My friend Tina and I strolled through the library one afternoon on lunch break and I came home with an arm full of books. Anna and the French Kiss was one of them. Tina always reads the newest stuff and often picks up brand new books that the library has ordered for her. She's on the cutting edge of book-newness!
I, on the other hand, am always a little behind! It is a good thing I have her to lead me a long like a blind person.
Anna's wealthy writer dad decides she needs to experience a year abroad her senior year. Anna is happy with the life she's already living in Atlanta with a great mom, a little brother, a wonderful best friend and her job at the movie theater with Toph, her might-be crush. Her divorced parents get her set up at The School of America where she meets her next door dorm neighbor, Meredith who in turn introduces her to the rest of her friends. `Etienne is one of them and he makes Anna a blushing and bumbling idiot for most of the book. They get all their signals mixed and confusion occurs.
I loved all the characters and the Parisian setting was beautiful. I did so want to shake both `Etienne and Anna at different times. Good golly: `Etienne has a girlfriend for more than half the book-obviously it's not working out-but really you can tell he is totally smitten with Anna. She, on the other hand, keeps throwing this almost crush with Toph in `Etienne's face every chance she gets. Once they finally begin to connect it is a bit of magic though.
Stephanie Perkins has a gift for a teen chatter, which makes it easy to read. I'm very interested in her follow-up books, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. I understand these are companion books but I would really like to know what happens to Anna and `Etienne once they are ever so close to each other in California. Of course, Anna and the California Kiss lacks a bit of romance! If your behind the times like me don't leave this book behind.
Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie 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. (3)I know a little bit more about France than this but an interesting starting point for Anna...