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?
. . . .
“I mean, who needs
Christopher any other guy ever when Etienne St. Clair is in the world?”
This was my second reading of Anna And The French Kiss, and I still finished it in two days. I’d be hard-pressed to find a book that calls for more serious page-turning than this one, and since this is a review, I’m going to
and fangirl over St. Clair very professionally and composedly tell you the
Though, my composure and lack of fangirling could get lengthy. And gushy. So…there’s that. You have been warned.
Stephanie Perkins has harnessed the most addictive aspects of chick-lit and infused them into her debut novel. Distinct though relatable main character? Check. Setting that is made for falling in love and romantic nights? Well, duh, it’s Paris. So check. Side-characters that are realistic and funny? Check. Romance that keeps you on the edge of your seat with its slow, simmering build-up and swoon-worthy boy?
Check check check check check. Check.
I could list the non-romantic aspects of this book to seem more stoic, Serious Review Person, but who would I be kidding? This novel could be called Ode To St. Clair, because that EnglishAmericanFrench boy with the perfectly messy hair makes this book.
What I love most about St. Clair is that not once does Perkins try to make him out to be perfect. He’s got real, sometimes in-your-face flaws, which adds this whole new layer of realism to him that most authors completely forget about. His flaws actually make his numerous swoony characteristics stand out so much more. And ohhhh boy, does Etienne St. Clair have some swoony characteristics! He’s funny, gorgeous, down-to-earth, and caring. While you can say that for practically every YA heart-throb, very few seem as authentic as St. Clair. Which is a huge testament to Stephanie Perkins’ writing abilities.
The interactions between Anna and St. Clair are some of the most Awww!-inspiring scenes you’ll ever read in a novel. They are so cute together, even when they’re not together. (See, Etienne has this thing that kind of gets in the way of their obvious chemistry; a girlfriend.) The dialogue is funny and adorable, and their arguments are strained with unspoken feelings. The build-up between them, as I already said, crawls even as it simmers. So many times during this novel, I wanted them to just shut up and start tearing each other’s clothes off, because obviously that’s what they both wanted to do. Instead, they’d look at each other, she’d remember he has a girlfriend and he’d remember she’s not said girlfriend, and the scene’s build-up would fizzle out on a wave of realistic awkwardness.
But boy, do those fizzle-out scenes make the final crescendo explode like fireworks on the 4th of July. To call the end of Anna And The French Kiss satisfying would be doing it an injustice.
While reading this book, there were a few specific chapters I wanted to work into my review. But I got too caught up not fangirling and not gushing about St. Clair that I overlooked them, so I’m going to get my laziness on and just tack them on at the end here. Because why not.
There is an entire chapter that is told through emails between Anna and St. Clair. This was one of the most unapologetically adorable chapters I’ve ever read. Ever. My face was split in half by my crazy-person grin for that whole chapter.
A few weeks before the emails that turned me nutso, Anna and St. Clair get to spend a few days alone while their friends and his girlfriend are back home for a holiday. This is the point-of-no-return chapter in terms of their undeniable chemistry. This is also the point of no return for your resolution to ignore your bed time, because this is when your mind is clouded by a haze of Etienne that won’t part until you finish the novel. So my suggestion would be to read this when you don’t have to be up early for work or school the next morning, because you will be waking up with a Good Book hangover. You know, when you read until dawn, lay down for an hour or two, then want to murder your alarm clock when it so inconsiderately tries to take you out of your book-high and thrust you back into the real world.
I know a lot of you have put off reading this book because of the cheesy cover and title – I was one of you before my friend Pixie talked my ear off about the book (thank you, Pixie) – but don’t let that deprive you of this reading experience. It’s not profound, it won’t change your way of thinking, but it will remind you of why you fell in love with reading in the first place.
It is just So. Much. Fun.
Anna And The French Kiss - 5 out of 5 stars