Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher:  Dutton
Published December 2nd 2010:
Hardcover, 372 pages 
Challenge:  100 Books in 2011, 2011 Debut Author  

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 Étienne St. Claire: 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?

I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did.  It is cute, quick, witty, and fun. At first I was annoyed at Anna and her complaints about being “shipped” off to Paris – who wouldn’t want to be in Paris?! At the same time, having gone through a Study Abroad myself, I felt for her being homesick.  After Anna’s initial fears she starts to find her own niche both within herself, a new school, a new boy, and new friends.  What makes Anna real is that while she may have found a “niche” she questions things, like any teenager does (and adults at that matter).  Once Anna finds that being in Paris in not that bad, she finds herself doing things she never would have, stepping outside of her personal shell so to speak.  
Then there is the boy… the boy that makes your stomach do flips and sentences no longer make sense. 

Of course what would a Contemporary Romance set in Paris be without the ‘Boy’.  Etienne St. Claire – what can you say about him except SWOON – not only is he from Paris but he has that cute English accent.  Stephanie Perkins has created the perfect boy in an imperfect way (if that’s possible).  Just like any teenage boy he can’t make up his mind! He thinks he knows what he wants but doesn’t really, all the while acting as if he does.  Such a boy thing!! 

Unlike many Contemporary Romance novels, Anna and the French Kiss is believable and realistic.  While Paris may seem to be the most perfect setting for relationships, Stephanie Perkins shows how unperfect relationships can be, no matter in what setting – even in the Romance Capital of the World.  Anna and the French Kiss is real.  The main characters, the secondary characters (who I love by the way – they are hillarious! and really make the book what it is), problems and even the outcome – – all are realistic

This is a perfect book for anyone who loves Contemporary Romance and/or is looking for something different outside of the Paranormal Romance novels.  Once you start the first few chapters you will have a hard time putting down this book. 

My Rating: