I feel like Anna and the French Kissby Stephanie Perkins is one of those books which has been on my to-read list for ages, mostly because it shows up as “recommended” by various sources. I wasn’t terribly interested initially, but figured I’d give it a go.
Anna has been shipped off to Paris, to spend her senior year in an American School in France. This means leaving Atlanta, her home, and all she holds dear – her best friend, her crush, her mom and her little brother. Sure, boarding school in Paris sounds like a dream come true for some, but Anna is reluctant (at least initially). Then she meets some friends, including the handsome and charming Étienne St. Clair. Too bad for Anna, Étienne already has a girlfriend.
What follows is a very teenage drama, filled with angst and too much crying. The book is mostly about navigating relationships (friends, crushes, and a little bit of family). Coming from an adult perspective, I felt like the drama was over-exaggerated and much of it seemed silly and over-done. Maybe it was less relatable for me because of my age, or maybe it was the buckets of tears (and the fact that I’ve never really been a fan of teen drama, even when I was a teen with drama). I felt like the annoying romantic relationships overshadowed the friendships, particularly the friendships between the girls. Since I’m a fan of strong female characters and role-models, this bothered me. I just wanted to shake Anna and tell her that life does NOT revolve around boys.
On the plus side, I did love the descriptions of Paris, and it totally sparked my desire to head back over to France (especially since my one visit there was extremely brief and part of a tour).
Also on the plus side, although I felt there were a lot of failings (including my failure to resonate with this book), it wasn’t awful. I wouldn’t re-read it by any means, but if teen romance drama is what you’re looking for, this would be a sure bet.