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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
ISBN: 9780525423270
Publisher: Dutton Books
Page #: 372
Source: My copy

"Anna was 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. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne 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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt."
First Lines:

"Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is."
Page 3

There are times when I don't listen to reviews. I dunno why. I guess sometimes I figure people must be under some voodoo spell about certain books. I was starting to think that about this book until it fell into my lap and I needed something to read on my way home from work. Once I started it, I literally wasn't able to stop.

It has pretty much all of my favorite characteristics of realistic fiction: awesome location, believable characters, perfect romance, real sounding conversations, humor, boarding schools, family drama and so much more. I loved it from page 1. Or, really, page 3 - since that's where it starts :). Ahem, anyway...

Besides all of the characteristics that make this book wonderful, there is something about the writing or the voice that just keeps you hooked. Like, literally... hooked. This was a one day read for me. When I got home from work, I didn't put it down until I was done. Ah-mazing book. There are few realistic books that I do that with. This one absolutely stands apart from all the others.

It's definitely in the romance category, but for some reason it feels like there's so much more to it. I think it's all of the emphasis on the families and friends in their lives. It gives the story more meat and points of interest. Not to mention that I love pretty much all of the characters. The group of friends the author created felt like real people that I would hope to be friends with - though I'm not sure I'd be cool enough.

I have to say that this book also took me back to my semester of study abroad in England. Yes, I realize it's a totally different place, but there's something about the whole living-in-another-country-by-yourself thing is very similar. Even the dorms sounded exactly like what I lived in there. It reminded me of all the great things - the different culture, the different foods, the amazing people... just a really cool aspect to this book.

I've mentioned this before about a totally different book, but I'll say it again: I love it when characters have a very specific hobby or love that has very little to do with the story. In this book, it's Anna's love of film. Yes, she spends a lot of time talking about/going to the theater... but it's not like that sways the story one way or another. It makes her more than just a girl with a crush on a guy. It makes her Anna - a character I'm not going to soon forget.

The cover on this book will make it an easy sell to all of my girls who love romance and realistic fic. Or, at least, easy for me to put it in their hands. I think it's a great story. I wanna say boys will love it too, but I'm not as sure about that. But the characters are so awesome, I can't imagine them not being loved. So, absolutely read this one!

This book was the author's debut and she already has another on the way! I'm so excited and I will absolutely be reading it (come on, September!). No doubt in my mind. Here's her website so you can adequately stalk her.
Other Blog Reviews:

Confessions of a Bookaholic
Imperfection is the New Pink
Novel Novice
Zoe's Book Reviews
There are way too many reviews out there for me to list... but trust me, this book is absolutely worth it. Feel free to get second, third, fourth opinions though :).

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