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April 3, 2014
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt this way about anybody before—”
What's the saying? Once a cheater, always a cheater? Oh, the fucking hypocrisy.

There were many things I wanted to do to Anna Oliphant throughout this book. Some of them involve a bottle of choloroform, a shovel, and an unmarked grave. Mostly, I just want to bring Anna in front of the US Congress as an example of how the US educational system has grievously failed our students. To be frank, Anna Oliphant is a motherfucking idiot.

Yeah, I guess you could say this is a sweet romance, but it's not the good sort of sweet. It's the "Oh my god, why did I eat that entire package of Oreos? I DON'T EVEN LIKE OREOS!" sort of sweet. It's sickening, and best in small doses, and I still feel like I need an internal cleanse after spreading the reading of this book over several days. The good thing about it is that this book isn't the sugar-free type of sweet, so there were no anal explosions. It wasn't the worst contemporary I've ever read, but this book was tremendously annoying and I simply do not understand the hype. I know many of people enjoyed it, and I can see why. Anna is the sort of character that grows on you, much like mildew, or herpes. Once you get used to having it, it doesn't really bother you much anymore.

I'm not opposed to romance. I love romance, but I read this book hoping to be swept away by a romance. Instead, I was sucked into a whirlwind of idiocy.

Oh, the Stupidity!!:
The only French word I know is oui, which means “yes,” and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e.

People like Anna Oliphant is the reason why everyone hates Americans. Anna is 17, and she is a moron. She is the epitome of the stupid, ignorant, egocentric American. For fuck's sakes, she thinks there are motherfucking mimes on every fucking corner in France. She thinks that people go watch mimes as an everyday pastime!
I’m going to be sick. I’m going to vomit that weird eggplant tapenade I had for dinner, and everyone wil hear, and no one will invite me to watch the mimes escape from their invisible boxes, or whatever it is people do here in their spare time.
I'm sorry, but I'm inclined to judge anyone who doesn't know that oui is spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e. It's one of those foreign words that isn't even fucking foreign because it's so fucking common. Oui is yes in French. Si is yes in Spanish. It's one of those words that's so fucking commonly used that you have to be a complete birdbrain not to know!

Anna is terrified of anything foreign, although to me, France really isn't that foreign or exotic, but I didn't grow up in Atlanta. Is Atlanta really that ass-fucking backward? Is Atlanta really completely isolated from the rest of the world, despite being one of the biggest cities in the US (Anna's words). Do they not have paninis in Atlanta?
“Where have you been all my life?” I ask the beautiful panini. “How is it possible I’ve never had a sandwich like this before?”
Not only is she ignorant, she has no survival skills. Anna is in Paris, attending a school for Americans. Fucking everyone speaks English, the French teachers speak English. Anna is terrified of getting food in the cafeteria and avoids the cafeteria for weeks because she doesn't know how to order food.

Let me tell you a brilliant way of ordering food, in any language. You smile, you make eye contact at the desired food, you point, you nod. It's motherfucking universal.

I hate to say it, but if you're a pretty girl, you can get anyone's help (most likely a guy, but often another girl, too) just by looking cute and helpless and tilting your head at an angle (guilty as charged). It ain't feminist, but it works when one is desperate, and the fact that Anna doesn't have the fucking common sense to do this instead of hiding in her room for weeks like a motherfucking pussy doesn't bring her up in my estimation. I'm not judging Anna for being shy. Anna is not shy. I was a shy, shy teenager. Anna is incompetent. There is a difference between incompetency and shyness.

After weeks and weeks of going to classes, of learning French...Anna doesn't know how to fucking spell "please" in French.
Mer is next in line, and I transcribe her speech phonetically.

Oon ploss see voo play.
That's suppsed to be une place, s'il vous plaît.

Her impression of Paris is one with like, blah blah Marie Antoinette and that really short dude, like, I think his name is Napoleon? You know, like, the one on the horse in that painting by that dude? And oh my god, the Moulin Rouge, and that cute little movie with the little girl in the yellow thingy! Madeline!

And this is a chick who wants to be a film critic when she grows up.
My dream is to study film theory in California. I want to be our nation’s greatest female film critic.
Although judging from the way she thinks, I think she's more suited to a career writing for the tabloids, the type with the sort of "PRESIDENT OBAMA CAUGHT IN INTERPLANETARY ORGY ALONG WITH PUTIN AND MERKEL" headline rather than as a film critic.
I wonder if Matt is a better kisser now that he has someone more experienced to practice on. He was probably a bad kisser because of me.

Oh, no.

I’m a bad kisser. I am, I must be.

Someday I’ll be awarded a statue shaped like a pair of lips, and it’ll be engraved with the words WORLD’S WORST KISSER.And Matt will give a speech about how he only dated me because he was desperate, but I didn’t put out, so I was a waste of time because Cherrie Milliken liked him all along and she totally puts out.

Oh God. Does Toph think I’m a bad kisser?
Anna, Anna, ANNA!!!!!: So beautiful without knowing it!! So perfect! So adorably fucking clumsy! She even looks gorgeous when she falls flat on her fucking face!
"You’re beautiful.”

I trip and fall down on the sidewalk.

I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. “I’m fine. Fine!” I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak.

“You’ve seen the way men look at you, right?” he continues.

“If they’re looking, it’s because I keep making a fool of myself.”

I've seen this before. And it ain't cute. Spare me the whole adorkable thing. I don't like Zooey Deschanel, and I don't like Anna. It just looks like she's trying too fucking hard, and the cute but oh-so-clumsy trope is just so fucking overplayed right now. I wash my hands of it.

It's not blatant, but the relationships between the girls in this book are meant to portray Anna as the good one, the best one, the most adorakablest girly girl in the whole wide fucking world. Rashmi is "Rash." Cute. I don't think so. Mer is just a little chubby. Volleyball player chubby, but it's ok ^_^; Amanda the slut, Amanda the bitch. And Anna. Anna is just so good because you know, she feels really bad that Etienne likes her, so she does everything she can to make Mer not jealous. It's not Mer's fault that she's not good enough for Etienne! And boy, Saint Anna keeps reminding us that she's a good person!

And poor Ellie. Poor Ellie, Etienne's girlfriend. But surely, it's ok for Etienne to cheat on Ellie with Anna if she looks like a slut, right?
Slutty nurse. I don’t believe it. Tiny white button-up dress, red crosses across the nipples. Cleavage city.
CHEATING IS OK IF YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS A BITCH: That's the message that this book sends. Oh, that Ellie. That stupid, stuck up Ellie. Ellie who thinks she is better than everyone else. Surely it's fine if Etienne seeks comfort elsewhere if his girlfriend is a cold fish, a stuck up snot, right? No. I don't fucking think so. How about you break up with her FIRST? Just because a girl is a jerk doesn't mean she deserves to be cheated on. I do not appreciate the way this book sends the message that it's morally acceptable to cheat on a girlfriend who neglects you! But it's morally acceptable to cheat on her if you feeeeeeeeeeeeel bad about it, right? Fuck this shit.

THE CHEATING: And yes, it is cheating. What do you call this?
"I said you were beautiful. I slept in your bed!”
“You never made a move! You had a girlfriend!”
“No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was, I wouldn’t actually cheat on her. But I thought you’d know. With me being there, I thought you’d know.”
Ok. Etienne has a girlfriend, Ellie. Etienne holds hands with Anna. He is still with Ellie.
It’s nice holding hands. Comfortable.

I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I’m not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.
You know why? Because you wouldn't like it if Etienne held hands with another girl if he was dating YOU. Fucking hypocrite.

Friends don't sleep in each others' beds.
I mean I didn’t SLEEP sleep with him. Obviously. But I slept with him.

I slept with a boy! I burrow back down into my sheets and grin.
And that boy has a girlfriend. And then you do it again. While he still has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.

You make eye contact and blush at each other in a theatre. While he has a girlfriend.

You kiss each other. While he has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.

You flirt with each other. While he has a girlfriend. While you have an almost-boyfriend.

I don't see this relationship lasting very long.
Profile Image for emma.
2,113 reviews67k followers
September 15, 2023
Is there nothing that this godforsaken year will not take from me?

Is nothing sacred? No offense too far?

I am suffering.

In fact, I was already suffering. “Rereading my favorite book from when I was 15 for the sixth time” does not exactly scream ~mentally well~.

And yet the universe must have decided I deserved more suffering for, like, my middle school Justin Bieber phase when I once responded to my enemy in eighth grade chemistry’s accusation that JBiebz was auto-tuned with a specific moment when his voice cracks in a song...because I have been dealt another stroke of tragedy.

In other words, I f*cking hated this.

This book, which has been my problematic fave for like eight years or something absurd like that, was suddenly abhorrent to me. My GO-TO COMFORT READ. My FIRST EVER BOOK BOYFRIEND.

It’s all gone. What do I have now?

Just kidding. It’s honestly a really good move for my character development that I have one less reason to say the term book boyfriend. With every year I age that grows more disturbing.


Not least because I must announce that I have been formally replaced in my role as “dumbest bitch alive.” in an unprecedented move, the position has been given to Anna Oliphant, a fictional character, for as yet unmatched achievements in the field of being a stupid idiot

The only word this bitch knows in French is oui and she thinks it’s spelled wee.


Make the pain stop.

I always liked this book because I love French and I love swoon-worthy romance, but I’m not sure how in the past I missed the fact that this book trades in stereotypes and my least favorite tropes.

Cheating! Girl hate! Hot popular people who are mean for no reason!

And Anna is a bad friend!!! She spends all her time at home with Etienne!!! Including calling him from the car while her friend is driving her!! Bad manners! If I did something like that I would think about it when I’m having the 2 a.m. anxiety spirals every night for the rest of my life!!!

