Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, published by Dutton 2010
Anna is 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. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
J'adore Anna and the French Kiss!
There was only ever one book I was hoping desperately to find under the tree on Christmas day. The year's most eagerly anticipated debut YA novel by Stephanie Perkins. And my wish came true! I got a gorgeous shiny brand new hardback copy from my Mum and Dad which I started reading immediately...and couldn't put down because it was as amazingly wonderful as I was expecting it to be.
I first stumbled across Stephanie Perkin's blog nearly a year ago and was immediately attracted to her funny and illuminating and thoughtful posts. I eagerly followed the news about 'Anna' before the book was even published and I've been dying to read it for the longest time ever. Since then it's been the hot topic of conversation across the blogosphere and I've read so many reviews raving about how brilliant it is. I've been desperate to get my hands on a copy and now that I have, I've found my book of 2010. This tops anything else that I've read this year.
I don't even know where to start with describing all the things that I loved about it. I'm just so full of admiration for a debut novel that literally left me breathless for more. The book is set in Paris and there are so many wonderful descriptions of the sights, sounds and delights of the city. I could almost taste the macaroons, I could sense the giddy heights of Notre Dame, I shared Anna's confusion over the language and I experienced the same feelings of lust and desire for the very hot Etienne St Clair. Way to go Stephanie Perkins! That's how you write a perfect boy with amazing hair, charm, good taste, a cute accent and sexiness in abundance. I wonder if Anna would mind sharing?! The ups and downs of their relationship is the main focus of the novel but it also teaches about loneliness, independence, family, friends and finding a place or a person that you can call home.
One of the things I loved the most was the fresh tone of the writing. It reminded me a lot of Meg Cabot (another of my favourite authors) because it was just like having a conversation or reading a letter from your best friend. Down to earth, real and not pretentious in the slightest. This is the sort of book that on finishing it, you just want to pick it up and start all over again.
Stephanie Perkins has two further books planned. 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' which is published in September 2011, followed by 'Isla and the Happily Ever After' which is out in 2012. I'm sure there will also be many more to come, because Stephanie Perkins is one of the most talented new writers I've come across and I'm convinced she'll have a long writing career ahead of her.