Monday, February 14, 2011

Review of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: Dec. 2, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: 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 √Čtienne 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?
Review:  This book is cute. I have been reading a lot of sci-fi and dystopia books lately and even though contemporary romance is not my favorite, it was good to take a little break with a cute book like Anna and the French Kiss. It was not too long with a sweet romance in Paris that felt really appropriate just before Valentine’s Day.
Stephanie Perkins’ writing is witty and funny and her descriptions of Paris are gorgeous. I love how she describes the places, the food, the feel of the city, just wonderful. The romance is predictable, you pretty much know where the relationship between St. Claire and Anna is headed. It reminded me of the stereotypical romantic comedy with its share of misunderstandings and false starts.
What I did not care for so much was Anna. She complains about her father through much of the book and I could understand if he were truly awful, but he never came across that way. Her dad is a successful novelist and after she described the type of books he writes, they sound a lot like books written by Nicholas Sparks.
She is extremely embarrassed by her dad’s books, his picture on book jacket, the movies made from his books.  She puts him down to her friends constantly and comes off looking like a brat. She complains that he sent her to school in Paris for her senior year and instead feeling fortunate for the experience, she is angry about leaving her life in Atlanta behind, but her life was kind of average. She is annoyed that he sends her to a school with rich kids but does not give her enough money to live like them, instead telling her to live within her means. What’s so wrong with that? There are a lot of daddy issues in the book and at one point it’s a bunch of rich kids sitting around complaining about how much they hate their dads.

Anna whines to go home all semester, but when she goes to Atlanta for Christmas break, within hours she is whining to go back to Paris. She constantly thinks about how beautiful St. Claire is and as much as I loved Twilight, it was annoying when Bella did it and just as annoying when Anna does it.

Anna does get a bit more mature by the end of the book but by then I was tired of the teenage angst and complaining. I know many bloggers loved this book and while I did not hate it, I did not like it as much as most.
Content: Language including several uses of the f-bomb. Drinking. Lots of talking about sex.


Deepali said...

Love your review! Sometimes, a light casual read really works inbetween dystopian novels, but I like that you called out so clearly what didn't work in the novel. Whiny brats feature high on my list too :)

Yani {AvidReader} said...

I am not a fan of overly whiny either, but I felt in this book it wasn't too over the top and it made her real. If I were in her shows I think I would have been scared to move to a different country, but once I got used to it I could end up missing it. Especially that Anna changed a lot in those months, she didn't connect anymore to what used to be her old life, so she whined about wanting to go back.

Aleeza said...

im sorry you didn't enjoy it. personally i adored the heck out of it, but to each their own, right? :)


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