Anna and the French Kiss Book Review

Anna was 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. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair.

Front Flap

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Hey. Hey guys. I cheated. I put basically the entire plot of that book in the quote section. Go ahead and hate me for it, but I’m not going to waste time describing it again.

So this review is going to be shorter, because I really don’t have much to say about this novel. Have you ever read a harlequin romance? They’re fairly cheesy and take place all over the world. This was basically one of them, except it didn’t smell like the 80’s.

So Anna goes to France. Paris specifically. You know this, not because of authentic descriptions, real immersion into the setting or any kind of information about the area provided. You know because every single somewhat hipster thing is described as being  very Parisian. It’s almost as if the city of Paris isn’t even French, because I’m pretty sure nothing was described as French. Not. A single. Thing.

Also, description? Not her best suit. I didn’t fee like anything was uniquely French. This story could have easily taken place in China. Or New York. I mean, I stayed exactly where Anna was supposed to have– in the Latin Quarter. But none of the little perks of the area made it into the book. Unfortunately.

I’m not going to even pretend this book had any kind of character growth or meaning behind its plot. It’s a simple romance story. Frankly, though, I didn’t even think it did that well.

Anna, our main character and narrator, sounded like she was writing in her diary for some reason, despite this being impossible because she was talking in present tense and there was no indication of it being a journal. But that’s how it sounded. Especially when she busted out the ALL CAPS ANGER STATEMENTS.

Those were irritating. It’s not Star Wars. There is no newly formed Darth Vader that needs to scream out “NOOOOOOOO,” because Padme just died. Every time those came up, it was like reading something I wrote back in forth grade. Ugg.

Anyways, Anna is simple, obvious, and boring. I can’t describe her because she had very little personality. She claimed to like movies and wanted to be a critic of them as a career, but she never came across as the type of person who likes to watch a lot of movies. If that had been the case, it would have been cute to have her make lots of references to classic films, or use them in analogies and similes. Never happened. So I didn’t believe for one second she was film critic material. She’s lying to us. Clearly.

Also, her last name is Oliphant. All I could think of was Lord of the Rings’ Oliphaunts. I’m sure the average reader of this book will not experience the same problem, but still. It was there.

 Étienne was an average dude. I mean, I guess he was supposed to be good-looking and stuff, but he was so flaky and says he liked Anna the entire time, yet took 300+ pages to get with her and leave his old girlfriend. Also, why like Anna? I never saw the attraction.

Plot-wise, it was long. Too long. I just didn’t care what happened to these people. I did for the first fifty or so pages, but as everyone got duller and duller and the plot dragged and the chemistry between the characters died it was so much effort to care that I had to stop. The last 100 pages? Didn’t read ’em. I read the last one. Anna ends up with Étienne. Big surprise.

This book is titled Anna and the French Kiss. When that happens, it isn’t that great. In fact, the moment is ruined almost instantly. This book is full of misses and no hits. I think that was slightly annoying. Like, why bother caring about their relationship if it never moves on?

 I figure the joy from this book was not to come from shocks, thrills, excitement, or drama. It’s like those Harlequins: quick and easy romances, where pleasure is derived from an exotic location, a loveable love interest and lots of squeal-worthy romantic moments. This book got a C in all of those categories.

Sure, you can read it. Lots of girls will and they’ll call it great. But if you really want to enjoy what you read, I’d suggest looking elsewhere.

Ri’s Rating:


0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Paul

     /  August 27, 2012

    That’s disappointing, the cover looked intriguing.


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