And Etienne cheats on his girlfriend!!! And says he’s cheated on her in his head every day since meeting our protagonist!!!

Also, why did I even like the French aspect of this? So many things that didn’t need to be defined are defined - crepes, “Le Jardin de Luxembourg,” basic French terms. I felt like I was being mansplained an entire language and culture by someone in their third week of Français 101.

Which I guess I was.

Bottom line: Going to start publicly apologizing for wrongdoings of my past in an attempt to get the universe to give me a f*cking break.

To begin, I am sorry for the time my sister had just gotten a new Barbie and I wanted it so I began playing with a piece of trash I found on the ground and talking about how cool it was until she gave me the Barbie in exchange for it.

updated pre-review

have you ever reread an old favorite because you needed a comfort read and then hated it?

it is a fate i would not wish upon my worst enemy. (my worst enemy is currently stephanie perkins.)

updated review to come / 2 stars :o

rereading updates

i used to love this book because i thought the love interest was a dreamboat, but now i know that if i want a short guy who cheats on his girlfriend i can just go outside

have decided to retire from reading new books. will only be rereading old favorites with lily

original review

the book i thought i would never review!!!

whenever people comment on my one star reviews and are like, i know this book is trash but i love it anyway, my internal response is usually:

but...this book is trash and i still love it.

there's a lil bit of emotional cheating in this, which i literally always hate. there are a couple girl-villains, which, also terrible. it's cheesy and it's all drama all the time and the main character should annoy me and it's lowkey that weird cliché of bad writing everywhere wherein friendships fall instantaneously into place.


for starters, this is my number one book boyfriend of all time who will never be usurped he is the light of my life and the joy of my universe. this is my checklist for people who are allowed to flirt with me:
-also british
-wears boots
-devastatingly attractive (obviously)
-named something amazing, like, oh, i don't know, ETIENNE ST. CLAIR

please do not consider any sort of non-platonic interaction with me if you do not check all of the previously-listed boxes.

literally the only thing that prevents étienne st. clair from utterly-perfect status is the fact that he is not tall. but the amazing thing about works of fiction is that i can pretend his alarmingly short stature is neverever mentioned. memory repression! woohoo!

this book also has: movie talk (which i like even though i am far from a real-life cinephile). france (WHICH I LIKE A LOT). more specifically, paris (EVEN BETTER, I DON'T CARE IF IT'S A CLICHE, I'LL ALWAYS FEEL SUPERIOR BECAUSE I'VE TAKEN FRENCH CLASSES FOR SEVEN YEARS AND BEEN THERE). boarding school!!! incredible drama which i lOVE (i am always such a sucker for a will they/won't they, even if the answer is clearly "they will"). europe descriptions and touristy places and texting and groups of friends and french food and just alarmingly great stuff.

i need to reread this soon to clear its horrendous sequels from my weary mind.

bottom line: this book is so stupid and also my favorite ever!!!!

(this is part of a project i'm doing in which i review books i read a while back. i'm doing just as badly at it as expected.)
Profile Image for Nina ♥.
94 reviews663 followers
November 13, 2012


St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. ST. CLAIR!!!!

Can’t I just fill this review with his name instead of explaining how much I effing LOVED this book and trying to describe in vivid detail how beautiful and amazing and gorgeous and sexy and adorable and cute and sweet and perfect and totally smoking HAWT St. Clair is?

Asdfghjkl <--- this is me being speechless. I just…I loved, loved, LOVED this book. I’m positively utterly, totally, absolutely completely, undeniably IN LOVE with this book. Just thinking about it makes me giddy. Seriously. It makes me wonder “why don’t my parents send me to France?! I want to find my own Etienne, dammit!” Sigh. Just thinking his name makes me swoon.

Okay, I’m probably acting like an annoying fangirl right now, but can you blame me?! I’ll try to keep this review short, before I go into complete fangirl mode (which scares even me).

I loved the characters. Every single one of them. They weren’t there just to paint the background, they all had depth and each a different personality.

Anna was an awesome MC. She was so amusing and comical, even when she was angry; you kind of want to annoy her just to see her reaction. She has a wonderful dad (who cares if he’d a dick? He sent her to freaking PARIS. And he meant WELL) who sends her to School of America in Paris (SOAP), which is a boarding school. There, she meets a couple of students—Meredith, Josh, Rashmi, aaaaaand St. Clair *swoon*—who immediately befriend her. Unfortunately—or fortunately—she starts having feelings toward the totally gorgeous, off-limits Etienne St. Clair (okay, I’ve learned to say his name without completely hyperventilating, that’s progress). Not only does he have a serious girlfriend, but Meredith—the one who immediately befriended Anna and was kind and helpful to her from the beginning is also crushing on St. Clair. I totally get Anna. I mean, DUDE, HE HAS A BRTISH ACCENT. And he speaks French! That alone should make you fall in love with him within the first five minutes of meeting him. If only he were real. *le sigh* I would positively run to Paris, find him, snatch him away from Anna, grab his hand and run like hell. Which is sort of kidnapping and illegal, but WHO CARES? I mean, he’s St. Clair. Totally understandable. *pout* BUT HE’S NOT REAL. *BAWLS*

Gah, he’s just so perfect in this totally realistic way. And so sweet (did I already say that?). His love for his mother and friends makes me love him more.

I need to stop. I’m already feeling light-headed and woozy from thinking about it. Don’t worry, normal symptom after reading this book. So, yeah. Read it, if you haven’t already. Don’t let the blurb fool you, it might sound cliché, but there is NOTHING cliché about this book. It unique and one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Sigh. Gosh. I better stop or I’ll start blabbering “Anna! France! French kissssssss! Paris! St. Clair! St. Clair! St. Clair! St. Clair! I LOVE YOUUUUU!”

*patting myself on the back for having so much self-control*

I hope the companion novel is just as good as this. Please make it good, Mrs. Stephanie Perkins. I will forever be your slave.

Oh, and I have a sneaking suspicious that the third book will be about Isla Martin and Josh.

BTW, this is my version of St. Clair:




"I love you as certain dark things are loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
589 reviews8,163 followers
July 18, 2014
When I was four, I fell off a tree. I hit the ground face first. What I didn't know was that there was a very small, sharp root sticking out of the ground at the base of the tree. It went through my cheek. I went to the ER but had to wait until 2am because it was a busy night. I sat there for hours in that ER with a hole in my cheek. When the doctor finally saw me he thought that since it was a busy night and there were so many people in the ER that he would just sew up my cheek without having to wait for an anesthetic. And he did. He sewed my cheek back together with no pain relief. I have never experienced pain like that again in my life. Until now. Anna and the French Kiss was more painful than that night in hospital. It is a lifeless, desolate, lump of a novel. Its only purpose in this world is as a gauge by which we measure bad novels. This is the bottom of the gauge and Twilight is at the top.

Anna is the stupidest person I've ever come across in fiction. She is a self confessed film buff and hopes to one day become America's leading film critic. She obviously must know A LOT about film then eh? *sigh* She's a supposed film buff but yet knows nothing of Paris. PARIS. The home of fucking film. At one point in the novel she is genuinely SURPRISED that Paris has cinemas. FUCKING CINEMAS. How can she be so incredibly ignorant of the place where film was fucking invented and know literally nothing of French cinema BUT YET call herself a fan of film? Ridiculous. She eventually actually goes to the cinema a couple of times but lo and behold what does she watch? American films. She in the home of film and she watches American films. I can't deal with this girl.

Oh but let us for one second talk about the love interest. Mr. My Name Is So French It's Borderline Racist Étienne St. Clair. He is literally every "male love interest" YA cliche rolled into one festering tumour of a character. He's American BUT has a British accent, he has messy hair BUT his room is meticulously clean, he's book smart, smells nice and is probably the Second Coming of Christ. He is UNBEARABLE. He's like Augustus Water but this guy doesn't have the common courtesy to die at the end. How rude.

I hated everything about this novel. It felt unresearched, rushed, and in places, dumbed-down. It is written in a style that I can only describe as "unemployed Sex and the City screen writer". I wish this novel came with a warning, "Keep out of reach of children, and teenagers, and adults, dogs, garden gnomes, your grandmother, school janitors, priests, gibbons, and especially anybody who lives in Paris because this novel is an insult to their city".

I'll finish with a quote from one of my favourite film critics Roger Ebert (who gets a mention in this novel and I'm pretty sure he's turning in his grave because of it). I'll manipulate the quote a bit but the sentiment still prevails.
"This book doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This book isn't the bottom of the barrel. This book isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This book doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels."
Profile Image for Simeon.
Author 1 book401 followers
August 30, 2016
This book is adorable, I’m not gonna lie.

Wealthy white teenagers having first-world problems.

Anna, the valiant, is plucked from Georgia and “abandoned” by her parents at a boarding school for rich American teens living in Paris, where she collapses into tears at the injustice of it all.

Intrigued? That's only the beginning of this incredible tale.

Sadly, my hopes for a dramatic twist of the Taken variety came to naught as the entire novel progressed without a single gun fight, kidnapping, or car chase, although at one point Anna's dream guy vomits on her.

In fact, every plot twist for Anna and the French Kiss seems to have been lifted directly from r/firstworldproblems.

Chapter 1) Girl meets boy (the plot thickens).

Chapter 2) Girl wants to order some delicious Parisian food, but does not speak French and is too embarrassed to ask for it in English even though everyone here speaks English.

Chapter 3) French is like such a hard language.

Chapter etc.) There’s some guy in Atlanta who wears skinny jeans below his bony arse, and she likes him soooooo much, but he doesn’t like her, and he screwed her best friend instead.

Almost immediately after landing in Paris and commencing to wallow, Anna “falls in love” with literally the first male she encounters, mainly because of his hair, which I imagine looks something like this:

If that weren’t enough, this irresistible man-creature of Anna's dreams also has an English accent, speaks French (omg omg omg), and is approximately five feet tall. Unfortunately though, he’s craven, and Anna’s a moron, so they spend the rest of the book awkwardly not touching each other’s genitals.

Ah, the plights of the teenager...

Seriously though, this book is cute, and unintentionally funny, and will make you feel well disposed towards the world.

The Good
Excellent description of culture shock on return to America.

The Bad
The characters are adorable, but ultimately retarded.

The Ugly
So much teen angst, so much crying, so much drama.
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.2k followers
June 21, 2015
Update after reading this book for the THIRD time:
Etienne. ETIENNE. The boy of my dreams (well...second place after Will Herondale, but still, that's a high honor). Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite YA contemporary writers as she has this way of writing books (which really sound SO cheesy plot and title-wise) that leaves you in a puddle of happy tears and hormones after the last page. This book has an inexplicable quality that even after reading the book multiple times, I can fall in love with the characters again and again and it feels like the first time.


The best romance book I've ever read! This read is not only completely and utterly adorable, it is incredibly relatable and witty. I love how Stephanie Perkins wrote each character and how all of the characters will tie together in her three books. I can't wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After to come out!
Profile Image for Haley pham.
87 reviews161k followers
March 28, 2022
Cheating trope 🤢
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Emily May.
2,058 reviews312k followers
August 12, 2016
This is one of the cutest feel-good teen romances I have ever read. It has a bit of everything that you want... humour, a likeable protagonist and a completely swoon-worthy guy called Etienne St. Clair. You could fall in love with the name alone, even without the fact that he's sweet, kind, honest and nothing at all like any of the English boys I grew up with. It's a very cute book, a very nice book, neither is a bad thing but if I start mentioning words like 'cute' and 'nice' in a review you can guarantee two things: a) I liked it. b) It's not a 5 star novel.

I do understand completely why people love it, but it was nothing new or unusual and didn't take me to new places emotionally or intellectually. I'm not trying to discourage people from reading it, in fact I would greatly stress that it is a delightful experience, very very pleasant to read and never challenging or mind-boggling at all. I spent my entire Sunday completely submerged in it's sweet romantic pages and could have sighed with contentment at the end. There are problems during the novel but everything works out, everyone's happy and no one dies. It's the exact opposite of the novels Anna's dad writes.

Anna is a simple average teenage girl who finds herself shipped off to an American boarding school in Paris; despite the trip to France, most female readers will relate to Anna... all she really wants at this point in her life is to hang out with friends, kiss a hot boy and get asked to prom (and eventually go to college). It's hard to define exactly what it is I love about Anna, but I understood her and recognised a lot of what she felt from my own experiences during high school. Though I like characters that are new and different, Anna's familiarity made her all the more relatable and likeable.

Also, Etienne St Clair is damn sexy! Even though I'm immune to the English accent thing because I live here, (with the exception of Spike in Buffy) I completely fell for the guy. It's so so nice and refreshing to have a male love interest who isn't a douche - I've missed that. And Etienne is adorable, he even blushes! So maybe he happens to be a little unrealistic... But if you want honest depictions of the teenage male, you can read some Melina Marchetta, which I would highly recommend that you do. But this novel wasn't about honesty, it was about enjoyment. I get that and I appreciate it. Thank you Ms Perkins for such a lovable read!

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Profile Image for Caitlin.
133 reviews2 followers
June 12, 2021
So, Anna is forced to go to boarding school in Paris (I know! Poor bébé) and she crushes on a guy who already has a girlfriend. They flirt and obsess over each other while he is still dating the other girl. To add icing to Anna’s miserable cake, she is then forced to get mad at her friend who does something despicable: her friend dates a boy that Anna thought liked her instead. Life is just not fair.

I gave this book one star because:
1) Anna is a whiny hypocrite who has very different ideas about who she’s allowed to date/kiss and who everyone else is allowed to date/kiss. It’s simple: she can kiss and flirt with anyone even if they have a girlfriend (or she has a boyfriend); no one else can do the same.
2) Also, the girl is in France and is a huge film fanatic. Yet all she does is watch a bunch of American movies. In France. Because we all know French cinema has nothing at all to offer a film-critic wannabe.
3) St. Clair is the worst kind of jerk: the kind of jerk who is under the misapprehension that he is actually a nice guy. And everyone else is under that impression as well.
4) The book is written in present tense which doesn't fit this generic YA romance.
5) The book is boring. I can’t even make myself hate it. In a couple of days, when I get over the time I wasted in reading it, I will probably forget about it altogether.
Profile Image for Cory.
Author 1 book408 followers
December 4, 2011
Edited to Add a Disgruntled Reader's Reply at the Bottom. Apparently, I don't know how to write reviews.

The best thing about this book? The end.

I don't read chick-lit. In fact, I avoid it like the plague. But this book received rave reviews from every single person on my friendlist. So I thought, hey, why not? Maybe this won't be like the formulaic Mary Kate and Ashley movies my teachers made me watch in first grade. Maybe Anna will be smart and witty. And maybe Etienne will be awesome.

I'm too optimistic.

Like The Duff, this book suffers from wish fulfillment:

Please don't tell me this book is realistic. I beg to differ. It's a fantasy. And there's nothing wrong with that, except when the protagonist is a self righteous, hypocritical bitch.

I've never been able to relate to rich annoying white girls, which is rather strange, considering that 40% of my K-12 experience was spent with them. I can relate to wizards, dragon riders, and thieves, but not this special brand of Mary Sue. She's a combination of a Relationship Sue, a Black Hole Sue, and she's something of an Anti-Sue.

Anna also has an extreme case of dickmatization. I love that word. If you're reading, thank you for introducing it to me Princess.

Dickmatized: When a girl can not concentrate on anything else because she is distracted with the DICK of her latest piece of ass. Her work is jeopardized, she's a sell out to her girlfriends, she picks up his shit including his kids or whatever. She will do whatever it takes for the DICK. Even if the dick isn't all that great, she doesn't know the difference because she is dickmatized.

If we take Anna out of the equation, this could be a decent book. But as it stands, I can't bother to care about her petty melodramatic woes. Don't get me wrong, the supporting cast wasn't bad, though they were carbon copies of every single cast from every other teen romantic comedy. The author takes potshots at Nicholas Sparks for using cancer as a plot device, but she does the same thing. If anything, at least Sparks is a little original. He uses a different disease every single time. It seems like Perkins watched a few Disney specials and decided to write a book staring Hillary Duff, Ashley Olsen, Mary Kate Olsen, a quirky original heroine. And, judging by the positive reviews, she succeeded. Well, if Stephenie Meyer doesn't get you, Stephanie Perkins will.

Anna is kind of like Miles Halter, from Looking for Alaska. But Miles actually fits in with his group. Anna is like a fanfiction writer's brilliant, but failed attempt, at creating an OC. She attracts the attention of almost all the guys in the book, sans three -- her brother, her ex boyfriend, and Josh, the boyfriend of her "friend". She's beautiful and her arch-enemy is the evil, "slutty", rat faced Amanda. She's a complete rip-off of Lauren from, How to Be Popular.

And, coincidentally, Anna attracts the attention of Etienne St. Clair, the hottest guy in school. When he walks past, girls gape. Right. This is me rolling my eyes. But wait, Etienne has a girlfriend: Ellie. Yup, Ellie is our contrived bullshit roadblock, the reason why our two fated lovers cannot be together.

I'd like to write a bit about conflict. If your hero has a bitchy girlfriend and your MC is "supposedly" nice, he looks like an idiot when he stays with that girlfriend. For a love triangle to work, there must be a valid reason as to why the girl or guy is caught in the middle of two people. Demeaning one of the love interests is not only low, but it makes me think you were too afraid to write a real relationship that didn't revolve around cliches and tropes.

It's rather humorous that every girl Anna dislikes is evil and every guy she dislikes is either dirty, or a dick. Yet her friends and "true love" St. Clair himself, are clean, attractive, and ever so intelligent. This is bullshit.

If this were a play, I'd call it Anna and the French Dick.

Let's get acquainted with the rest of our cast.

Ellie: St. Clair's girlfriend. She's plain and doesn't appreciate her friends which is why Anna is better than her.

Bridgette: She's Anna's bestfriend. She also "steals" Anna's "boyfriend".

Amanda: Blonde. Bitchy. Catty. "Slutty". Give me a fucking break.

Meredith: Sporty, smart, in love with St. Clair. Amanda calls her a dyke. I hated Anna for using her and abusing their friendship. Heads up. Do not abandon your friends for a guy. Especially when you know that your friend likes that guy. You are a bitch if you don't have the guts to talk to her and explain that the guy likes you, not her. Hmm... sounds like Anna's beef with Bridgette. Moving on.

Anna: Judgmental. Hypocritical. Self righteous. Brunette. Yeah. She basically shits on everyone who doesn't agree with her, or who stands in the way of St. Clair's dick. Her quirk? She knows a lot of shit about old movies. It was contrived and I didn't get half of the movies she namedropped. John Green, you do it better.

Josh: A mouthpiece for how awesome St. Clair is. According to him, when you flirt with two girls, even if you have a girlfriend, you're not leading them on.

Etienne St. Clair: Resident Marty Stu. His mother is dying from cancer. His father is evil. Every guy in school wants to be him. Every girl wants to date him. Every guy he doesn't like is evil. And he's the most attractive guy in the world. Even the way he chews gives Anna an orgasm. It's pathetic. His only flaw? He's too much of a coward to dump his girlfriend. But, honestly, that's only for the convenience of the plot. Take Anna out of the picture, and I might have liked St. Clair if the author didn't use Josh as a mouthpiece for how awesome he is.

David: A dick. He liked Anna.

Toph: A dick. He liked Anna.

Matt: Anna's ex. He's a slob.

Rashmi: Our token PoC. She has no relevance to the plot other than to be our shipper on deck. In another story, I would've liked her. In this book, she's only there to make Anna feel better than Ellie.

Not only does Perkins fail to wrap up Anna's conflict with her parents -- something even Kody Keplinger, who's debut was like a mash-up of All American Girl and Perfect You, managed to do -- but she also delivered two very special messages in the last fifty pages. We get some bullshit "slut shaming is wrong" message, though Anna spent 300pgs whining about how unfair her life was when Ellie, that plain girl, was sleeping with St. Clair, and in the first 50pgs, she made a remark about Amanda's cleavage. Then we get two paragraphs of "gay is okay". I know that making fun of gay people is wrong. And I know that slut shaming is wrong. I don't need you, Perkins, to step on your soapbox and convince me that Anna is a beautiful PC person like PC Cast does with Zoey Redbird.

Never again will I fall prey to the hype. Granted, this is romantic fluff, but that's no excuse. The writing was decent, but give me Sara Zarr, Sarah Dessen, or Elizabeth Scott over Stephanie Perkins. Hell, I'd rather read the entire Twilight Saga than read this again.

In case you couldn't tell, I didn't like this book. 1.5 stars.

Date Comment Deleted: 12/4/11
Commentator: V. Arrow (aimmyarrowshigh)
Reason: Apparently, I don't know how to write a valid criticism of a contemporary romance.

Comment: If you have never taken a class on media criticism -- and I'd venture that you haven't -- the first rule of critique is that you should judge within the same genre and for its intent and purpose. The genre of this book is YA contemp romance. Does it fulfill a romantic plotline without straying into age-inappropriate issues? Yes. It fulfills the genre criteria. The main audience of YA contemp romance: middle-class and upper-middle class English-speaking girls between 14-54.

Does this book cohesively create a fictional construct that would reflect and be recognizable in their world? Yes. There is nothing wrong with a book about "first world problems" when the purpose and intent of the book is to be a romance for teenagers. Insofar as actual criticism, Anna and the French Kiss is tantamount to being a perfect example of its genre and fulfilling the purpose for its audience.

So again the question begs: if you knew you would not like it, and did not know how to adequately and maturely review it after choosing to read something you were predisposed to disliking, why bother?

My reply: I write contemporary romance. I write romcoms. I think I know a little about the common tropes found in the genre. I've read almost every popular romcom script and written lengthy reviews for several popular bromances. I was actually going to major in Film before I realized my university only offered media arts, at which point I decided to choose Architecture. I'd wager that V. needs to do a little bit more research on me before she decides to comment on my reviews.

Regardless of the genre, a novel shouldn't make use of old boring tropes without trying to apply any sort of originality to them. This read like a re-hash of every single bad teen movie I've ever seen. And, frankly, that's tiring. Even worse? It adds nothing new to the genre. Now, romcoms are very formulaic, but that's no excuse. (500) Days of Summer was a success because it added an extra dimension to Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back.

Now, instead of getting upset at my criticism, I suggest that if V. wants to comment here again, she looks at the points I made and tries to debate those instead of getting in a huff over a book she rated five stars receiving negative criticism. Because, really, telling me that I don't know how to review is rather dim when she doesn't know how to have a proper debate.

By the way, all of the books I referenced in this review are vastly superior contemporary romances. Also, I will never understand the "if you don't like it, don't read it argument," as I'm not a mind reader. I've read books and scripts I didn't expect to like (Legally Blonde) and I came away thoroughly impressed. So, no, that argument is not valid.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,574 reviews43.4k followers
December 17, 2019
ahhh, paris. the city of lights. la ville d’amour. the perfect setting for any book, in my opinion, and this story only made me fall in love with the city all over again. <3

and thats about the only positive experience that came from reading this. whomp whomp.

i have seen an overwhelming amount of positive reviews for this and thought i was going to be in for a light-hearted and fluffy YA novel, but i was surprised at how problematic i found this to be. and normally that wouldnt bother me - i do a pretty decent job at separating what i would/wouldnt tolerate in real life from events that happen in fiction, but a lot of the stuff in this book rubbed me the wrong way, to the point of not really enjoying this as much i would have wanted. i dont want to spoil anything, but there are sooo many inexcusable character flaws, its bonkers.

but gosh. you guys. did i mention paris? ugh. im drooling over the sights, sounds, smells, colours, and textures of the city. i thought stephanie perkins did a wonderful job at really bringing the city to life and showcasing all that it has to offer.

so if it wasnt for the setting, i might not have finished this. its obvious i cared way more about paris than about the characters or plot. and i probably would have rated this lower if i didnt have such a soft spot for the city. le sigh.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
578 reviews35k followers
March 3, 2019
”I live here.” I point dumbly at my room while my mind whirrs: French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.”

This quote! *lol* It about sums up at least 90% of all the teens who ever fell in love and were completely dumbstruck by the sudden appearance of their love interest. And I think this wasn’t just a nice scene but also relatable af. XD

So I apparently enjoyed the book, but unlike the majority of my friends I only gave “Anna and the French Kiss” three stars. I’m sure you can’t help but wonder about the rating and secretly ask yourself: “How come?” And here comes the moment when I speak the words I never thought I’d ever say: It’s unpopular opinion time. (Obviously. *lol*)

Uh oh. I can already feel the wave of wrath that is crashing down on me, but before you take out your pitchforks, sharpen your scythes and scream “Down with her head!!” let me explain and elaborate first. ;-P

There were a lot of things I liked about “Anna and the French Kiss” but I think it read like one of those teenage love movies you can watch at the cinema. I mean that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I love such movies but they are always kind of run of the mill. Like at first it’s fluffy and nice, then the two MCs hit it off, then something happens that causes them to part, then one of the MCs tries to forget the other and does something stupid, then the shit goes down and the MC reaches a low where it ends up all alone without any friends and then there is suddenly a turning point and everything is good again. Phew! That was a long explanation but I’m sure you get what I’m trying to tell you.

”He smiles. “Oh, I see. Known me less than a day and teasing me about my accent. What’s next? Care to discuss the state of my hair? My height? My trousers?”

Whilst it’s true that there are a lot of topics that are different to other books and movies, it’s still undeniable that the overall main plot can be described like that. I mean you can change the nuances but in the end the outcome is the same, right? Still, I don’t mind run of the mill-plots as long as they are done nicely and it mostly was done nicely in “Anna and the French Kiss”.

So what is my problem then?! *lol* I’ll be damned if I know, but I think it might have been the combination of all those different topics. The way they appeared and how they were dealt with, or in some cases not dealt with. It was just too much. I mean you could argue that in real life a lot of shitty things happen at the same time as well and you certainly wouldn’t be wrong with that, but it was a whole lot different than I expected. I mean in the first 50% of the book we got the fluff I craved for and after that the book started to frustrate me and just continued to do so until the end. And I feel like I owe you an explanation for that so I’ll just go with the truth.

”Wanna come beat her up for me?”
“I’m packing my throwing stars right now.”

I loved Anna’s and Étienne’s friendship! Because they were #friendshipgoals but I hated that he had a girlfriend throughout the entire book. I mean I guess we can all agree that this is kind of problematic (understatement of the century) if you want to develop a relationship between two MCs, but what really got me was that I could relate way too much. When I was a teen I was in love with my best friend too and he had a gf as well. (Don’t judge I never acted on my feelings and funnily enough it was HIS girlfriend who cheated on him in the end and destroyed their relationship… too personal? Okay let’s move on.) Anyway! What I’m trying to say is that I could understand and feel Anna’s growing frustration!

”Why is it that the right people never wind up together? Why are people so afraid to leave a relationship, even if they know it’s a bad one?”

I asked myself that very same question about a thousand times. And I’m 31 now but I. still. don’t. get. it! I mean if I don’t love my partner anymore I don’t stay with her/him right? I know there are a lot of people who’d beg to differ but I’m a very honest and blunt person and I address my problems with others directly. (Maybe one of the reasons why not everyone can stomach my friendship. *lol*) So I know there might be many reasons to stick with your partner but for me it’s just the question of whether I love her/him still or not. (If you have kids it’s always a little more complicated though…) Still, we’re getting off topic here. I think what I’m trying to convey is that the last 50% of the book were just frustrating for me and that this took out a lot of my enjoyment.

What I wanted to read didn’t go along with what I read and even though this made the book very realistic it kind of killed the romance for me. I guess my expectations were just different. I expected to read a fluffy romance and got a ton of frustration instead. *lol* So you might say it’s a typical case of “It’s not the book, it’s me.” and you’d be totally right. Plus I think Anna had a right to be angry at Bridgette! (But that’s another story for another day. XD)

”How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else’s – be pulled and stretched and twisted – before they snap? Before they can never be mended again?”


My personal experiences apparently ruined the book for me. *lol* I can understand why so many people love it and I wish I could have loved it too, but it just didn’t work out for me. So please, don’t let my rating keep you from reading the book, I’m sure some of you will love and enjoy it still. =)

I tried to reduce my TBR with inventing “Hugs’n’kisses OR Dismissed by the Missus/Messrs” and since I chose to hug and read “Anna and the French Kiss” I’ll go through with it now. XD

There are still 6 days left until I’m supposed to be finished with this and I’m sure this is going to be a fast read. *lol* (Romances usually are.)

I really hope this will give me all those fluffy feels, because I am ready! ;-)
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,178 reviews636 followers
December 22, 2010
GOD! I’m giddy... I’m actually giddy after reading this book! Oh and I’m officially a Nook hugger. This book made me a chronic giddy Nook hugger. What a hot mess! But so what I ♥ it. Jolly good book indeed!

