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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss (Perkins)

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Perkins
Genre: Fiction, Travel, High School, Boarding Schools, Paris, Romance
Pages: 372

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she very reluctantly goes. Anna is giving up her senior year "at home," with friends that she loves, and a crush who is just about to become more. But Anna manages to fall in with a new group of friends, including a boy (with a terrific accent) who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more from the relationship. Will Anna ever get that perfect kiss she has been waiting for?

First, I must say that I absolutely refused to read this because I thought that it was going to be one of those sappy teen girl romance books. I mean really, look at that cover! But when it was nominated for BFYA and I was forced to read it, I must admit that I am so glad that I was able to get past my initial judgment. As one of my committee members so eloquently put it, this book is so much smarter than the cover.

I absolutely loved this book, and decided to finally post the review after mentioning "Lola and the Boy Next Door" in yesterday's post. (You will discover that Lola is one of the secondary characters in "Anna...").

The setting is one of the stars of this book. The vivid descriptions of Paris and Parisian culture will resonate with anyone that has been to Paris, or, like me, has always longed to visit the "City of Lights." It makes me wish for a do-over in life so that I could attend an international boarding school...or maybe just learn French. 

Anna is such a well-written character. Her voice is perfect, and her inner dialog is witty and humorous. I loved her quirky classic movie/movie theater fetish, and how she learns French initially so that she can navigate to her favorite movie theaters.

The secondary characters will resonate with readers and teens will identify with the diverse cast. In the end, this is so much more than your typical "loooove" story. It is really about finding yourself and a place to call home. Oh yeah, and there is a romance! Sarah Dessen fans will thoroughly enjoy this read.

Now that I have "Lola..." back, I am looking forward to reading it before school starts.

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