Writing style: 7/10
Character building: 6/10
My Opinionated Review
Anna and the French Kiss is a cute, funny and realistic romance story, with imperfect characters finding their own perfect world. It is very different from the usual contemporary romance: no misogyny, no over-the-top declarations of love, and no insta-love nonsense. It is a pure, simple, and very relatable book about love, life, and finding your place in the world.
This book is about Anna and her journey towards becoming an independent adult. Forced into going to spend her last high school year in an American boarding school in Paris, she has to deal with leaving her family and friends behind, and adjust to a new culture, new people, and an unfamiliar place. However, after befriending a group of students, she starts developing new relationships, gaining independence and self-identity, becoming a new and improved person, and realising that Paris might be quite an amazing place. This isn’t just a romance. It’s a story about growing up and finding your place in the world. It gives insight on both positive and negative aspects of life.
I loved the realistic portrayal of teenage life Stephanie Perkins gave to the readers. It was not just a romance story, it was life and struggles that come with it. Filled with disappointment and happiness, mistakes and forgiveness, and most of all, giving a perfect point of view of a girl trying to fit in in a foreign city, I found the story to be very relatable, since I am a foreigner myself. Plus, who doesn’t love a romantic Paris setting!
However, the most important part of the story was the romantic plotline, and although I found both of the characters honest and entertaining, the supposedly cute love story did not draw out many emotions out of me. There was nothing wrong with this book. Objectively, I see all the reasons why many people adore the story. But after hearing so many great things about it, my high expectations prevented me from really appreciating it. It was realistic and cute, and I respect the author for writing such a simple story. However, this simplicity ensued a very average outcome.
The main problem that affected my rating of the book was the lack of connection that I felt towards the characters. I ended up enjoying the life aspect of the book much more than the romantic plotline. St. Claire was a well-crafted character, very different from the usual love interest. But I just did not manage to really connect with him. I did find his and Anna’s misunderstandings quite amusing, it was very similar to what happens in real life. Yet, it just wasn’t anything special.
Despite not enjoying the book as much as I have hoped for, I still feel that more books like this one should exist. Actually giving a realistic point of view about romance and life in general, without those stupid over-the-top needy love stories, Anna and the French Kiss becomes a delightful break from the unnecessarily dramatic books. Nevertheless, considering so many good things that I have heard about this book prior to reading it, it came to me as a bit of a disappointment.
I still recommend reading it is you want something cute, simple, and refreshing. It might be your cup of tea despite it not being mine.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this romance, and your reasons for liking/disliking it.
- Eagles – New Kid in Town
- Francoise Hardy – Tous les Garcons et les Filles
- Hélène Ségara, Joe Dassin – Et si tu n’existais pas
- Andy Williams – Moon River
- Twenty One Pilots – Can’t Help Falling In Love