Anna and the French Kiss is an absolute hit. It immediately takes top rank in my fave YA romance, chicky-type lit reads and there is absolutely no doubt I’ll be reading this book every year over and over again. The blokes and blokettes are loveable, the storyline is perfect, and the light romance is a thing of shear beauty. I could go on an on about how much this book made me feel light hearted and happy… just plain ole happy, but you’re just going to have to experience it for yourself.

In this book, Anna is shipped off to SOAP, School of America in Paris by her Nicholas Sparky-type author dad; and she’s absoltuely homesick, lost and insecure as she doesn’t speak a lick of French. Along comes the best crew of characters and not only befriend Anna, but drag her out of her dorm to experience the city of Paris and all of its wonders. As the book progresses, Anna and St. Clair develop a lovey type friendship that they eventually must acknowledge, but not without some messy sitches along the way.

My favorite scenes in the book: Anna and St. Clair’s tour of the city, their Turkey dinner in Paris, yelling down the halls and stairwell during the holiday, sleepovers, multiple trips to the cinema, the flight home, the emails back and forth, the New Year’s telephone call, Whyareyougivingawaythecookies?, the banana bead, Pablo Neruda poetry book... I love Neruda! Gah! I could go on and on, so let’s just say I loved it all.

St. Clair is absolute perfection, yummier than a fluffy croissant. Anna is adorably awesome and flawed, the type of girl that you’d love to pinch her cheeks and run like hell. Together, their story is full of enjoyable moments that reminded me how sporadically awesome it was to be a teenager. Loved it!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Do I recommend it?? Ummm bloody hell yeah!

Thanks to the Street Corner Bookers for finding this book and adding it to our read and rant! After a string of no hits, we’ve found our stride. XD

Favorite Quotes
"So what do I wish for? Something I'm not sure I want? Someone I'm not sure I need? Or someone I know I can't have?"

"Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?"

"I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it."

"Boys turns girls into such idiots."

Alternate book covers

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Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
1,066 reviews2,891 followers
January 3, 2021
My passion includes :- lowering the rating of books I once adored from 5 stars to 4 stars to 2 stars within a span of 11 months.🙄🧐
Profile Image for Miranda.
517 reviews124 followers
June 24, 2011
I’m going to be right up front and honest: I really, really, really did not like this book.

Before I get into why I’m going to start off with the parts I did like. This won’t take long because there aren’t many. Perkins is definitely a talented writer as far as the technical stuff goes. Her prose flows nicely, Anna has a distinct voice (the only distinct voice in the novel, sadly), and not once did her writing feel strained or forced. She’s actually good, which is why my intense dislike of this book is disappointing. There was also a scene in the novel between Anna and her little brother Seany that made me smile because it was sweet and touching and realistic, and a few jokes here and there that made me laugh. But otherwise a lot of my feelings towards Anna and the French Kiss consist of intense dislike... okay I’ll be honest, more like actual hate. There were several times when I honestly had to put the book down and walk away for a while because I was getting so angry.

I don’t generally have a problem with books or movies that concern themselves solely with how the main characters get together. I find that the key to getting me interested in giving me good characters who work wonderfully together and level each other out. But I have to actually like the characters and their type of relationship if I’m going to spend a few hours reading their journey together.

I did not like Anna and St. Clair’s relationship, and you can pretty much blame St. Clair for that.

St. Clair, or Étienne, is pretty much a jerk. He’s not intended to come across that way--in fact he’s written to be the most perfect boyfriend a girl or guy could ever ask for. For most of the novel he comes across as too perfect, actually. Until we get to the reason why he and Anna can’t get together for most of the novel: He won’t break up with his current girlfriend, Ellie. Even though it’s extremely obvious to everyone, probably even Ellie herself, that he’s no longer in love with her, he won’t call it off. He would rather be miserable with her than initiate a change in his life, since it’s stated in the book that he’s afraid of change.

I’m sorry but that’s the worst thing to do to a person. It’s disrespectful, to put it quite frankly, and it’s wrong to treat a person you supposedly loved at some point like that. For much of the book, while Anna was hating on Ellie (which I’ll get to in a moment, oh will I ever), I just kept thinking “Just wait, Anna. If he’s doing this to Ellie, he’ll do it to you one day.” As one would expect, that kind of put a huge damper on the whole romantic storyline. The plot line with Ellie just felt like a very weak, very convenient way to keep Étienne and Anna from getting together too fast.

So given my intense dislike for Étienne, the book was already kind of doomed for me. After all, I have to like the other half of the couple if I’m going to be invested in a romance novel.

But I could handle disliking Étienne if the rest of the book could make up for his jerkitude. Unfortunately there was more that irritated me than just Étienne.

The secondary characters were pretty much just that. They came in and said stuff when the plot needed it (this is especially apparent in Meredith’s case) and then left so the book could focus on Anna and Étienne again. In the case of Meredith, Anna’s first new friend when she arrives in Paris, she’s in love with Étienne as well. I was hopeful that Meredith and Anna could settle things peacefully, or Meredith would admit her feelings to Étienne and then back off to let him decide who he wanted to be with. But no, of course Meredith takes it out on Anna instead of being cross with Étienne that he never discouraged her or made it plain that he wasn’t interested in being anything other than friends. Every time Anna and Étienne are remotely romantic with each other in front of their group of friends, Meredith gets jealous and pouty. These are pretty much the only times she’s present so it stands out.

Then of course there’s Ellie, who meets Anna once and seems to like her okay. But then when Étienne is asking for Anna when he’s drunk, Ellie gets jealous and hateful towards Anna. Of course. Because we can’t have just one girl being all possessive and jealous to another girl over a guy; no, we have to have two! At one point Anna actually imagines causing Ellie bodily harm, when she should be angry with Étienne for stringing Ellie and her along for close to a year. Then there’s the stereotypical “slutty,” “bitchy,” rich popular girl Amanda who dislikes Anna on sight because Étienne is paying more attention to Anna than her. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence, either, that “slutty” is used often in conjunction with Ellie and Amanda. Ellie dresses up as a slutty nurse for Halloween, Amanda is mentioned to have revealing clothing on most of the time. Anna, it’s mentioned, is still a virgin. I don’t think I’m wrong in believing the comparisons were deliberate there.

I’m sorry but can we put these tropes/cliches to bed, already? I am tired of seeing girls fighting each other for a guy, especially a jerk like Étienne. It reinforces so, so many unpleasant stereotypes about women, and it teaches us that we should fight instead of supporting each other, while the guy gets away with bad behaviour, and I’m just sick of it. Yes, eventually Anna does stand up for Meredith against Amanda, but by that point it was too little, too late.

I wish I could have liked Anna and the French Kiss more than I did. I suppose it’s a good thing it made me feel something, even if that something was intense hatred for all the cliches and offensive stereotypes the novel used. Despite the fact that I was not impressed with this novel, I’d be interested in seeing what else Perkins has to offer due to her talented writing. I can only hope she creates better, more sympathetic characters for her next novel, and doesn’t reinforce so many unpleasant stereotypes about women and romance.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kiki.
201 reviews8,984 followers
January 13, 2016
What I like about Stephanie Perkins is that her books are fluffy, and they're okay with that: there's no heavy message attached to this as the author attempts to shove an after-school special down our throats. I didn't like that when I was a teenager, and I don't like it now. Sometimes I feel like that's my real problem with contemporary novels - that they want desperately to be didactic in the way that dystopia or high fantasy is but their settings are too literal to pull it off properly. But Stephanie Perkins is cool, subtle; she holds back, relaxes, and lets the story speak for itself. She trusts her readers. I like that.

Anna and the French Kiss was a strange read for me in that I'm not a contemporary fan and nor am I overly enamoured of romance, mostly because I find 85% of it to be terribly unconvincing. I'm not an overly romantic person at heart thus your story of this average straight couple who meet in the rain and face menial trials because ~one of them doesn't believe in love~ won't tickle my fancy. I expect a little more.

I expect what Stephanie Perkins gave us: a beautiful setting, atypical characters, smooth writing and a satisfying final payoff. We see Etienne and Anna get together because that's what we've been waiting for, and Perkins made us wait for it. She knew we'd love this couple, because she knew the story she was telling had enough meat to make us care.

Anna is a rich kid, but she wasn't always; she's rash and sometimes selfish, but she's a girl in love for the first time. Oftentimes I worry that adult readers who are harshly judging female leads forget that these female leads are teenagers, and when we were teenagers, we all felt like a zit or a laughing-peeing incident was the end of the world. It wasn't, but being a teenager is hard; being in that transitional phase puts enormous pressure on us as human beings. Perkins captures this well. I remember being thrilled when I was sixteen and realizing that yes, writing was something people did, and something I could do - it wasn't that I'd had success, but simply having something be certain in the waffling, uncomfortable abyss of adolescence. It was relief to me to find that I could braid my hair and wear makeup and have it look good, after struggling so hard with uncertain feelings about whether my friends really liked me or how good my grades were, whether people noticed the holes in my clothes that I couldn't afford to replace, how I fit in my broken family, how I'd ever have enough money to strike out on my own, what my face looked like, what my puberty-ravaged body looked like, my sexuality, my plans for the future, where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. Perkins grabs hold of teenage waffling and pulls the covers off it, and she makes it romantic, yet finite. Things sometimes suck, she says, but they do get better.

I've seen a few heads shaking at the cheating aspect of this book, and I'd like to share with you a very unpopular opinion: cheating happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that the fuckwad you're dating is too cowardly to admit that they're not ready for commitment. Sometimes it's because the existing couple is incompatible, thus one or both of them looks elsewhere. Sometimes it's because you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. Cheating isn't okay; it's not justifiable. But cheating, like Cheez-whiz and Nickleback, has its unsavoury reasoning.

This book, like a good series opener should, saw me clamouring to get my hands on its sequels. And I did get my hands on them; I've read them both. This is the essence of Perkins' readable, deft writing: it's moreish and addictive, easy but not simplistic. There's skill there, and it encompasses a wide audience, from teens to nostalgic adults. I, an adult*, wasn't ashamed to be seen reading this book on the terrace. (That might, though, be in part due to the beautiful and subtle covers of the UK paperbacks. That is how you create a book cover, art teams! Subtly!)

What else can I say? Stephanie Perkins rocks, and so does her writing, and her colourful cast of characters. Five stars well deserved.

*My labelling myself an 'adult' is based on age only. I am a strange vapour of a human being with a low D- in adulting. I'm really good at public transport and packing my shit into boxes but sometimes I forget how to make phone calls.
Profile Image for  jd 지훈.
101 reviews66 followers
November 19, 2020
CW/TW: emotional cheating, slut-shaming, girl-hate, mentions of eating disorder as an insult, homophobia, bullying

"The only French word I know is oui, which means yes, and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e."

Paris, France (2010) — Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Anna Oliphant is enthused to return to school for the upcoming year as a senior, especially when her life is going exactly how she wants it to be: with a great job, a supportive best friend, and an almost boyfriend whom she shared a kiss with at work. However, Anna's life changes when her father forces her to attend the American boarding school in France named School of America in Paris, colloquially referred to as SOAP.

Resenting the sudden shift her life took, Anna is far from thrilled with how she has to live alone in a foreign country whose language she does not speak and without a single friend to accompany her. This was how Anna saw her new life until she met the smart, charming, and beautiful Étienne St. Clair—the American garçon with a French name and a bloody English accent. Anna feels enamored of St. Clair, and it seems that St. Clair feels the same. But there is one big problem among the innumerable: St. Clair has a serious girlfriend, making Anna and the French Kiss improbable to transpire; similar to the chances one has to morally root for the couple.

Stephanie Perkins' debut novel Anna and the French Kiss thrives on making romantic tropes as clichéd as they can ever be, only then to prove that it can manage to do the unimaginable by ruining itself further with idiocy, hypocrisy, immaturity, implicit anti-feminism, and blatant romanticization of emotional cheating.

Stephanie Perkins showers the readers with kindness as she warns them about the big storm coming—a neuronal apoptosis-inducing endeavor which materializes through the plot and the events in this book as manifested by Perkins' magnificently transparent opening paragraphs that introduce Anna in first-person:
Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and a lot of kings named Louis. I’m not sure what they did either, but I think it has something to do with the French Revolution, which has something to do with Bastille Day. The art museum is called the Louvre and it’s shaped like a pyramid and the Mona Lisa lives there along with that statue of the woman missing her arms. And there are cafés or bistros or whatever they call them on every street corner. And mimes. The food is supposed to be good, and the people drink a lot of wine and smoke a lot of cigarettes.

I’ve heard they don’t like Americans, and they don’t like white sneakers.

Indeed, the author immensely has the talent to craft characters that are either dimwits or cream puffs who are bafflingly rich, privileged brats that have the resources to spend for a lavish education in a different country yet still remained imbeciles: the striking stupidity embodied by Anna's ignorance and St. Clair's immorality, while the unbridled uselessness reflected by the side characters who are created to be nothing but stage decoration.

It is quite astonishing to read that Anna thinks that the "[French] don't like Americans" when her actual personality is, in fact, the embodiment of the American ethnocentrism non-Americans frown upon. Ignorance truly prohibits self-awareness, does it not? With Perkins' effort to portray Anna as innocent and sweet comes the repercussions of making her a total idiot who does not only symbolize the failure of the contemporary educational system but also reflects the immoral fiascos brought by unprincipled upbringing and hands-off parenting.

Written a decade ago, and surprisingly according to its Wikipedia page, met with generally positive critical reception, the book aged like milk with its glorification of emotional cheating—the very premise the book is built upon and was left unresolved until the last tenth of the book. To make things worse, no to little consequences were received by the characters which leave their offenses practically unchallenged. Not to mention, Perkins goes so far as to make the admission of this iniquity romantic while excusing the concept of emotional cheating as not legitimate cheating:
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt this way about anybody before—”


“No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was, I wouldn’t actually cheat on her. But I thought you’d know. With me being there, I thought you’d know.”

If these were the things praised 10 years ago, then it is with great delight that we find how the concept of morality has evolved throughout the years and how we do not take these wrongs lightly anymore.

Moreover, the book is littered with girl-hate and slut-shaming messages which contradict Anna's supposed lovely, innocent girl image. This extends to Anna's hypocrisy¹ to criticize other people about the things that she does herself, alongside her not-so-amiable thoughts towards the women that are supposedly her ‘friends’. Some of the anti-feminist passages include:
Meretricious. Showily attractive but cheap or insincere. Yes! That is so Cherrie. I just hope Bridge didn’t make me sound too desperate, despite my longing for Toph to email me. And I can’t believe Matt is still weird around him, even though we’re not dating anymore. Everyone likes Toph. Well, sometimes he annoys the managers, but that’s because he tends to forget his work schedule. And call in sick.

It’s Ellie. I nearly drop my towel. “Oh.”
Slutty nurse. I don’t believe it. Tiny white button-up dress, red crosses across the nipples. Cleavage city.

Perhaps, it seems likely that Perkins wants to remind her readers not to pursue love because it makes one a stupid, self-absorbed partner-grabber or a cheater who prioritizes a messy and immoral romantic relationship over a supposedly harmonious friendship.

Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss badly desires to be different that it completely subverted the romance novels' goal of providing a vicarious love experience—ending triumphant to inspire the reader to scurry and live someplace faraway, alone and devoid of petty romantic drama.

Personal Enjoyment: 1 star
Quality of the Book: 1.3 stars
- Use of Language: ⭐⭐
- Plot and Narrative Arc: ⭐+
- Characters: ⭐
- Integrity: ⭐
- Message: ⭐

AVG: 1.15 stars | PAN

[1] Spoiler: Similar to how Anna criticized Bridgette for being with Toph, making it seem that her best friend stole the guy from her, while she herself wants to be with St. Clair who currently is in a relationship.

[Some comments in this post are for the pre-review I wrote which contained highlighted reactions from my status updates. You may check the actual status updates through the links below to understand the context behind the comments.]

Status Updates:
[START] let's see why this is so popular | is she dumb or is she dumb? | she is indeed dumb | anna beats joe goldberg's sociopath levels | their morals are darker than Vantablack | this girl literally falls for everyone who calls her beautiful | oh my god, am i st. clair? | we love a queen of problematic YA romance | pls make me understand how is he the man of your dreams | she is (stupid)¹⁰⁰⁰⁰ | she proud for making out everywhere | i'm done with this shit | if Anna were to sing High School Sweethearts [END]
Profile Image for clara.
69 reviews163 followers
June 10, 2018
[minor unmarked spoilers ahead]

what i signed up for: a cute, sweet contemporary
what i got instead: a whole load of girl-on-girl hate and slut shaming, plus an insufferable, ridiculously ignorant protagonist (how on earth do you think that ‘oui’ is spelt ‘wee’?). oh, and did i mention cheating?

case exhibit 1:

on amanda:
“a blonde with a beaky nose and a teeny tank top coos as soon as we get in line… she leans over her friend, a short girl with a severe ponytail, and positions herself for maximum cleavage exposure.”

of course the ‘mean girl’ has to be a blonde ‘slut’. not even 10% in and i already wanted to gouge out my eyes.

case exhibit 2:

on ellie (the girlfriend):
“slutty nurse. i don’t believe it. tiny, white button-up dress, red crosses across the nipples. cleavage city.”

honestly fuck offfff anna

case exhibit 3:
“there’s only one thing i don’t love about him. her. if i didn’t like ellie before, it’s nothing compared to how i feel now. it doesn’t matter that i can count how many times we’ve met on one hand.”

case exhibit 4:
“i fantasise about their breakup. how he could hurt her, and she could hurt him, and all of the ways i could hurt her back. i want to grab her parisian-styled hair and yank it so hard it rips from her skull. i want to sink my claws into her eyeballs and scrape.”

it’s honestly pathetic how obsessed anna is with him. also, wanting to hurt someone, especially because they’re dating someone you like is not okay. get a grip on yourself.

case exhibit 5:

etienne on cheating on his girlfriend:
“i cheated on her every day. in my mind, i though of you in ways i shouldn’t have, again and again. she was nothing compared to you.”

oh my god #1 bae!!!1!!1 but seriously, how do people find etienne ‘dreamy’ and ‘hot’ when in reality he’s just a cheating prick who’s too insecure to be alone??

aaaand i’m going to leave it at that. i’m sure there are way more examples in this book, but honestly i’m so done with this.

not the greatest start to 2018.



yeah, it's a no from me.
March 20, 2021

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Do you enjoy books about cheating? Do you like heroines who are so stupid that they literally spend a week starving in their boarding school because they are too stupid to order food from a cafeteria? Do you like heroes whose big romantic confessions literally involve the phrase "I cheated on her every day"?

Then this is the book for YOU!

It's been a while since I read a YA book that I hated so much. I think the last one was Molly McAdams's SHARING YOU, a book about some selfish trash people who decide to carry on an extramarital affair because the wife is such a bitchly, she totes has it coming, you guys. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is the PG-13 version of SHARING YOU. Teenage trash people, Etienne and Anna, end up connecting immediately and succumbing to their attraction to one another... despite the fact that he has a girlfriend.

I am so tired of these books that make apologies for cheaters. In a relationship and in love with someone else? End the first relationship first and then move on. Don't string both women along and run to the woman you don't like when you want sex so you can keep the woman you do like pure, and then later confess that you "cheated on your girlfriend every day" in your mind with this new trash person, and try to make it sound romantic. And especially don't try to make it all about you by saying that you're just afraid to be alone. Because you know what that makes you? A trash person.

