Thursday, September 28, 2017

Audiobook Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 372
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Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome √Čtienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for? 

Just when everything in her life seems to be going right, Anna's father decides to ship her off to Paris for her senior year. Thrown into a country that she knows nothing about and separated from her best friend and almost-boyfriend, Anna is absolutely miserable. Luckily, she is taken in by a group of friends shortly after arriving in Paris. The group helps her adjust and shows her all the secrets that Paris holds. But Anna is also struggling with developing feelings for her friend Etienne St. Clair, who is already taken and totally off-limits.

This book has been on my TBR for so long, but I have never had any real desire to pick it up. I am not typically a fan of contemporary novels, and I really need to be wowed by them or I will put them aside. I had heard that Anna and the French Kiss was super cute and fluffy, and that was not something that interested me at all. I finally decided to pick up the audiobook so I wouldn't be wasting too much time if I didn't like it, and I'm glad that I did.

Ultimately, Anna and the French Kiss didn't completely wow me. But, that being said, I still enjoyed it. It was not nearly as cutesy as I had anticipated. The best thing about this book that it was very realistic. The conversations and interactions that the characters had were things that could (and often do) happen to anyone. So many contemporary romances feel so unnatural to me, so it was refreshing to encounter a very realistic story in this book. The romance in Anna was not insta-love at all. The characters developed feelings for each other over time and approached their feelings with a level head. That is often not how romance is handled in YA, so it was like a breath of fresh air to read this story.

Since I was reading this book after the entire trilogy has been published, it was fun to see nods to the future books showing up. The character of Isla (from the third book, Isla and the Happily Ever After) popped up a couple times in Anna. This made me even more excited to read the rest of the books to learn how everything connects. I love it when authors put in the effort to make small connections throughout a series, so I can't wait to see what is coming in the rest of the trilogy.

While I didn't fully love Anna and the French Kiss, I did enjoy the story and I do plan on continuing with the series. I have heard that Anna and Etienne make appearances in the other books in the trilogy, so I am looking forward to seeing how their story continues.