A review: Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

This book resided on my Amazon wishlist for a long while, I’d read so many excellent reviews both on here and on bookstagram that I’d been debating buying it for such a long time. However, I am not the biggest fan of contemporary fiction. I’ve potentially mentioned this a few times before – so I won’t go on again about it.

I received the book as a Christmas present, so it was time to swallow my dislike. It’s unfair to judge every book because of the few I’ve read and not liked. This and the other two book in the series were so well raved about that I took the plunge and made this the next book on my TBR list.

This review contains no spoilers.

Despite my usual dislike, I finish Anna and the French Kiss within 3 days. I eagerly and happily devoured this book at every moment I could. Was it any different that your usual YA contemporary novel? Not particularly. Was it enjoyable? Absolutely!
A book doesn’t have to be life-changing for you to just sit down and have a good time reading it – a nice little bit of escapism into a world that it’s too heavy or dense is sometimes all you need. A bit of fluff I suppose but in the best way. It’s light, it’s fluffy and as devourable as a bag of marshmallows.

For the first time for as long as I have been reluctantly reading contemporary, I actually didn’t hate the main character. The character is annoying in places sure, but it’s also a reminiscent annoying, for me anyhow. I reminded me of how I’ve felt in certain scenarios, whilst those scenarios definitely weren’t the same – I did not go to a school for Americans in France; I should be so lucky – the feeling itself is what resonates.
Aside from that fact, it actually felt very real, there was no outlandish plot twist that made me roll my eyes excessively nor was there any real overdone drama, I re-iterate; it felt real. I think this realism is what won me over. Many of the contemporaries (okay, the few) that I’ve read tend to get a bit overdramatic and the storyline overcomplicates and it all essentially gets out of hand and I lose interest and it becomes a lot more effort to get to the end of the book. Thankfully, this book does not do that!

Another plus-point, an excellent one at that, is there is no insta-love. As we progress with Anna through the book we see her feelings grow and see her realization of love. It’s not instant, she even clarifies that she just finds him attractive, and she does that quite a lot too. It’s honestly refreshing to her feelings build and in a pretty timely manner too.

The setting of Paris was definitely a plus also, I could practically imagine walking down those very same streets at the character, I felt instantly transported. It made me nostalgic for a city I’ve only been to once, for a day. The urge to travel there again after reading this book is biting away at me; if only I had the money.

The main downside for me would be the main antagonist we meet, she is very stereotypical mean girl. She spits insults for fun and other than finding the male love interest attractive, she doesn’t seemingly have any motivations for her actions. In a book that truly fleshed out the character beyond my expectation, she felt very two dimensional.

This book is a downright enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone for a bit of light reading, something to happily pass the time with, especially after a hard, dark read.
Have you read Anna and the French Kiss and/or her counterparts Lola and Isla? Let me know what you thought!





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