Read from: 11th February
To: 18th February
Format: Kindle eBook
Written by author Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss tells the story of a 17-year-old American girl who is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her final year of high school. As the school year progresses, she finds herself torn between her previous American life versus the new French life she is creating for herself, involving Étienne St. Clair, a dreamy English-accent, French-speaking paragon, who happens to be in a relationship.
I feel as though I had seen this book around a lot before I bought it. It is one of those books that had good reviews all over the web so I jumped at the opportunity to buy it on the Kindle when Amazon included it in their Daily Deals. Curious to see what the hype was about, I started reading this book with very high expectations and here are my thoughts on it.
- The book is very easy to read – I personally don’t think this is a bad thing, but if you’re looking for a weighty book that makes you think, this definitely isn’t it. Because it was so easy to read, I found myself being able to read chunks of it at a time, which meant I was able to read the book within a (rather hectic) week.
- It can be a bit repetitive – there was a certain arc in the story that I found to be repetitive and infuriating as it was a simple misunderstanding that could have been easily resolved by speaking. Without wanting to give away any spoilers, there seemed to be a recurring theme involving some of the characters which, after the second or third incident, started to get on my nerves. That being said, it is a young adult book with teen drama so it wasn’t completely out of place.
- It is a feel-good book – when I read this book, I felt warm and snuggly inside. Perhaps it was down to how easy the book was to read, or the lightness of the story, but there were times when I would snuggle under my duvet with nothing but this book and a glass of water to keep me company (though it probably would have been a cup of tea if I actually drink tea!)
- The characters/writing seemed a bit immature at times – maybe I am saying this as a somewhat mature twenty-something, and I am sure that I was probably just as immature (if not more immature) when I was 17, but there were certain elements in the novel – both in terms of the characters and the writing – that just screamed immaturity at me. With that in mind, I am aware that I am not perhaps the perfect target audience for this book so my views are always going to be a bit skewed negatively.
- The book seemed to go downhill for me – I was absolutely in love with this book when I first started reading it and whenever I wasn’t reading, I kept thinking about the book and the determination and need to learn what happened to Anna, the main character. However as I progressed through the book, I found that longing begin to wane. I still had a lot of desire to finish the book which propelled me across the finishing line, but I definitely feel as though it lost some of its sparkle, perhaps for some of the reasons mentioned above.
- Étienne was a bit of a dick and Anna a bit selfish at times – while I thought the characters were good overall, there were definitely very obvious and unflattering flaws between two of the (main) characters. I liked both of these characters on the whole but it seemed as though Étienne had periods of being very dark and brooding (and not in a good way) and Anna was too selfish to be able to be a good friend at times. Obviously everyone has their flaws and in general I feel as though these made the characters more realistic but it was a bit frustrating that neither of them seemed to know these flaws about themselves or try to work on them.
- It was a bit clichéd and predictable – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book! If you like a lot of twists and turns in a book, then this isn’t the one for you. But if you don’t mind some predictability and clichés then it is definitely a good book to read!
- I want to read the other books in the same universe – but I won’t rush to read them. There are two other books in this series (Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After) and while I want to get around to reading them one day, I didn’t feel a burning desire to devour them straight away. It is worth knowing that they don’t directly follow the characters from Anna and the French Kiss but that there are some character crossovers. I’ll definitely bear these books in mind when I want a cute squishy feeling inside!
- The book is stinking adorable and cute – and a lot of the other reviews I have read seem to agree. There is just something about this book that adds to the overall cuteness of a typical YA romance.
My favourite quote in this novel definitely made me think.
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”
I suppose if I think about it, home has always been the place where my family lived but I had always thought that when Mr T (my fiancé) and I moved out, we would be moving into our home, not that we would be making a home and I think this quote just puts a little spin on what home truly means.
On the whole I quite enjoyed this book. While I don’t feel as though it is a literary masterpiece, it was definitely an enjoyable way to spend a few cold February afternoons/evenings and I will be keeping an eye out for the other books in the universe to add to my “Want to Read” shelf.
Overall rating: 7/10
Writing quality: 8/10
Feel good: 7/10
Recommend: I will probably recommend this book to other young people who are in touch with their romantic side who want a quick and easy feel-good read to keep them occupied. It is an easy way to switch off your brain so if you want a bit of a brain-break, don’t mind clichés and want to feel cuddly inside, I’d pick up this book.