Why didn’t I go to boarding school in Paris?

That is what I asked myself when I finished reading Stephanie Perkins’ fantastic debut novel, Anna and the Kiss. Let me tell you, I’ve read this book twice now and I love love love it. I actually bought the kindle version of it, and I love it so much, that I’m going to order a “real” copy so that I can lend it out to friends and make them read it too.

The novel introduces us to Anna, a teenage girl who is happy with the life she has in Atlanta, a best friend, a job she likes and a cute boy that she’s been flirting with. Her father, a Nicolas Sparks type novelist who has fallen into new money, decides it would be a good experience for her to spend her senior year the “School of America Paris” AKA SOAP. She is not happy with development at first. I admit, the first couple of chapters I was like “Come on, Girl. Your get to LIVE in PARIS! Get over it!” but before I started really disliking her she won me over with her instant crush on √Čtienne St. Clair.¬† St. Clair, as his friends call him was raised in London and therefore has a cute accent and good hair. He is flawed though. First of all, he has a girlfriend and he strings both her and Anna along for most of the novel. But that’s ok, because he is charming and his and Anna’s chemistry radiates off the page.

One of my favorite parts of the novel, which rang so true to me was Thanksgiving weekend when the two are only ones left in the dorm. (Spoiler Alert, but nothing earth shattering) – St. Clair spends the weekend in Anna’s room, and they are together the entire time. They bond, they talk, they get physically close but notthatclose but then on Sunday, when everyone comes back that intimacy feels like a brick wall between them. Suddenly they don’t know how to deal with each other. I have been there. It reminded me of all-night phone conversations where I revealed my most inner thoughts and then the next day feel strange about it.

As for the third character, Paris – I have fallen in love with a city I have never been to, but I feel like I have. The descriptions of the people, the places, sights and sounds gives a perfect setting for a love story.

Basically, Anna and the French Kiss instantly became a favorite of mine. Stephanie Perkins has two companion novels coming out, the next one Lola and the Boy Next Door will be published in September. If Anna is any indication, she is going to have a nice long career in the YA world.

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