Such a cute book! I’ve heard this title throughout the years but never really felt a strong urge to read it. I picked it up at the library for a quick read and am so glad I finally decided to give it a shot.
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. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Honestly, I can’t really think of anything I disliked about this book. Anna and the French Kiss was fun, romantic, realistic, and travel-inspiring.
The characters were amazing because of how they acted both individually and in their group dynamic. The conflicts that come in between the group are realistic, not super dramatized, and have actual impacts on the group and individuals that carry throughout the rest of the book. It was wonderful seeing Anna go from a crying mess to a confident woman as the story progressed. I wasn’t sure if I would love her character or narration based off the first couple of pages but she quickly grew on me. Étienne was another fun character because of his conflicts, personality, and influence in the story. The other characters (namely Mer, Josh, and Rashmi) were similarly fun because of their traits and own personal conflicts.
I loved that the story was more than just a love story. There’s a lot in here about family, friendship, confronting your fears, growing up, being on your own, bullying, illness, and so much more. Not only were these themes interesting, but they made the characters and the romance seem so much more realistic. There wasn’t one part of this book that tried to be perfect: friendships had their ups and downs, there wasn’t instalove, there wasn’t an easy “happy ever after”.
I can’t end this review without talking about the travel aspect of the book. I loved it! I never really felt a strong urge to go to Paris just because it seemed over-hyped and there are other locations that I’m dying to visit, including other cities in France. Now, after reading Anna and the French Kiss, I can say that Paris is now on my travel list! I felt so immersed in the book that I now want to actually see these sites for myself.
If you haven’t read this yet, give it a shot! There’s a great romance plot, but there’s also a lot more to the story than that. Regardless of what kinds of books you enjoy reading, I think every reader can relate to at least one aspect of this book and come away with a new perspective or feeling.
The Covers- Which is Better?
I think one of the reasons I never read this book was because this cover was the one I had seen for so long:
There’s nothing wrong with this cover, but it makes me think that it will be a stereotypical plot and will bore me. Granted, a lot of book covers from around 2010 (when this was published) featured faces and more realistic objects. However, I much prefer the newer covers for the series:
They seem to be more romantic, less immature, more travel-y, and they let you think of what the character would look like for yourself rather than what the cover model looks like.
What do you think about the covers? Does one version make you feel more inclined to read the book?
Here are some books similar to Anna and the French Kiss:
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch