March 10, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss

by Stephanie Perkins
YA Perkins S
372 p. 2011 Fiction
Grade: A+

It's been a couple of days since I finished this book, and I already want to read it again. What can I say? I'm smitten. I'm not a huge fan of teen chick lit in general. Most of the characters seem to be going through the expected motions toward a happy ending in a flat, automatic kind of way. A few authors, however, seem to get it right. Sarah Dessen for one. Ann Brashares. And now Stephanie Perkins right out of the gate with her debut novel.

Anna and the French Kiss is delightful, charming and great fun to read. Yes, the plot is still what is to be expected of any self-respecting chick lit book. But it has a certain something....a je ne sais quoi (hee!), which made me tear through the book in a day.

Anna exhibits the kind of behavior and thoughts that are so genuine to girls her age. Heck, it's been over 20 years since I was 17, but I remember thinking some of the EXACT same things when struggling with a crush on a boy who--for all intents and purposes--is completely unavailable. She does seem to be a bit reluctant to embrace her Parisian situation (is the girl CRAZY?!), but I can forgive her a little for that because with little to say about the matter, she was yanked away from her home and friends for her SENIOR year. I'd probably hole up in my dorm room for a little while too.

Fortunately, Anna meets some friends (Étienne) who take her under their wing (Étienne)and help her see how truly great going to school in Paris can be.

Have I mentioned that I have a total book crush on Étienne? I could start talking about why, but I'm afraid I'll spoil too much, if I haven't already.

Anna and the French Kiss is not a weighty, message-heavy book, nor was it intended to be. It's light as a perfect soufflé and just as delicious.

Reviewed by The Librarian Chick.

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