BOOK REVIEWS

Anna and the French Kiss Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-30 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 773 user ratings
ISBN:0142419400
LANGUAGE:English

"“For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

Is “Anna and the French Kiss” the right book for you if you’re looking for something unique that you’ve never read about before? No, it’s not.

Is it the right book if you’re looking for a book without any clichés? No!

Is it the right book if you’re looking for something that will make you feel good and smile a lot? Hell yeah it is!

Anna and the French Kiss is an incredibly quick read and you could easily finish it in a single sitting because it’s so addictive. You just won’t want to put it down anymore, it’s literally the definition of a “feel good” book. Reading AATFK will make you immediately want to go to Paris to find your own St. Clair and visit all the places that are mentioned in this book. I’ve already been there a couple of times before and have been to most of the places mentioned in the book, but even I just want to go back there right now to revisit all the places Anna and St. Clair have been to.

But the book will not only make you swoon over their perfect love story, but it will also make you laugh a lot and will conjure a smile on your face which you won’t be able to easily wipe off it again. It will also teach you a little about history because St. Clair is obsessed with it (not in an annoying way though). I’m serious, I’ve actually learned a thing or two about French and American historical figures and Parisian history. But one of my absolute highlights is Bridgette’s, who is Anna’s best friend, obsession with unique words. I mean, did you know that “Callipygian” means “having shapely buttocks”? You didn’t? Well, neither did I but now we both know and I’m loving it!

In my opinion, you also don’t have to be thirteen or fourteen to like this book. I was fourteen when I read it for the first time and just reread it at the age of nineteen (a few days away from turning twenty) and I actually enjoyed it more than I did when I read it for the first time. That might also be due to the fact that I just needed a book like this but I just feel like you can never be too old for it. It’s just so incredibly cute and sometimes everyone needs something like it. It’ll make you incredibly happy and I just have to give it 5 out of 5 stars for how good it made me feel once again!
" said.

"

Review also posted here (October 18th, 2015)

There are times in which I ask myself: Did I read the book wrong? Everyone seems to love it, even the reviewers I trust or people with the same reading tastes as I rated this book highly. How come I hated it? Did I read another book entirely?

As you may be guessing, this is one of those occasions.

I was promised a cute fun read, but I got nothing of the sorts. Instead, I got one of the most immature and stupid books I’ve ever read in my life.

Anna has the oh-so-perfect life in Atlanta: Friends, almost boyfriend, etc. Her father, however, is rich and does whatever the hell it pleases his ass to do, so he sends Anna to a boarding school at Paris. Obviously, she’s angry and doesn’t want the change… that is, until she meets perfect boy Étienne St. Clair.

The amount of ignorance that comes with Anna’s character is overwhelming. I knew the book was going to be bad the moment she said this:

The only French word I know is oui, which means “yes,” and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e.


I mean, seriously? One of the most international words and she doesn’t know how it is written?!?!

On another occasion she was astounded by the deliciousness of a panini…

“Where have you been all my life?” I ask the beautiful panini. “How is it possible I’ve never had a sandwich like this before?”


… but I was more like “where have you been, Anna? Paninis are everywhere!”

But that’s not where it ends. She also wanted to be the greatest female film critic… and yet, she didn’t even know Paris is the capital of film appreciation. She’s even surprised to see there are theaters in France. To worsen this, what do you think she does? She starts going to the movies… but to watch American movies in Paris, the city of films.

Her head is also full of stereotypes of French people. For example, there was a book she was asigned to read and she was like, “wow, this has lots of sex! No wonder it’s a French book!” She also thinks all French people do is watch mimes the entire day.

I’m going to be sick. I’m going to vomit that weird eggplant tapenade I had for dinner, and everyone wil hear, and no one will invite me to watch the mimes escape from their invisible boxes, or whatever it is people do here in their spare time.


Seriously, after reading this book I feel like I could write one myself titled Creative Ways of Killing Stupid People and Why It’s Important to Do This Without Delay. She was just so damn idiotic for this world. Maybe she had cheese or peanut instead of brains. Anna’s ignorance and stupidity was not the only aspect about her that bothers me. She’s a whiny and selfish brat. She’s always complaining her teachers won’t speak in English, worrying about her almost boyfriend and the wonderful boy she met in Paris, etc.

This boy she met in Paris is Étienne St. Clair. He’s one of those swoon-worthy love interests: He will make you roll your eyes so much back your head you will swoon. I swear I did many times. He’s just the typical cliched romantic interest. He’s American, has a British accent and a French name. And we’re supposed to fall head over heels for him.

I didn’t.

