, and afterwards I found it difficult to speak and type in English, seeing as I had been fully immersed in Parisian life for the last eight hours. It re-fuelled my love of France and now I'm even more desperate to go there! Anna and the French Kiss is an international bestseller, and that doesn't surprise me at all. Every page, every sentence was full of wild adventure and the magic of possibility. Stephanie Perkins is definitely one to watch.