To start on that list of books I've had stacked in my room but never grabbed, I finally picked up Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book, written by a fellow Nerdfighter. (If you are lost... these are people who are awesome and are nerds and watch the Vlogbrothers on Youtube. Made of awesome. DFTBA.)
Before we get into the book, can I just say that I adore the cover redesign? I know there was a big fuss made when they released the new cover but to me it fits the book SO much better than the old cover.
The new cover is so much sexier with its deep reds and sunset motif. This book is far too sexy and far too amazing to have such a simple cover like the old one. Also that is NOT what Anna looks like in my mind. She is also much sexier and cooler. Also where is her blonde streak? Maybe reading this book is the reason I'm gonna put a blonde streak in my hair. Who knows. (It is , though)
This book is about Anna Oliphant from Atlanta, Georgia. Her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year and she is less than excited. She doesn't speak French, she loves her hometown friends and crushes, and she really doesn't like doing what her father wants her to do.
Once she gets to France she meets a cool new group of friends, one of whom is Etienne St. Clair, a British boy. Born in America. Going to school in France. Who is fluent in French. And hot. So hot. *drools* BACK TO THE BOOK. They soon become best friends but things get tricky as their relationship starts to heat up. Over the course of the school year, their friendship deepens but St. Clair is taken and Anna may have a boy back home. And friendship is more important than french kisses, yes? No?
This book was perfect. It has everything that I love. Every. Thing. My favorite books feature boarding schools, unrequited love, amazingly witty writing, and British boys. REAL QUICK let me gush a little bit about Etienne St. Clair. Just.. real quick.
Oh my word. It's been a little while since I've fallen this hard for a literary character. But I mean... St. Clair wasn't even fair. He speaks French, he loves his mother more than any other woman alive, he bites his thumb nail when he concentrates, he wears a knitted cap his mother gave him, and he's british. B.R.I.T.I.S.H. Also he's nice and smart. And British, too.
I loved these characters. All of them were unique and they all felt real. I loved Anna. She was a heroine who had real goals. Anna loves film like I love books and she has a website where she reviews the films she watches. I related so much to Anna and her spirit. She was so much fun and I wanted to be friends with her. We had a lot in common and when I can bond with the main character it makes the book all the better.
The writing guys. The WRITING. Unreal. Stephanie Perkins is so so funny and so romantic. For me she captured the feeling of being in love and how fun it is just to flirt and wonder.
Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and a lot of kings named Louis. I'm not sure what they did either, but I think it has something to do with the French Revolution, which has something to do with Bastille Day. The art museum is called the Louvre and is shaped like a pyramid and the Mona Lisa lives there along with taht statue of the woman missing her arms. And there are cafes or bistros or whatever they call them on every street corner. And mimes. The food is supposed to be good, and the people drink a lot of wine and some a lot of cigarettes.
I've heard they don't like Americans, and they don't like white sneakers.
I saw everything so clear with how she wrote, I had a clear picture of each character (ST. CLAIR) ad each place they went. It was lush and romantic and very Parisian. I got lost in this book. I could hardly ever put it down, resulting in so many breathless sleepless nights watching these characters fall in love.
The storyline was so much fun. It honestly wasn't what I expected at all. There were some deeper plot twists that took me by complete surprise and I loved that. It wasn't as light of a summer read after all but it was still a lot of fun.
Some of the moments in this story that could have seemed very cliche were completely new and sweet. Anna and St. Clair are the most adorable pair ever, mostly because they have such a strong friendship. When they met it was clear there was an attraction but their friendship developed so naturally and that was so delicious to watch. I loved that this wasn't one of those summer romance books you pick up and there is no establishment of friendhsip. It's instant lust and gross me out flirting. This was so subtle and natural and charming. Charming. That's probably the best word for this book. Charming. Also sexy.
From their first evening together by Notre Dame, to St. Clair giving Anna a Canadian flag as a gift *swoon*, to the sparks that fly at their first movie viewing together, I couldn't breathe for half of this book. I had so much anticipation for them to get together. Just one more chapter, maybe they will finally kiss and I can go to bed. PLEASE JUST KISS. This was me the whole time. The. Whole. Time.