Saturday, 12 February 2011

Anna and the French Kiss By Stephanie Perkins

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.
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But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their lon-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.
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I could not put this book down and ended up reading it all in one sitting. It was so refreshing to see a romance where the couple are so realistic yet completely heart warming. Not only is it hopefully romantic, it is also incredibly funny. There were times when I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop myself from laughing out loud (I was reading it into the early hours of the morning and I didn't want to wake my flatmates).
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What I loved the most was probably the setting. It feels like you are taking a tour of Paris along with Anna and Etienne; visiting all the famous landmarks, eating the delicious food, lounging in the parisian parks and movie theatres, whilst all the time sharing these experiences with your best friends. It makes you want to live in such a beautiful and vivid city.
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Stephanie Perkins manages to capture all the feelings and emotions of developing love exquisitely. You can almost feel the same butterflies in the stomach and giddiness that Anna is feeling whenever she is with Etienne. However, she also manages to capture all the insecurities and awkward moments of their new relationship, along with the fights and bad decisions. That's probably why it felt so realistic because Anna and Etienne are still getting to know each other.
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This book leaves you feeling so happy and light-hearted, yet that doesn't mean it didn't have depth. All the characters are fully developed and have their own stories. I'd probably say that this novel is almost as much about friendship as it is romance. Anna doesn't fall in love with Etienne straight away, they become firm friends first and I loved the banter between them. Anna's new friends, Meredith, Rashim and Josh are all just as interesting and add so much to the story. They all have their own disinct personalities.
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I really can't do this book justice. It was so witty and charming that you just sink right between the pages. I was so absorbed within the story that I never once realised I was reading a book, it felt like I was actually part of the story and was watching it unfold right before my eyes. Such a sweet, honest and delicious read.
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Random Passage: My new neighbourhood is the Latin quarter, or the fifth arrondissement. According to my pocket dictionary, that means district, and the buildings in my arrondissement blend one into another, curving around corners with the sumptuousness of wedding cakes. The sidewalks are crowded with students and tourists, and they're lined with identical benches and ornate lampposts, bushy trees ringed in metal grates, Gothic cathedrals and tiny creperies, postcard racks, and curlicue wrought iron balconies.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Fabulous review! I loved Anna and the French Kiss, too, and also read it in one sitting. I can't wait for the companion novels to come out!

The Library Owl said...

Thanks :) I'm really looking forward to her other works too!

BooksforCompany said...

Books really are amazing when you feel like your actually in the story and not reading!! I LOVE books which make you feel that way =)

The Library Owl said...

I know, at one point I looked up from the book and was actually surprised that I was sitting in my room surrounded by four wall instead of the hustle and bustle of Paris, and I remember being struck by how quiet it was as if I had actually been hearing the sounds of Anna's world.