#1 Anna & the French Kiss
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 Etienne St. Clair: 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?
Reviewed: 2017-12-07First Read Completed 9/29/12:I can't believe I waited so long to read this! A simply adorable, totally relatable, and terribly dreamy love story. Anna was the perfect protagonist and I can't tell you how many ways I related to her. Absolutely adored it and it was such a fabulous book to get lost in for the whole day.
Re-Read Completed 7/26/14: BEST REREAD EVER!!! I GIVE IT ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD. ALL THE FEELS THIS BOOK GIVES MEEEEE
Full re-read review posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 8/24/14: DEEP BREATHS. DEEP BREATHS. Because I know I fell in love with this book when I first read it but I forgot exactly how in love with it I was until I read it again this year as a part of the #IslaIsComing Read Along (and blog tour)! How I managed to write a coherent review for this book the first time around is beyond me and how I will manage to do it again… Seems impossible.
Okay, first… Let’s talk about Anna. I still feel quite a bit of a connection with her and I just see so much of myself in her character! The whole movie review blog, the way she reacts to things, the way she talks, the way she cares about her family… They’re just all things that I relate to and I still feel like Anna is one of my favorite female leads of all time. I love how much she grows in this book from not wanting to put herself out there (for being in/exploring France as well as with new friends and crushes) to feeling okay — even confident — to take risks and do things on her own. She’s far from perfect but she’s willing to admit her mistakes when she recognizes them and she does try to be a good person.
I’ve come to the realization that the reason I connect so much more with Anna and the French Kiss versus LOLA or even ISLA is because of the romance between Anna and St. Clair. It’s not even just their romance but how it develops. I LOVE the best-friend-turned-boyfriend concept and I was discussing with Sandie after we had both read ISLA how Anna and St. Clair just have this instant chemistry and it just never felt forced. They both had an instant attraction to each other but they had a great friendly banter and camaraderie that was at the core of their relationship so it never felt like insta-love even though they had just met. This romance really just combined everything I love in a romance: a great friendship, a slow burn, and a forbidden aspect. Put all of those together in ANNA and I was just constantly falling in love and tearing my hair out watching their interactions — and it’s a re-read so I already know how it ends!
What makes this book so special to me in part is the connection I made to the characters but I think a big part of WHY I connected is because Stephanie Perkins just wrote them so well. Each character — but especially the two main characters, Anna and St. Clair — all felt incredibly real. Anna and St. Clair feel like real people and not just characters in a book. I feel like I lived part of the book and other parts feel like I’m reading about my best friends. I really was just able to put myself into the book at any given time and it felt like home, despite the fact that I’ve never been to France or even anywhere in Europe at all.
I don’t know how she does it, but Stephanie Perkins is amaaaaazing at infusing this book with ALL THE FEELS. Honestly, almost all of my status updates as I was reading had some sort of capslocked words or flailing. All of the butterflies and tender moments and perfect quotes all come together flawlessly. Nothing felt like it was overdone. Everything fell perfectly into place. Not all moments were perfect and each character had a bit of their own ugly moments that everyone in life must go through to learn about each other and to learn about themselves.
What more can I say about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS except the fact that this has been by far my favorite re-read ever. Picking up this book again has solidified it on a list of my all-time favorites and I think I can say after re-reading that it’s easily my favorite YA contemporary novel that I’ve read so far. This book is the tops, my friends. For me, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Re-Read the second, completed 3/13/15: Oh sighhhh just all my feels again. I love falling back into Anna and everything it reminds me of. ANNA FOREVER. ST CLAIR FOREVER. Get me to Paris.
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