And don't even get me started about ANNA. Freaking ANNA. She is the biggest trash person on Mount Trashmore. The face that launched a thousand trash ships. Anna - who doesn't know she's beautiful. Anna - who gets sent to a cool school in Paris and immediately starts whining about how much she hates it there. Anna - who is so stupid that she doesn't even attempt to order from her boarding school's cafeteria in English and literally starves unless someone isn't there to order for her. Anna - who doesn't know a word of French,is resentful about learning French, and basically pictures the entire country as a beret-wearing, Amelie-watching population. Anna - who puts a Canadian flag patch on her backpack because she doesn't want people thinking she's American. Anna - who is shocked that French people watch English-speaking movies, too! Anna - who orders a coffee from McDonald's and is shocked that it doesn't taste like French espresso! Anna - who the moment she gets home to precious Atlanta, immediately starts whining about how much she misses France.

Anna - the stupidest person on earth.

As if the cheating weren't enough, this is a codependent relationship written in the style of TWILIGHT. Anna is a pathetic, helpless heroine who needs a boy to save her from scary France. He uses her, too, to cope with his emotional issues - because he doesn't want to be alone - while resolving all the (ahem) physical ones with his girlfriend of one and a half years. The difference is, Edward didn't cheat. Etienne dreams of being Edward. Edward was not a perfect hero by any means, but with him I could see the appeal. With Etienne, I am side-eying all the people saying how cute and fluffy this book is and thinking, "What? This dysfunction?" And say what you like about Bella, especially in New Moon, but at least she didn't cheat with another girl's boyfriend and then start sobbing about how "she didn't mean it! she didn't know what happened!" when caught with her tongue in his mouth. Bella did not cheat, and Bella was not an idiot. She would certainly know who Emile Zola was, and wouldn't call him "Emily Zola"; the greatest female author you've never heard of. Given the choice between this and TWILIGHT, TWILIGHT would win, every time.

1 star
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 7 books14.7k followers
September 17, 2018
“French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.”

I enjoyed this novel a lot. It's funny, it's sweet and above all it's Paris! I love Paris. Very much.
I read Lola and the Boy Next Door first - I was in Paris, found it in a second-hand bookshop for 2€ and didn't have anything else to read.
I have to say that Anna and the French Kiss is a million times better. Lola mostly annoyed me, but I loved the characters around her.
Anna, however, was great. Yes, she does have her fair share of self-centeredness and emotional escapades. The drama, the slamming-doors-in-faces, the I-love-you-I-hate-you was not really that necessary. At least not so much of it. But I was so in love with this story, the characters and Paris, that it all made up for it.
This is definitely my favourite book in the trilogy.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for saania jamal ✧.
268 reviews659 followers
November 5, 2016
Anna and the French Kiss: certified #1 cure for your woes. (Drake, that goes out to you.)

“For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

So I started off with this as soon as I was done with Colleen Hoover's Hopeless, if only due to sheer boredom + a lack of wifi + because I'd been putting it off for too many months now. Funny thing is I had tremendous expectations for the former and barely any for this one.

But oh, look how the tables have turned.

Lord knows what took me so long to finally get to reading this because I was instantly hooked. You know how they say the pages seemed to be flipping themselves? This is one of those books. Before I knew it, I was already halfway through with the sun's early rays starting to shine through the binds— that too without the help of my typical 'theme song' to pull me along! (Well, at least the first time round.) Now that's a big feat for me considering music serves to be my oxygen for when I'm drowning myself in books. The plot, the romance, the writing, the characters (oh man, the characters); they all aligned to make the most perfect combo in a rom-com if I've ever seen before.






(Yes folks, only a Book Boyfriend™ can bring out such a psycho fangirl in me.)

Now shoo, go experience the joys and fuzzies and feel-goodness that is this novel.


Book Song: Someday by Sugar Ray.
Profile Image for Lore.
126 reviews3,258 followers
December 8, 2011
The Hardcover is on sale for $6.80 with free shipping HERE!!

Holy St Clair, hypothetical Batman!

This book put me in a whole new state of consciousness. It put me in the life of Anna. It took me straight to Paris and I never looked back.

When I get desperately into the groove of a book, I literally (okay, fine, figuratively) transform into a hermit crab.

I curl up so tight in the shell of my blanket in that special nook carved out in my chair, so tight that everything else melts away. It's just me and the blanket and the book. Just me and my shell. The world blurs and every word on the page comes more into focus than anything around me. It is the ultimate escape. The ultimate getaway. However, I have to make sure that I have everything I might need somewhere close by, because if I can't reach it while I'm in my shell, then I don't get it.

This is exactly the kind of book that I would consider peeing in a cup for (not that I did that or anything, just sayin'). It's really THAT addictive.

The Rundown

The synopsis of this book is fairly straight forward. Girl goes to boarding school in the City of Love and falls for a charming guy and he just so happens to be the last guy she should have fallen for. Dramarama and hilarity ensue.

While this is a fairly PG or PG-13 book, the tension between the two main characters is palpable. I used to think that true tension, capable of thickening the air around you, required a book series to develop properly. I didn't think it could be done within a standalone book. I was so, so wrong.

The Writing

This book is..... Cutesy. Everything Anna does and says is adorable. If that kind of thing bothers you, then it might not be for you. While I can often be Captain Sarcastic, I am also the cornball capital of America. So the cheese in this book didn't bother me at all.

Really, it's a total cheesefest. Oh, and it's also very ANGSTY with a capital everything. But in the best way.

This woman completely nails EVERY aspect of having a teenage crush. How the littlest detail can spark an intense puppy love. The awkwardness of being so close to someone you want to JUMP but can't. They way your heart races at the slightest touch, be it the brush of a hand or the nudge of a foot.

Pretty much: she's amazing. I would read the Bible, Book of Mormon and the Quran all in one day if they were written by Stephanie Perkins.

PS, Stephanie - Callipygian is my favorite new word.

The Characters

Don't EVEN get me started on our love interest, Etienne St Clair. Sigh.

But Anna, oh Anna. With your raisin-sized tooth gap and your skunk-striped hair. Wait a tic... Oh my GOD. I'm freaking out. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss is totally ROGUE. Wow.

Let's see:
The gap between the front teeth? Check.
Brunette with a white streak? Check.
Can't hook up with the guy she wants to hook up with? Check. Granted it's for different reasons than the fact that she might kill him. Still.

And guess what the name of the actress who plays Rogue is. That's right. AN-freaking-NA! Rogue is played by Anna Paquin! Holy shiz!! What a coinkydink. (Woooohoooo my autopredict knows the word coinkydink. That's a hell of an accomplishment right there.)

The Verdict

This is one of those kinds of books, one that I can groove with. I grooved so hard with this book that at some point near the middle, for a split second, I actually considered calling my poor poor better-half on his cell phone and asking him to bring me a glass of water, even though I knew he was asleep in the other room. I KNOW!! But I only considered it for a teeny tiny split second and then thought "Damn, this book is making me crazy."

To be honest, I hadn't had that experience in a loooooong time. I hadn't felt this in way too long. By "this", I mean that desperate need to consume every inch of a book in one sitting. Your eyes blink with sleep, but you will not let them close. You can't imagine being in a state of NOT reading the book. You inhale it feverishly like a starved animal, and when it's over, you can't believe it. Full and content with happiness yet you still crave more, even though there isn't any.

So, let's see now... It's an entirely addictive romance in Paris starring a non-celibate Rogue and a hot guy with a British accent. Do you really need me to say it? FIVER.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,260 reviews70k followers
January 21, 2024
Cute little YA romance.


I remember it being a lot cuter the first time I read it, though.
This time around I was hit in the face with quirky rich kids on their own in Paris whilst attending a private boarding school.

The two main characters are pretty mature for their age in the sense that they sound like world-weary 30somethings most of the time. And both have some physical attribute that's typically considered unattractive (he's quite short, she's got a gap between her front teeth) but somehow both of them are the hottest kids in the school.
Because quirky.
But I actually really liked that.


I loved that Anna's father is a knock-off Nicholas Sparks, known for his sappy romance novels-turned-movies that end with someone dying, usually from cancer. I hate those kinds of books, so it gave me a laugh to see them lampooned.
I also loved that the author captured those feelings of budding love, when just standing too close or brushing your leg against someone is fraught with sexual tension.


On the downside, its a bit over the top with its over the topness.
For example, at the end, Etienne is angry and upset that his father refuses to let him go to the college of his choice, and instead demands that he attend a college in France. There's this whole elaborate plan put into place wherein Etienne tries to use his father's need to save face to get him to say yes the college he wants. Ok. Fine.
But not once was it even mentioned that Etienne could just take out loans like a peasant and get out from under his father's thumb. Seriously, kid. You're an adult now. Cut it out with that angsty nonsense.


But stuff like that wasn't really a deal breaker because I knew what I was getting into with this genre. I would have absolutely loved to have had more romances like this to read when I was a teenager. Sadly, I had to make due with the trashy adult bodice rippers that I still adore to this day.
What would my life look like right now if I had the option to read sweet love stories?!


Honestly, I imagine I'd still be a dirty old bitch.

Alright. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, look elsewhere. But if you're just looking for a way to pass the time with a cozy young adult romance, this fits the bill.
Profile Image for Avery (Taylor's version).
240 reviews818 followers
March 1, 2023
“For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

This is going to be a very fun review to write. So you probably already saw the rating I gave this book. It seems like everything I would love: it's set in Paris, there's a cute love interest with an accent, it has an academic setting, there's some drama but NO.

This is by far the worst book I've read this year. My first one star rating of 2022. Wow.

The characters were awful, the romance was awful, and don't even get me STARTED on Anna.

The Plot

This consists of drama, cheating, and idiocy. Nothing much really happens except petty drama, Anna being an idiot, and the TeNSiOn between Anna and Étienne.

