Date: December 2, 2010
Series or Stand-alone: Stand-alone (but 2 more companions!!)
Format: Hardcover, 371 pages
Description: (from Stephanie's website)
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 Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
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? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
First line: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline, Amelie, and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is.
The story starts on Twitter. (Not ANNA's, mine.) It was one night in July when my friend Andye was talking about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I said I wanted to read it, even though I really didn't know much about it. So, she sent it and I read it in about five glorious, glorious hours. Ever since it's been love.
Anna is shipped off to boarding school for her senior year. Away from her best friend and her little brother. Nothing good can come of being France. She doesn’t speak the language or know the culture and she doesn’t want to be there. The one good thing: the school her father chose for her is for Americans. It doesn’t take long before she makes a great set of friends, one of whom is Etienne St. Clair. (Everyone calls him St. Clair.) An American raised in England who speaks fluent French, St. Clair is everything she wants. He’s sweet, cute, funny—he also has a girlfriend.
So, Anna shoves him to the “just friends” shelf, even though she hopes for more. Throughout this book, their friendship grows and develops on real levels. They connect over movies, their mutual friends, loss and they even argue. There are times I want to punch St. Clair for being a jerk. Stephanie does a great job of developing the characters in the story--more than only Anna and St. Clair. The friendships are real and grow together as the time passes between them. Each friendship faces challenges, resolutions and I like that. It's a very real story.
In all this though is the story of a girl and a boy. It’s not over-done or typical. Stephanie infuses LOTS of great qualities and real emotions. It’s hilarious. It’s sad and frustrating. It's sweet and chocked full of internal thoughts and lively dialogue. If you are a girl, you have to read it! It’s one of my favorite books of the year. You will fall in love with Anna and St. Clair and Paris—and you’ll be waiting, hoping, wondering if Anna will get her french kiss from the boy who has her heart. (And mine. And yours, once you read this.)
Final thoughts: Buy yourself a copy. Buy your friend a copy. It will not disappoint.