Worth It Wednesdays: “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

anna and the french kissTitle: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Goodreads Description: 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?

Why it’s worth it: When the blogosphere first blew up with this book, I shied away automatically. I tend to dislike YA contemporary romance, and this just sounded … trite. Like I’d read it a million times before. But more and more of my bloggy friends and people I liked around the internet kept saying I THOUGHT THAT BUT IT’S GOOD and I went … alright?

TURNS OUT THAT THEY WERE ALL CORRECT.

Anna is the kind of book that stays with you long after the pages have shut. It’s the kind of book that I re-read when I’m feeling the worst in my life. Does the description make it sound like dozens of other things? Yes. Is the plot similar in that way? Yes.

The thing about it, though, is the way that Perkins writes. There is no doubt in my mind about the reality of this story. The characters are REAL. Their issues are REAL. And there is none of this “main character perfection” or “love interest perfection” thing that happens sometimes in similar novels. Anna and St. Clair are messed up. They mess up over the course of the book. They fall apart and them come back together, TOGETHER.

Also, Perkins doesn’t let the book just be about the romance. There is a lot of real back and forth about friendships, and how crushes within friend groups can lead to grief and heartache. Yet, again, the friendships fall apart and come back together with a reality that is staggering. There isn’t a single character–within the main romance or not–that doesn’t steal your heart.

Maybe I’m biased. Anna did get me through one of the toughest periods of my life. But I thoroughly believe that a lot of it is also due to the fact that Perkins is just a damn good author. There are two companion books to Anna, and both are really good as well. Okay, I was only okay with Lola and The Boy Next Door but Isla and The Happily Ever After came back and stole my heart all over again. So yeah. Just read them.

Read it if you’re looking for: YA contemporary romance that won’t make you want to vomit, lack of a real love triangle, books about friendship, books about Paris, books about family, swoon worthy romance, books that will stay with you.

Advertisements

Review: “Isla and the Happily Ever After” by Stephanie Perkins

IslaIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Goodreads Amazon

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Five stars

Continue reading

Top Ten Books for People Who Liked “Anna and the French Kiss”

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

You guys may or may not know that Anna and the French Kiss was my first 5 star review. This was even more shocking because I haaaate teenage romances. Usually. Unless they’re done REALLY WELL. So I decided to take that book to show you just how picky my tastes are!

1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This one made me laugh and cry. It was absolutely fantastic. I just…I just can’t even put my feelings into words. Oh wait, yes I can. I reviewed it.

2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Alright, alright, I know this one isn’t a contemporary, but bear with me. I’m going with the criteria of FANTASTIC ROMANCE with this one. This one doesn’t have a love triangle or a cliché ANYWHERE. It’s just … awesome. See my review for more.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Yeah, this one is a semi cop-out, but c’mon. You know it’s true! (Although, I don’t actually think this one measured up to Anna…)

4. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

No, this isn’t a contemporary EITHER. I didn’t say they all would be, did I? This was a fantastic ride on several levels, not to mention the cute romance to be had. I’ve gotten several people hooked on this series and I’m proud of it!

5. Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Okay, so, these aren’t particularly romance heavy, but the romance in them is done really well. They (it’s a duology) are also ridiculously powerful books that I’ve checked out multiple times from my library. They are just EXCELLENTLY written.

6. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot

Again, cop out, because Meg Cabot is like the queen in certain circles, but to be honest I never really enjoyed much of hers. This one, though, is SO EXTREMELY CUTE I COULD DIE. I love it. It’s like candy.

7. When it Happens by Susane Colasanti

Again, cop out, because it’s SUSANE COLASANTI. But still. This book. SO CUTE. I love it. It’s amazing. It makes me SO HAPPY.

8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Not a contemporary, but people who’ve read both series can’t tell me that Anna and Sophie wouldn’t be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER if they met in “real” life. I certainly think they would. 😀 (Plus, Archer? HELLO SEXY. He and Entienne could burn down buildings just by walking into them.)

9. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

This is actually a second book of a series that is connected but doesn’t particularly have to be read in the same order, but I think it’s the best one for Anna fans.

10. Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

No, not a contemporary. But I still think Anna and Aly would make fiiiiine friends. OHMYGOD, SOPHIE, ANNA AND ALY. THIS WOULD BE THE BEST BOOK. Someone help me get these guys on that…

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

 

5 stars

“Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken—and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?”

When I started this blog, I swore I would be analytical. I swore that I would look at a book with a critical eye no matter how much I enjoyed the storyline. Since then, I’ve done that. Or at least, I think I have. (Drop me a line if you think there’s a way for me to improve my reviews!) Either way, if you like a critical book review…stop reading here. Almost nothing in this book is going to be critical. I am going to allow myself to be the 17 year old girl that I am and just…gush.

Because I loved this book.

I’ll admit, I nearly gave this book 4 ½ stars simply for the fact that I don’t want to be one of those people who throws around 5 star ratings. But then I stopped and thought…why? There is absolutely and utterly no reason.

I should start this off with a disclaimer: I usually HATE books that are entirely teen romance. I hate them. I literally hate them. It’s like all YA authors think that these things need to be filled with a bunch of clichés and fantasy. (Disagree? Comment and give me a book as an example!) When you pick up Anna and the French Kiss, the synopsis doesn’t seem promising. Girl goes to boarding school, girl meets guy, they fall in love, PLAY THE SAPPY HAPPY ENDING! It is the plot of ten dozen different teen novels with the same exact premise as this one.

But that is not what happened here.

Anna and the French Kiss was REAL. In some YAs—and this is especially horrible in the first person, as Anna and the French Kiss is written—the main character is clearly being written by an adult. There are a myriad of ways that this shows itself, but all us teens know it. During this book, however, Anna was either absolutely and utterly exactly like me or at least a girl I would kill to have as my best friend. She was actually a teen like me, who thought like me and talked like me and related in every which way to me. Even if this book hadn’t had some other amazing qualities, I could have liked it just on that alone. But it got better.

The plot was REAL. Alright, it was fairly fairytale, what with the Paris setting and the hot English guy, but I’ll forget about that for now. Anna was not a sad, swoony girl who knew that she and Etienne were soul mates from the first second. Etienne did not fall in love with her at first glance, nor was he a jerk who changes his ways because of her or some other cliché. He was a real guy. She was a real girl. They both had their issues that weren’t just limited to their families (though there was certainly some fairly cliché family/father drama). They both had their own personality issues, and they both made some choices and had views that weren’t necessarily correct.

Hallelujah for an author who gets it.

Alright, the ending is pretty fairytale. They all live happily ever after in the most swoon worthy fashion. That didn’t bother me all that much. Maybe a little bit of fairytale isn’t that bad after all. The plot was real enough and I loved the characters so much that I honestly wanted that happily ever after. Despite its premise and ending, though, Anna and the French Kiss has been an answer to my prayers. It’s a teen romance I can stomach, has a main character that’s real and has a love story that’s parameters weren’t set up by the Brothers Grimm. It’s well written, it’s cute, it’s funny and it’s REAL. I hear that Perkins’s next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door (on shelves now), has a more realistic setting and I am jumping up and down to get a hold of it. Anna and the French Kiss isn’t just a good read; it’s my new best friend.