Release Date: December 2nd 2010
Buy It: Book Depository
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.I have a confession to make.
Sometimes, I let the hype deter me. Sometimes, the fact that everyone is raving about a book is actually an incentive for me to not pick it up. Because I'm sick of hearing about it, so the last thing I want to do is start reading it. But in those instances when I do finally dust off the dust jacket and pick up a copy, I want nothing more for all the hype to be completely, and utterly right.
When it comes to Stephanie Perkins, the hype is right.
I'm pretty sure I devoured her debut novel, Anna and the French Kiss, within moments of picking it up. Okay, actually I listened to it on audio book for awhile, put it down for a few months, and then picked up the hard copy and fell in love. But the whole thing could have happened in an instant–I was so transported to the French boarding school, the awkward but loveable Anna, and the absolutely swoon-worthy St. Clair (even if I have a hard time imaging what a French-Meets-English-Meets-American accent could possibly sound like).
Perkins characters are incredible. They are funny and complicated and imperfect and authentic. I love that St. Clair was short and had crooked bottom teeth, and that Anna had the streak of blond in her hair. Nobody was straight-forward or one dimensional, even the characters that sometimes come across as the bad guys– and for quite a lot of the book, I felt that way about St. Clair, mainly because I have a huge issue with guys who keep other girls hanging on, while they're in a relationship. But even with St. Clair's complicated relationship status, he managed to win me over by the end.
And this book, I mean, the romantic tension was palpable. There may be the word "kiss" in its title, but you have to wait a desperately long time for any kissing. But after that wait when you didn't even know what you were missing, when it finally happens, it is even more amazing than you could have anticipated. It is totally worth it.
I think that's a pretty good summary for how I feel about Perkins.