My second title that I read on my trip this weekend was very different from the first. I’ve been hearing oodles of buzz from everyone online about Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. For the record, I passed on an ARC of this more than a year ago for one simple reason – I don’t normally read romance novels, particularly not ones that look so sweet and innocent. However, the buzz won me over (and a finished copy of this from the publisher, plus an Advanced copy of the sequel at the right time). I took it on vacation when it seemed a perfect time to deviate from the status quo.I read the entirety of it on the 8+ hour drive from Pennsylvania to Michigan. Yep. All of it. In one go.
Anna Oliphant hates her father, bestselling author extraordinaire, particularly now that he’s sending her to an American school in Paris to be “cultured”. Anna leaves behind a best friend, Bridgette, and what could be the beginnings of an amazing relationship with co-worker Toph. But movie buff Anna begins to make the most of Gay Paris, especially when she meets the loveable American/British/French hottie, Etienne St. Clair. Etienne is charming and cute, and Anna falls mad for him in an instant. Problem is age old though – Etienne has a girlfriend, so Anna puts him on the back burner but never quite gives up hope.
Anna is much fluffier than I usually read. Romances tend to leave me cold- three hundred+ pages hashing out what I can figure out in about twenty? Yeah, I get bored. I generally need much more than chapters and chapters of “Is he into me? Is he into her? Why can’t I have him, I want him! Do I want him? Whinge!” blah blah blah. Romances don’t do it for me.
That said, I really enjoyed this book, interpersonal whinging and all. I found the setting to be perfect for this idea and I loved getting swept along with Anna in the city of Romance. What I enjoyed was not only watching Anna fall in love with Etienne, but with Paris itself, and, to a degree, herself as well. This book is very much a coming-of-age novel as much as it is a romance. I loved it enough to pick up the sequel, which I intend to pick up post haste once I’m over my five days worth of Internet withdrawal.
5 out of 5 stars. The buzz does not lie on this one, friends!
– Follow the Reader –