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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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 Étienne St. Claire: 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?

Favorite Line(s):
"We still hate Bridgette, right? I haven't missed anything?" I shake my head. "We still hate her."-I just love this.

Oh, Anna, how have I not reviewed you yet?!
How have I yet to gush about my complete and utter adoration for every piece of this book? How have I never talked about my fascination with Paris and films and my glee when I found out Anna was a fellow germaphobe?! Alas, since I've failed to rave about this brilliant YA debut I shall do so now.

Anna and the French Kiss is one of those books that makes readers want to grab a beret* and a plane ticket and head off on the adventure of a lifetime. It's fun and exciting and heartwarming and frustrating and much much more. Anna Oliphant is a relatable protagonist with enough quirks to keep readers from feeling she's the typical female lead in YA lately.** Anna's voice was so strong I felt like I really could pull her from the pages (We would totally be BFFs-we could share hand sanitizer and trade cleaning tips.). The audience is truly taken on a journey with Anna, we learn her secrets and motivations and fears and get to know her. Once we do know her everything she does becomes "Oh, Anna would do that." I loved reading from her perspective and seeing the world through Anna's eyes and....damn it I need another book from her POV! She's truly a character I wish I could write. Anna's real, hilarious, kind, and clean. Very, very clean.

Étienne St. Clair is a different matter entirely. I wish I could roll up to Ikea and pick up a St. Clair in aisle 3.† St. Clair is one of the most crush-worthy characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about. I wanted to climb up onto my roof and shout his name to the sky upon finishing this book. I can't explain in a single review how much I adore him, you'll have to read the book and find out why he's so swoon-inducing yourself!

The first time I'd ever heard about Anna and the French Kiss I was watching a VlogBrothers video as I do religiously three times a week. John Green rarely recommends books in his videos and very, very rarely are they ever YA. So obviously I grabbed a copy the next day and then I started reading immediately. And I found it was set in Paris.†† And it's about a boarding school. And I didn't stop reading until I was completely finished. And then I went on Stephanie Perkins' blog and read every post and can now officially call myself a fangirl. Anna is such a believable story, but that's not where the magic lies. It lies in the fact that I wanted to believe this story. I wanted Anna and St. Clair, Meredith, Rashmi, Josh, and even Dave (okay, maybe not Dave) to get whatever they wanted. I wanted them to be happy, or at least content and I wanted to believe that they would stay friends and take on the world together.

I cannot adequately explain how much or even why I love Anna and the French Kiss so very much. I can only recommend that everyone who is a fan of reading and hope picks this up at a bookstore, library, or even borrow it from someone else. Seriously, just stop reading this post and go read it, kay?
*Maybe not the beret. How about a crepe? Everyone loves crepes.
**You know...the "perfect" girl who's the only one who doesn't think she's brilliant in every way.
†I actually have no aisle preference. I've never actually been to Ikea but I'm sure each aisle is lovely in its own right.
††Fun fact: my dream college is the American University of Paris. So I was EXTREMELY PLEASED with the setting. And I actually wrote a ten page paper on Nouvelle Vague French Cinema so France + film geek = Cara likey.

About Stephanie:  Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books--first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She loves swashbuckling adventures, mocha lattes, fairy tales, loud music, neighborhood walks, jasmine tea, and afternoon naps. And kissing. Stephanie and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.

Find Stephanie: Website | Twitter | Blog 

"I'm Not the Sun"-Arkells,