Source: Borrowed ARC
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?
Anna and the French Kiss was absolutely decadent. From the wonderful banter between Anna and Étienne to the setting (Hello, it’s a boarding school in Paris!), I was in YA heaven.
Though there are many things I’d love to gush about, I’m going to start with Anna. From page one her snarky-yet-sweet voice had me smiling and laughing along as I happily flipped the pages to read more about her predicament. She was the perfect narrator, always ready to supply a quick retort, but all the while showing that she had a huge heart through her thoughts and actions. Without her voice, this novel wouldn’t have been anywhere near as enchanting.
Then there’s Étienne. I’m not quite sure how to describe him, other than the fact that he was amazing. Yes he has a British accent, great looks, and a charming personality, but he was also deep. Perkins didn’t try to make him overly perfect. While I wouldn’t say it’s a big drawback, he’s short. When one imagines the perfect guy, short is not the first thing that comes to mind. He’s also a huge history buff – or, let’s just say it, a nerd. By adding these qualities, Perkins made him even more endearing, while also more realistic.
The relationship between Étienne and Anna was another huge plus. I have long been a fan of the friends-turned-more trope, no matter how cheesy it may be. It was wonderful (and hilarious) to see their relationship develop, both romantically and as friends. From their emails over Christmas break to their adventures through Paris during Thanksgiving, they had a unique bond that had me madly flipping pages. I simply could not get enough of the two of them.
Finally, the setting was lovely. As if Paris wasn’t beautiful enough, Perkins did a fabulous job describing both the city and Anna’s boarding school. Described through Anna’s eyes, the city came alive. The cuisine, the sights, the culture – it was all brought to life with magnificent clarity (and just a touch of snark). I was especially fond of Anna’s trials and tribulations with getting to know the city and her feelings of isolation due to the language barrier. Watching her overcome these challenges further enriched the story and my fondness for her. By the end of the novel, I was dying to visit Paris myself, as the setting lingered in my mind for days.
An absolute gem, I cannot recommend Anna and the French Kiss enough!