Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss review

Goodreads description: 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 Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne 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?

 My Thoughts: When John Green said “Anna and the French Kiss is like Maureen Johnson and I had a baby, a French baby,” that was all I needed to hear. Not to mention that most of the story takes place in France, a place I can’t get enough of.

I was immediately sold, but for whatever reason, a good amount of time passed before I finally read it. And an outrageous amount of months flew by before remembering that I hadn’t reviewed it. So unfortunately I’ve forgotten many details about the story. Thankfully I remember some of the more important pieces. I remember liking that Anna and St. Clair became friends before anything else. Because St. Clair is in a relationship, they try to keep their boundaries. I love this for two reasons. For one, although if done well I don’t mind it, I was getting tired of these quick-all-consuming loves in other YA books. This relationship had a good foundation that expanded into something loving yet realistic.

So as their feelings grew, we got to see more of these characters, even the darker parts of their lives.  And we also got to see an Anna that didn’t “belong” to any guy. She’s the girl that hopes know one finds out who her father is. She’s the kind of person that loves movies and gets ecstatic over discovering independent cinemas. We also get to know about St. Clair and the struggles he’s having with his parents and his future. Those are things I don’t think I would have known if any and every thought they had, had been for the other person. How would I know they were complex characters if all I found out about them was that they couldn’t stop thinking about the other person?

Also, and this ties into the all-consuming type love, I’m glad they both wanted to respect St. Clair’s relationship with his girlfriend. Because this is the kind of book that shows you that there is still a life outside two people who like each other. And that what they do still has consequences, especially for those outside of their relationship. It shows that although they might be better together, Anna and St. Clair were whole people before they met. I think that’s important, and it’s a good enough reason to finally read Lola and the Boy Next Door.

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