Wow. I’m blown away by this book. I had heard so much praise for Anna and the French Kiss, so naturally I was a little turned off by it. A couple weeks ago, I got an email from BookBub that Anna and the French Kiss was only $1.99 for a Kindle Ebook that day. I decided I might as well try it, and I’m so glad I did. The romance was the epitome of a slow burn, St. Clair (or Etienne ;)) was so dreamy, Anna was a perfect lovable problematic heroine, and the writing was superb. I literally couldn’t stop reading this book. I snuck pages of it during class, stayed up late reading it, and was physically incapable of putting it down.
“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”
Anna’s dad sends her to the School of Americans in Paris (SOAP) for her senior year. At the beginning, she is pissed. She misses her home, Atlanta, her best friend, her mom and brother, her kinda boyfriend, and her friends. But on the first day, her next door roommate notices her crying and invites her to sit with them at breakfast the next day. Soon Mer, Josh, Rashmi, and St. Clair become her friends, and she starts to fall hard for St. Clair. There’s only one problem: St. Clair has a girlfriend. Anna and the French Kiss is a story of love in the city of love, of becoming your own person, of second chances, and of starting over.
“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”
One thing I love about Anna is that she’s awkward. So many times we read books where the heroine is perfectly witty, sexy, and charming. Not Anna. Sure, she is really funny and beautiful and outgoing. But she bumps into objects, says the wrong things, doesn’t pick up on the signals, and gets tongue tied in front of the boy she loves. Anna isn’t perfect. She refuses to acknowledge some of her flaws. She doesn’t want to be alone. She accidentally hurts those she loves. But there’s something so endearing about her, that you can’t hate her. Maybe it’s the way she cares so strongly about her friends. Maybe it’s how when she recognizes there’s a problem, she tries to fix it. Maybe it’s the way she cares so passionately about film, and loves her brother. But you just can’t hate her, because no matter how frustrated you are with her, you know she’s a good person and is frustrated with herself.
“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
Etienne St. Clair is dreamy. He’s half French, half American, and raised in London. He’s goofy and silly, but also listens to his friends’ problems, and cares strongly about them. He knows how to have fun, but also how to have a serious conversation. And he isn’t perfect either. He doesn’t want to be alone. He leads girls on. He sends mixed signals. He’s also beautiful. He has big, deep brown eyes, and perfectly shaggy dark hair. He actually makes me blush just thinking about him, because he is that swoon-worthy. I’m lightheaded right now. He’s too dreamy.
“French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.”
Etienne (I call him this because I love him-his friends call him St. Clair) and Anna aren’t an insta love couple. They are friends first, and so they get to know each other on a personal level before they fall in love. Etienne is the first one to take her out to Paris. Anna is the first one to get him out of his funk during Thanksgiving. Etienne is Anna’s first boy to sleep in her bed (but just sleep! This scene is so awkward it’s adorable and probably one of my favorite scenes from the book). They talk, they joke, they play, and they fight. But those moments when they touched? I swear, you would’ve thought I was Anna because of the way I blushed. They just had the most amazing chemistry that I actually melted reading this book. He would just touch her leg with his and my heart would burst. And the end, where they finally come together. We’ve been inside Anna’s head the whole time, so we knew how much she loved him. But hearing from Etienne how much he loved her will make your cheeks hurt from smiling so much. All these subtle cues he dropped that Anna missed, it’s just so obvious he is head over heels for her, just like she is head over heels for him.
“You’re the most incredible girl I’ve ever known. You’re gorgeous and smart, and you make me laugh like no one else can. And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don’t deserve you, but what I’m trying to say is that I love you, Anna. Very much”
Honestly, what girl hasn’t dreamed of falling in love in the City of Love? Anna and Etienne get to spend time together at Notre Dame, the Eiffel Park, on the Seine, in parks, cafes, cinemas, restaurants, shops. Te whole story has a glamorous and magical feel to it because it’s Paris. The whole city is glamorous and magical and beautiful.
“We both got our Point Zero wishes―each other. He said he wished for me every time.”
Another huge plus in this book is the secondary characters. They weren’t just there to fill the background, but had a purpose and a personality. I personally loved Rashmi and Josh the best. Even though Rashmi seemed cold in the beginning, when all shit hit the fan between Anna, Etienne, and Mer, she went out of her way to show Anna that she was there for her. And Josh was just such a sweetie pie. He never chose sides, just helped who needed it. He carried Anna home when she was drunk, and comforted her when she was crying. I heard the next standalone features Josh so I am super excited to see what he is like as a love interest as opposed to a good friend :).
“Anna, Anna,” Josh interrupts. “If I had a euro for every stupid thing I’ve done, I could buy the Mona Lisa. You’ll be fine.”
The only thing I would caution you on is this book has a lot of cheating in it. And while Perkins and the characters don’t condone the cheating, and recognize it’s wrong, it is still a lot.
If you want an absolutely adorable romance, strong main characters, supportive friendships, messed up homelives, and all set in the most romantic city in the world, look no further. Anna and the French Kiss is everything you’ve ever wished for.
Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
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