book review: anna and the french kiss

My rating: 4.3 out of 5

Now this is a book i've seen everywhere and have heard so many good things about. A lot of girls claimed it to be one of the best contemporary books they've read. So when i found it at a booksale for RM5, you could imagine how excited i was to get it!

I chose to finally read this book because i just finished reading All The Bright Places(i might review it another time), which was a very depressing read. It left me so numb and negative that i had to read something cheerful and bubbly next to stabilize my emotions. Since they say this is a good romance, I decided to give it a go and see what the fuss is all about.

First of all, i hate the title of the book. I feel like when i carry it around or if i post it up on Instagram people who haven't read the book would think it's a book with a lot of kissing and making out and sex in it. Nope.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a story of a teenage girl who's father forced her to spend her senior year at an American international school in Paris, France. Anna, having zero fluency in the French language and is generally a very shy person, befriends her neighbour, Meredith, who already has her own group of close friends. Right away, Anna becomes a part of Meredith's group and develops a crush on St Clair, an attractive American boy with a British accent. The only problem was, Meredith has a crush on him as well, and St Clair is already in a relationship.

To be honest, i wasn't very impressed for the first third of the book. However, that didn't stop me from turning the pages because the idea of studying in a country like France is just very intriguing. I've always wondered what it would be like to start fresh in a new place(especially one that doesn't use your native tongue), and Anna's behavior was quite on point to how i myself would behave. The book describes the many phenomenal places in Paris; some i have heard of and some i haven't. It's pretty amazing to be able to explore those places without actually needing to go there. It leaves you curious and wanting to visit Paris for yourself. One of my favourite places that Anna explored in the book is the Shakespeare and Company bookshop and the many movie theaters she went to.

I think Anna is quite an immature character for most parts of the book. It's a little frustrating to read how naive she is about love and relationships, but at the same time it's refreshing to reflect back on how it's pretty normal for teenagers her age to still think in such ways. However, I did appreciate her deep interest in movies and writing reviews for them. I like how she isn't described as a perfect character, but more of an average teen girl who isn't particularly beautiful yet still likeable. It makes it easier to relate to.

As cliche and predictable this book is, I quite enjoyed it! I really wanted to feel bubbly at the cheesy parts and I wanted to explore fictional love because of how it'll just almost never happen in real life. I was in that mood to read about drama and young love and homework and stupid conflicts. What makes this different from other high school themed books is that it's at a boarding school in a different country. It's somewhat similar to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell in some ways, only it's still high school and not college.

I love how the ending had some closure to it, but still made me want more. Having a good impression of the ending of a book is one of the things that i consider before i decide whether i liked the book or not. I don't like books that are a bit draggy at the end, because the feels you got earlier would have faded by then and all you wonder is 'when will this book end?!'. The ones that make you go 'WHY ISN'T THERE ANOTHER PAGE OR CHAPTER OR BOOK' are the best ones. Although Anna and the French Kiss didn't make me die for more, I still had those post-reading moments where you just NEED to express yourself somewhere so you go on Twitter of Whatsapp or Goodreads to let it out. I slept pretty late that night despite having class the next day to finish it. So i guess the pace of the story speeds up pretty well after the first third of the book.


Etienne St Clair. Many girls fell in love with him, but for some reason i couldn't. I think it's because Anna keeps thinking about him so frequently and sometimes quite pathetically that i start to just get annoyed at the both of them. I can't decide if I liked him leading Anna on while he still had a girlfriend or not. It doesn't portray him as very loyal, but i'll try and understand that he couldn't help his feelings.

I really appreciated the author for not including any intimate or sexual scenes in the book. Even though there are some paragraphs of Anna's friends mildly making out, it just makes the book seem more innocent. Like, it proves that a book doesn't need the characters to have sex to make readers enjoy the book. It just seems that a lot of readers of Young Adult novels these days demands a scene or two of those. The most that happened to Anna in this book is some kissing with tongue at the park. Good, i think that's enough. I liked where the book ended as well, because it makes you wonder of the possibilities of Anna and Etienne's future. The closure that they'll be able to see each other quite often when they're in college is also quite heartwarming.


I don't think Anna and the French Kiss is THE best contemporary book, but i do think that it's the perfect one to read if you're looking for something light and cliche. Don't read this book if you're very mature and get easily frustrated with naive characters though, because you probably won't enjoy it much. I think i would have loved the book when i was 15. I'm about 2 years older than most of the characters now(who are 17) so they do appear childish at times. But hey, that's kind of why i still enjoyed it. What else can I do to feel younger, right?Haha.

P.s. sorry for the short review. I finished the book days ago so the feels have faded a bit.


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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.