I guess I just have a cold, dead heart because I thought this book was terrible. Pretty much everyone and their mom thinks this book was super cute and sweet. I wanted to throw it against a wall in anger. What is wrong with me? Or are other people just oblivious?
Anna Oliphant is a high school senior living the normal life in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s got an amazing best friend and a potential love interest so things are looking promising going into her final year of school. All that changes when her writer father decides he’d really like Anna to attend a boarding school in Paris so that he can sound more cultured. Anna is not happy with the decision until she meets her new set of friends, especially St. Clair – a hottie with a British accent.
The Paris setting was superb. I loved walking the streets of France along with Anna. And that’s about the only positive thing I have to say about the book. Now, I understand why young adults would find this little romance swoon-worthy. I get it. But adults? Really?
My biggest problem was that Stephanie Perkins obviously models Anna’s dad after Nicholas Sparks and lets her rage at his formulaic cancer plots shine through rather brightly. And then she goes and does the exact same thing – includes a cancer plot to add emotional depth and suffering to the character of St. Clair. REALLY?
Also, none of the characters are very well flushed out – particularly Ellie, St. Clair’s girlfriend. Yes, you read that right. St. Clair the love interest already has a girlfriend. And yes, there is cheating. I hated that we never got to know Ellie so that we never view her as a character we should sympathize. How convenient. Don’t want Anna and St. Clair to seem like dirty little cheating tramps? Make the actual girlfriend a non-entity.
Don’t get me started on the Atlanta/America-hate that Anna expresses upon her return to the States over Christmas break. Four months in France and Anna’s completely over the shitty country she used to view as home. I know I should let this go because there are probably a ton of teenagers, and hell, adults who would and do act exactly this way, but it still pissed me off. I get a little defensive about Atlanta. I like my home.
As for the romance, blah and yuck. St. Clair isn’t a great romantic lead. He’s a coward who is too afraid to break up with his girlfriend so instead emotionally and then physically cheats on her. How is that sexy? Someone please explain it to me? Several others have complained about how short he is and that shortness is not attractive. SERIOUSLY? And cheating is? Being a complete wuss has you smitten? Now I’m getting all angry and yelling. Please do not be offended if you found St. Clair attractive. I just really did not.
I think I’m getting a little burned out on YA in general so I’m going to read the exact opposite – dull adult non-fiction. Ha! I just need a palate cleanser. YA sucks me in with their shininess and pretty covers, but often fails to deliver anything other than empty entertainment – for me, that is. I’m not knocking those of you who love it. I’m just currently going through a rough patch with my own personal YA feelings. I just wish everything was on Harry Potter’s level. This is quickly turning into an entirely separate post so I’ll stop bickering now!
6 thoughts on “Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins”
I haven’t read this book, but your review made me laugh. Nobody better be dissin’ Atlanta! Seriously though, I get what you mean about cheating being very UN-sexy, although among teenagers I’m not sure it’s such a big deal. I think the privileged aspect would bother me even more. I would have a hard time getting emotionally invested in the lives of kids in an elite European boarding school. Who cares?
P.S. Short French guys are hot. I can verify this because I’m married to one. 🙂
Haha – I don’t have a single problem with short guys! Just wussy short guys…lol. And I take defending my city very seriously!
I loved this review, most refreshing after all the gushing reviews I have seen of this book 🙂
Just doing my thing – having all the unpopular opinions.
Good on you, defending Atlanta!! 🙂
I know, right!! Someone’s gotta do it!