Audio Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Title/Author:  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

Published:  December 2nd 2010 by Dutton

Audiobook, 10 hours and 30 minutes

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from my library.

Why I Picked It Up?:  I have heard so many good things about Stephanie Perkins’ novels, and I needed something to listen to on the drives to and from work, and it was just sitting on the shelf…so, I knabbed it!  =)

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?”

My Review of the Work:

As I spend about 20-25 minutes driving to and from work on the days I am scheduled, and the radio stations in my city pretty much suck, I have turned to filling my drive times with audiobooks.  So I was wandering around the audio section looking for something light that I wouldn’t mind just listening to when I saw, perched up on the display, Anna and the French Kiss.  Score!  Everyone in the blogging world (or so it seems) has just been raving about Stephanie Perkins novels, so I thought, “Eh, why not?”  Man, am I happy that I did.

Anna and the French Kiss stars Anna, daughter of the next Nicholas Sparks author who decided that his child was too good for American schools.  So, Anna starts her senior year of High School at SOAP, or The School of American in Paris.  As her parents walk out of her dorm on the night before school starts, Anna has no idea what to do.  Luckily for her, her next door neighbor Meredith invites her for some hot cocoa and then to breakfast the next morning.  That is how Anna finds some truly great friends at her new school.  And that is how she meets Etienne St. Clair.

The rest of the book follows the ups and downs of the friendly relationship that blossoms between Anna and St. Clair.  Things get tricky because he has a girlfriend and she likes someone back home in Atlanta. Yet somehow they find themselves unable to resist each other’s presence.  This book is full of crazy friendship/relationship dramas of being young and in love (with the same person your friend is also in love with).  But it is not the annoying kind of drama.  Rather, it is the drama that you are just waiting for it to resolve!

I am not going to lie…St. Clair is a very attractive character.  First off, he’s English, but he was raised in America and then moved to Paris, so he is all sorts of cultural.  Secondly, he’s tall, dark, and handsome.  And thirdly, he’s not a jerk (unless he’s angry lol).  He is a nice, caring, genuine guy.  What more could you Anna want?

Anna is a character that I found to be an entertaining narrator.  Her narrative voice is very personal and introspective, so you really get to know her throughout the novel.  She is the main character you root for and you empathize with, which makes her extremely likeable.
I can honestly say, I do not think I have ever HATED a character as much as I hate Amanda Spitterton-Watts.  It might have something to do with the voice the audio-reader chose for her, but she was absolutely horrible!  She is that girl in your high school (or middle school…or elementary school) who is so full of themselves because she thinks she is all that, but in actuality no one likes her at all.  And guess what Amanda Spitterton-Watts…NO ONE LIKES YOU!  SO JUST STOP TALKING BECAUSE EVERYTHING YOU SAY IS INAPPROPRIATE AND RUDE!  Okay, all better now.

Overall, I thought that for a contemporary YA romance this novel also offers a bit more depth to the characters and the plot.  It’s not just a cheesy “I’m in a foreign country and I’m going to fall in love” kind of story.  This novel deals with real issues and real problems and works through them for the better-ment and growth of each character.  I really enjoyed this story and I cannot wait to listen to Lola and the Boy Next Door next!

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Middle Shelf Book!

A cute story, a feel good romance.  Everything you need from a contemporary YA romance is in this novel!  Good MC and very attractive love interest.  And the audiobook is great!  Definitely a good read OR listen!  Go check it out!

Love and Bubble Baths,
Jennifer

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