Welcome to our first review for the Stephanie Perkins read-along with The Night Owl Post. If you haven’t yet, head over there to read about the origin of Anna and the French Kiss!
There are basically two main types of contemporary novels. The seriously emotional ones that teach you a thing or two about life (cough The Fault in Our Stars cough) and the fluffy cutesy ones that make readers feel very happy. Some people prefer reading the finding-yourself ones as they believe those are the only ones that worth their time. Anna and the French Kiss is the latter type but it by no means is something that does not worth your read. It is definitely a piece of work with happiness, sadness, some revelations about friendship all rolled into one.
This contemporary title follows Anna as she gets sent to Paris for a year of boarding school. Readers will get to experience the wonderful culture and architectures of France together with Anna as she explores this foreign city with her new group of friends. As Anna goes through what every senior high school student goes through during their final year before college – redefining friendships, readers will surely connect with the emotions there. More importantly, there is the element of romance that will provide readers with enough emotions for a cutesy romantic contemporary.
One of the many things that made me fall in love with Anna and the French Kiss is the fact that Stephanie Perkins really incorporates many French culture and buildings into the novel. Very often, while the setting of the novel is very nice, it does not reflect well in the novel. Instead of simply inserting several French words such as merci and oui, the author has carefully created many scenarios where readers can easily read about French’s love for movies and the stereotype of French disliking Americans.
Another thing that I absolutely adore about this book written by Stephanie Perkins is the number of emotions that readers will certainly experience in this seemingly simple book. The heartache over ending friendships, the fluttering joy over crushes and the bliss over fun times with friends. All these emotions are being portrayed vividly throughout different time in the book and there is no page in this book where it feels flat and emotionless.
One slight problem that I have with Anna and the French Kiss is that the characters are sometimes frustrating and a little bit too dramatic. The chemistry between Anna and her love interest St. Claire is blindingly obvious, which in itself does not matter as contemporary isn’t all about unpredictableness, and thus when Anna acts utterly surprised by St. Claire’s actions, it seems a little bit fake. Fortunately, overall Anna is a quite mature character.
In general, I am still beyond satisfied by this novel and thus will definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a light-headed contemporary to get him/her out of a reading slump.