And there's also slut shaming and mean girls with no reason, and again CHEATING.

So I don't have much to say here because all of my other thoughts are directed to the next two topics.

But let me put this here because it made me so mad:

“Boys turn girls into such idiots.”

Hm? Are you sure about that because I'm sure not all girls turn into bumbling fools when they like a guy? Wonderful way of shoving all girls into one category.

“But give a college chick the chance to dress up like a slutty nurse, and she's gonna take it.”


“It's Ellie. I nearly drop my towel. “Oh.”
Slutty nurse. I don't believe it. Tiny white button-up dress, red crosses across the nipples. Cleavage city.”


The Characters

And here's where the fun begins. I'll only be discussing Anna here because my complaints about her are enough to fill a book. I'll mention Étienne here and there.


“I'm a little distracted by this English French American Boy Masterpiece.”

Oh yes Anna, I'm very aware based off of how you fell head over heels in love with him after first seeing him, yes that's definitely a LITTLE distracted.

Anna is the definition of an idiot. She went to Paris for school and didn't bother to learn ANY French. She thought oui was spelled w-e-e. How?? Even before I took French in school I knew how to spell oui, it's just such a common word.

She also complained about going to a boarding school in PARIS. I would do anything to go to Paris just once, and here she is, complaining about being forced to go to a really nice school in PARIS??

When she went back to Atlanta she was suddenly so sad and wanted to go back to Paris when literally a few pages before she thought "like I wanted to go to Paris." MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

She also was too scared to order food from a cafeteria because she didn't know how to speak French, so she literally hid out in her room because she was "too embarrassed" to try and order off of the menu when no one was there to help her?? Girl just brave it and eat food, or just LEARN FRENCH.

Anna is also the classic "she doesn't know she's beautiful" girl.

“You’re beautiful.”

I trip and fall down on the sidewalk.

I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. “I’m fine. Fine!” I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak.

“You’ve seen the way men look at you, right?” he continues.

“If they’re looking, it’s because I keep making a fool of myself.”

Oh gee.

She ALSO didn't know that Paris is full of films and is apparently the film appreciation capital of the world, and she wants to work in the film industry??

AND she didn't want to look like an American walking around Paris (oh no, woe is me) so she put a FREAKING CANADIAN PATCH ON HER BAG OR WHATEVER SO PEOPLE WOULDN'T KNOW SHE IS AMERICAN.

“It turns out I am not a nice person.”

No you aren't Anna, not after imagining ripping out Ellie's eyeballs and pulling her hair out.

Let's not forget about the fact that she went after Étienne even when she knew he had a girlfriend. Which launches me right into the next topic.

But anyways, I could probably find many more complaints about Anna but that's all for now folks.

Also, I hate Étienne. Don't know why. Maybe because he used his girlfriend. And cheated on her as well. I hate everyone and everything in this book.

The Romance

And here it is. The worst part of the book. Maybe I would've liked this if it hadn't consisted of the cheating trope.

Exhibit A:

“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn't have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I've never felt this way about anybody before-”

*daps eyes with tissue* What a wonderful love confession, admitting that you literally cheated on your girlfriend in your mind with this girl instead of just telling her you didn't want to date anymore.

Exhibit B:

“I mean I didn't SLEEP sleep with him. Obviously. But I slept with him.”

Yes you did. You slept with a guy who has. A. Girlfriend. How do you think that YOU would feel if you found out your boyfriend was sleeping in the same bed TWO TIMES with another girl, Anna??


And then Anna had the audacity for being mad that he went to his girlfriend's place because he AbAnDoNeD her again for HIS GIRLFRIEND. HE WAS LITERALLY GOING THERE TO TELL HER WHAT HAPPENED YOU IDIOT.


“Yes, St. Clair. I like you.

But I can't say it aloud, because he's my friend.”


And they also held hands all over the place, went out on NOT dates (psh), blushed and flirted and made eye contact and practically held hands at a movie theater.

I'm so done with this.

“Seriously, I don't know any American girl who can resist an English accent.”

Ok ok, I admit, I do like the accent.

But anyways, this felt very good to write about and I'm so glad I got all of this off of my chest. I love a good ol' rant review.

1 star

“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

Oh no I got sent to Paris, the city of lights and love and I get to learn about so much stuff, so sad.

I haven't had a one star read in a very long time. How fun

Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,451 reviews11.4k followers
December 29, 2011
If you are looking for a feel-good chick-lit to read by your Christmas tree, Anna and the French Kiss is a book for you. This novel is as chick-y a lit as it gets.

Anna is sent to Paris to spend her senior year at a boarding school. Of course she doesn't want to go - her life, her best friend, her potential boyfriend, her little brother and mom are in Atlanta. But Anna doesn't sulk for long, she quickly meets new friends and this one totally hot and totally unavailable boy Etienne St. Clair. Oh my, what will happen next?;o)

Anna and the French Kiss doesn't break any new ground, doesn't provide insight into anything of importance, it doesn't strive to be realistic or profound, it doesn't even attempt to portray France in any non-cliche way! I can find a hundred flaws with it. But I don't want to. This novel is light, clean, funny (I especially enjoyed Anna's father, who I imagine to be just like Nicholas Sparks with his books where someone always dies in the end), cute and sweet, with likable characters and a measured amount of teen angst. It is a quick and engaging read and a perfect holiday story.

Anna and the French Kiss will never make it to my shelf of favorites, but I will probably read Stephanie Perkins's next novel if it comes out around the same time next year and is equally cute and inoffensive.

P.S. Why, in every YA romance, the two love interests always end up sleeping together in the same bed, but of course in a chaste way?

P.P.S. Etienne is an uber-sexy name, is it not?
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,350 followers
December 27, 2014
'Oh heavens'... this book was hilarious!!

I loved reading it (twice) and I would read it again simply because it is too cute for words!
It reminded me of myself in high school, and it really felt natural, real.. I can't even tell you what an amazing pleasure reading this book was.

And it's so, so funny, my face hurts from so much laughing ;))

I loved the characters (all of them!), I loved the dialogue (I just could picture those people in front of me talking, and laughing, and teasing, and fighting and all.. it felt so natural), I liked the relation between Anna and Étienne (and gosh, even reading his lines I could 'hear' his british accent) with all the ups and downs, I loved all the conversations between them (including email/phone), all the moments when they were alone... and the ending was really sweet and it made me happy.

Also I liked the fact that (in this book) friends where there for a reason (not just for us to know that the characters are popular, or not so alone), and they were hurt when left behind, and they made mistakes but had the strength to say they were sorry.. I know that I said this before but it really felt real, like a real story about real teenagers with their problems and their falling in love..

And Anna had such a great 'voice' I loved to 'hear'. She was funny with all her sarcastic attitude, and I enjoyed her story laughing and hoping that everything would end in a good way. Even if her main interest was a boy, this wasn't presented in an annoying way. She was very critical about her attitude, about her feelings, and she knew when she was wrong but she couldn't help it, and this made me like her more.. because girls are like that sometimes, I was like that..

The only problem I have with this book is the title (how can I go telling people that i love a book named 'Anna and.. the french kiss'?! They didn't even kiss that much anyways, LOL, it's king of embarrassing for a favorite book title, at least at my age)..
I know, before I almost didn't read a good book because of the cover and now the title made me think twice, but well, I am glad I read all those good reviews and changed my mind, because it's definitely worth it..

I will keep an eye on this author, because this was just my type of read.. sweet and fun :)

Also: Check my first book boyfriend: Etienne Saint Claire

Happy Midnight Reading!

This review can be found at

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Profile Image for theburqaavenger➹.
128 reviews671 followers
January 28, 2024
smn stop me from re-reading this, i don't understand WHY AM I SO OBSESSED???


This book is:
➡️ cliched to hell.
➡️ has girl villains which is terrible.
➡️ friendships which fall instantaneously into place.
➡️ a bit of emotional cheating which is ALWAYS bad.
➡️ it's cheesy.
➡️ i love it.

None of these things get on my nerves. It's absolute perfection. I love love love this book. It has never once failed to not make me smile.

What i love about this book that, unlike many other contemporaries which are too heavy with their "moral lessons" thingy, this book was simple. Their was no heavy message attached to it. Stephanie Perkins gave us what we wanted: a beautiful setting, a swoon-worthy love interest, beautiful female friendships, secondary characters i absolutely loved and amazing humor.

Now on to the point which is St.Clair.........ST.CLAIR. It's so so nice and refreshing to have a male love interest who isn't a douche. The joy of my life, the thing that makes me happy on my darkest days . I love him. Who doesn't? (ignoring the one star reviews *haha*)
➡️ he wears boots.
➡️ he is devastatingly attractive.
➡️ he loves history.
➡️ he speaks French.
➡️ he has an English accent.
➡️ he is funny.
➡️ he is a really good friend.
➡️ he has the best name in the whole wide world which is Étienne St. Clair.

Calvin Klein Etienne St. Clair.

This is like is said........PERFECTION. This book has literally everything i love.
➡️ it has Paris ... PARIS.
➡️ it has movie talk
➡️ boarding school.
➡️ drama which i enjoyed.
➡️ food.
➡️ amazing places and their descriptions.

Conclusion: This book is absolute complete trash and my favorite!

P.S: No i have not read the next two books because (1) i don't care about anyone else. (2) the reviews told me to walk away. (3) i don't want my experience with this book to be destroyed.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books80.8k followers
July 22, 2016
I really liked this book. It was cute and OH so funny. Anna is hilarious, and so is St. Clair (I always forget how to write his first name). All in all, it was a great book :). Just four stars because the story didn't really catch me until the last third of the book, and I don't know, I expected a LOT more romance, I really was looking for adorable lots of romance and I only got it AT THE END.
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