In many reviews I’ve read I’ve noticed how much they praise the fact that he’s not a jerk, but really, is he not? Think about it: He has an already established girlfriend when he meets Anna and the instalove spark ignites. They hang out, hold hands, sleep together (in a chaste way), kiss… and he has a girlfriend. But he’s not a jerk. Not at all.

There’s only one thing I don’t love about him. Her.


This is another thing that bothered me about this book: It promotes cheating. I get St. Clair was not exactly happy with his girlfriend, but if you have feelings for the other girl, why not break up first and then settle with the other one? Picture yourself in that girl’s place. Wouldn’t you feel horrible to know your boyfriend has been cheating on you? Liars/hypocrites/cheaters are the worst of cowards, and betrayal is one of the worst feels in the world. Plus, if he cheated once, he will do it more times. It’s like a circle.

But not only that. There’s also lots of girl hate in this book. Guess who is the cause for this? Oh, it’s rather simple: Mr. Sexy British Born American Desired More Than a Gram of Platinum Étienne St. Clair.

“I’m not sure why Anna here thinks she stood a chance with him either. Dave was right. You are a slut. You weren’t good enough for him, and you’re definitely not good enough for St. Clair.” Amanda flicks her hair. “He’s A-list.You’re D.”


Later on, everyone calls Anna a slut, and she even judges other girls, but all so we can see how “good” she is, because that’s another thing: It seems like the author was trying too hard to make Anna likable, but she just ended up being really clumsy and immature.

I can’t even praise the writing. It was lazy and immature. For example, whenever someone shouted, the author decided to use CASPLOCK, which in my opinion is a very lazy way of writing, and not to mention annoying.

WHY IS ÉTIENNE CHOOSING ELLIE? WHY?


Also… Don’t. You. Get. Annoyed. When. People. Make. All. These. Stops. To. Talk? I do, and I don’t know how I survived this book with this kind of immature writing. I also felt the writing was way too slangy, and this made it more immature… but this latest point is more a thing of tastes.

The voices of all the characters felt too young for their ages. They were supposed to be 17, but they all sounded like 13-year-olds, and I really could not stand their dialogues. They were ridiculous and unbearable… and the conversations they had were far from similar to the kind of conversations I (or any of my friends) held at that age, and I shouldn’t find them unrealistic, since I’m only one year older than them.

Also, since this is a contemporary romance, there should be some chemistry between the love birds, right? Well, there was’t. Anna arrived to Paris, and the first boy he saw was St. Clair and just like that, she fell in instalove. She couldn’t shut up about how hawt he was, and the same for him: The next day he was already blushing at everything she said. Ugh. Either I’m too old for this shit, or it is in fact ludicrous.

So you see, all the “aww”s I was promised were in vain. There was none of the sort, and if anything, this book only made me feel sick. Sick at the stupidity, ignorance, shaming, etc. I won’t even try to understand the hype because I will only fail – it makes no sense – so now I will kiss this book goodbye (did you see what I did there?) and forget about it.

P.S.: Just as a curious fact, a gram of platinum is valued in $545 in my country.

_________________________________________

Pre-review (October 15th, 2015):

This is one of the most stupid, immature, ignorant books I've ever read in my life. Seriously. I cannot understand how is it that everyone has rated this 4 or 5 stars. It has girl hate (the word "slut" was used plenty of times to insult as well), a fucking idiotic American girl who makes people from the US look bad, ignorant portrayal of French culture, instalove, a jerk who's supposed to make me fall in love with him just like our Anna did, immature and lazy writing style, and it promotes cheating. Is that enough for you to run far far away from this book? No? Then stay tuned for my review.

RTC." said.

" just reread this beauty for a third (fourth?) time :) " said.

" How to describe Anna and the French Kiss?Anna and the French Kiss is flawless. Its pages are insured for $10,000 dollars. It does car commercials...In France. Its favorite director is Sofia Coppola. One time, Anna and the French Kiss met John Green, and he told it that it was pretty.One time, it punched worldsuck in the face...It was awesome. Obviously, I'm not thinking coherently enough to post an actual review. Mean Girls quotes will have to do. Anna and the French Kiss has addled my brain. " said.

"*** First finished January 6th, 2012
Like everyone says, this is the epitome of YA Romance. It is ADORABLE.

Although I absolutely loved the romance, my favourite part of the book was the setting. I don't know about you, but I haven't heard that much about Paris. Obviously I know about the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, and how it's supposed to be the most Romantic City on earth, but really, I didn't have that great a mental picture in my mind. After reading this book though, I NEED to visit Paris. The way it was described, the imagery, everything was so good !

This was a really nice read and a perfect way to end my Christmas Vacation.
I will definitely be getting the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Newt Door.

*** Update January 16th, 2013
Yaaaaaaaay I love this book! I'm really happy that I started the year with this book, it makes me happy.
My favourite thing was still Paris.. I dont read enough books where the setting is so well done. I also loved Étienne. I'll admit that. I want him.
" said.

"More of my reviews can be found at Flipping Through the Pages!

EDIT: This review was originally published on Sep 1st 2011 and I have since discovered I do infact enjoy contemporary novels (funny that), although this was my FIRST EVER contemporary YA book and reading back, my review sounds a bit weird tbh. Oh well.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
As you may have noticed, I'm not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, ESPECIALLY contemporary romance... Oh boy, turns out I was wrong that not ALL contemporary is mind-numbingly boring. Anna and the French Kiss had me me in fits of laughter on every page and from the moment that 'Hogwarts' was mentioned, I was in love!

Anna Oliphant is sent to go to school in Paris by her father against her wishes. Anna can't speak French, she doesn't want to leave her friends and family behind but once she arrives, she soon makes friends and meets Etienne St. Clair *swoons*.

Reading about Anna was like reading about myself when I was 16 *what was I THINKING?* and I found I could really relate to her, particularly because of the way she would think and what she would go through with her friends and guys. The thing I loved most about Anna is that she didn't immedietely go "OMG I LOVE HIM", it took the entire novel to realise that she loved Etienne. First, she just thinks he's hot and has a hot accent, which I agree with because English accents are AWESOME. Then they become best friends, they then like eachother and then they realise they love eachother. Anna and the French Kiss is easily the best couple I've seen in YA. They had chemistry, as in real, make-your-heart-race chemistry . I loved Anna, she was smart, funny, sarcastic, confused and flawed (she has gap-teeth, how often do you come across that in YA?)... I wish I could meet Anna, I love her, but I love her boyfriend too :S...

Etienne, ahhh Etienne... Etienne.
Oh I loved him! He was funny, he was hot, he was caring, sweet, short (if he was real, this wouldn't be a problem, I'm 5'3"), had issues, got drunk, got angry, got upset.... I could go on and on about how great Etienne is but you wouldn't know unless you read the book (which, I know it took me a year to read this. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME)

The secondary characters were not just there for shits and giggles, they had a purpose, they had their own stories and they were real. They swore, they argued, they laughed, they partied, they were typical teenagers!

This is probably the worst review I have ever written because this is one of the best books I have ever read. Why is it always harder to review a book you love?
Anyway, go read this now. Especially those who don't read contemporary (believe me, I don't), but Stephanie Perkins has created some of the most fantastic, well-rounded characters and such a beautiful, fun story I guarantee you will laugh, possibly cry, hope and swoon over this story, Anna and Etienne

PS - I want to go to Paris now more than EVER.
" said.

" 4.5 stars. This is one of those books that you finish with a big, satisfying, "Awwwwwwwwwwww!" " said.

"Note: Apologies that I have no accents on my Frenchie vowels... my laptop was having a mare. You get the gist.


"Girl Scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable boys."

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Urgh, fine. Whatever. I’ll admit it. I swooned… a little. Can we move on?!

High Points.
Anna. Etienne. Paris. Boarding school. Swoon. Clomping boots. Convenient breezes. Canadian flags. Shakespeare & Company (I have a book from there!) One of the sweetest scenes set in Pere Lachaise ( First, obviously. Sewell reference. BOOM.)Chocolat Chaud. Fisticuffs. Notre Dame. Airplanes. Girl Scout cookies. Chocolate moustaches. Dancing on desks. E-mails and New Year’s Eve. Poetry. Briticisms. Victor’s victor.

Low Points.
See bit about Heroine.
See Boy/Girl Angst Scale.
Also… how else do you pronounce ‘directions’? I get the banana/banarna (Thanks Death Proof!)… but directions?! *pouts*.
OH and another thing. I did not go from Year 7 to Year 9 with a mouth full of metal to still be stuck with the whole ‘British have bad teeth’ stereotype!
NOT EVERYONE IN BRITAIN HAS GNASHERS LIKE SHANE MACGOWAN.
So, I do not care for Etienne’s crooked teeth. There… I said it.
*grumbles*

Heroine.
Aww, Anna. You made me giggle and I loved that you were realistically flawed. You were anal and neurotic and you said the wrong things at the wrong time and you dance like a ho when you’re drunk.
I also loved that you had Rogue hair, which I’m going to pretend was intentional so extra Brownie Points for you.
English accents being your kryptonite aside, I really liked you and I would totally go to the cinema with you and talk about films with you and judge you when you ogled a vertically challenged boy when Clark frickin’ Gable is on the screen.
And….OK. I don’t mean this to turn into a rant, but it probably will.
Anna, mate, you’re a film fan.
A film fan.
A fan of the cinema.
CINEMA.
The word alone should give it away.
How did you not know that Paris is cinematically inclined?!
The French practically invented cinema. Literally.
I found it very difficult to believe that Anna could be a super film fan without ever stumbling on a French film that wasn’t Amelie (J’adore, by the way).
Cahiers du Cinema? Godard? Truffant? Auteur theory? Bazin? Cocteau?
Non?
Get thee to Wikipedia, woman.
But fret not, Anna, because I’ve dug out my countless essays on the French New Wave and my dissertation and they are on their way to you.
ENJOY.
Maybe I’m being harsh on Anna because I did enjoy the film chats and I agree, Sofia was robbed.
Yes, I’m definitely being too harsh. You’ve been through a lot. You get shipped off to Paris, the city of lovers and French boys, and ending up lumbered with a short, English man who can’t handle his beer and vino instead of a tall, willowy French man who slinks like a gazelle when he walks who can sup wine all day and not vomit on your legs?
Harsh.

Speaking of short, English men who can’t handle their Strongbow beer…

Love Interest.
Hey Etienne.
I’m going to call you Etienne because I feel like we’re at that stage in our friendship. I know, I know only Anna calls you Etienne but I don’t like calling people buy their second names because I just can’t pull it off. Some people sound cool when they do it… I sound like a complete and utter twat.
Well… I’ll be honest with you, because you strike me as a guy who likes honesty, I couldn’t help but feeling short changed. I was expecting, with a name like Etienne St. Clair, that you would be this delicious hybrid of Gaspard Ulliel’s face and hair and Christophe Lemaitre’s height and adorable way of only speaking like a single word of English (and ability to run 100m under 10 seconds) with y’know… va va voom (said in Thierry Henri’s accent, obviously).
Did I get it? Non.
But as I got to know you a bit better I realised that you are a complete cutie, just not my kind of cutie.
You’re a bit ridiculous (but I’ll go into this later) but your ridiculousness matched Anna’s ridiculousness which was nice. You’re understandably vulnerable. You’re clever. You like history. You can partake in fisticuffs. You like French punk rock. And you know your way around a romantic gesture, which is also lovely.
The afraid of heights things bothered me, even though it was adorable, because sometimes a girl just wants to be taken up the Eiffel Tower without her beloved vomming over the side onto unsuspecting tourists.
Is that too much to ask?
Also, I'll be you some built up socks.
Sorted.

Best Friends.
YES. I want to hang out with these guys all the time. Even though sometimes it would be teeeense because there is a lot of tension within this group.
But also sweetness, reality and genuine caring for each other.
And hot chocolates.

Theme Tune.

Keeping with the French theme..

Sexy Boy by Air.

No explanation needed really.

Also…

High School Lovers by Air.

"I'm a high school lover
And you're my favourite flavour"

From one of my favourite soundtracks ever.
Sofia Coppola reference. Boom.

Boy/Girl Angst Scale.
10/10. Frick. Right… well. Up until about 60% the arrow to the Boy/Girl Angst Scale was teetering around 6/7… which was fine because the eye rolls matched the tummy flips.
But then it all went into italics and CAPITAL LETTERS and a one way trip to Angst Town.
I’m not going to go into it because spoilers lurk within but seriously… Anna. Come on, girl. Don’t make me get the hose.


“I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent.”


*bites tongue*

Also, there were faaaaaar too many people in love with the main characters and faaaaar too many people the main characters were in love with.
Sometimes, I just want to read a book about a girl fancying a boy and a boy fancying a girl without unnecessary faff.


Sadness Scale.
4/10. There were a few genuine ‘Ohhh sadface’ moments. Especially concerning Etienne. But other than that, I think you’ll be OK with this one.
Unless you find the fact that Americans think Girl Scout cookies are a suitable alternative to birthday cake distressing.
Which I really do.
I mean I recently had my first GS cookie experience (Thanks Flann!) and my reaction was pretty much exactly like Etiennes (Rolling around on the floor and whimpering because they were so good) but… nothing will ever beat birthday cake and the inevitable eating it for breakfast the next morning.
Which I.. um, never do.

Recommended For.
People who like to switch off their brains, crawl into bed and read a hilarious and sweet contemporary book. Romantics. People who love Paris. People who love the cinema. People who don’t mind shorties. People who would quite happily live on delicious French bready treats for ever. People who can’t resist the English accent. People who have ever wanted to be sent off to a European boarding school for a year. People who have the urge to dance when they realise there is no one in the building. People who think that sideburns are lame. People who think that Robin flew away and did not lay an egg. People who pronounce directions properly. People who always have and always will wish on eyelashes.

You can find this review and other exciting things on my blog here." said.

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