Friday, January 14, 2011
Anna and the French Kiss- 5 stars!
Anna and the French Kiss is such a wonderful, easy read that I tore through it in one day. It's one of the best Young Adult books I've ever read, and I am terribly green with envy at the amazing voice Stephanie Perkins projects in her writing.
The book is not about plot, but instead focuses heavily on character development. Anna's father sends her to Paris for her senior year of high school, where she meets a fabulous guy who already has a girlfriend. Angst ensues.
Really, that's the main gist of the plot and if it weren't for Ms. Perkins' talented pen, I don't think there would be much to love. But I did love it. SO HARD. And here's why:
The characters (Anna and her four friends) were so real, so well fleshed out, that I enjoyed spending time with them. They could be going to the movies, browsing through a bookstore, hanging out at the cafeteria at school... it didn't matter. I wanted to hang out with them.
She drew each one with quirks, with individual traits that made you feel like you were really getting to know them. No character was a cookie-cutter model or archetype. Their reactions were genuine as they danced around each other in words and emotions, trying to come together while preserving pride and worrying too much (like all teens do) about what someone else might think.
I loved watching Anna and Etienne fall for one another and tentatively make their way across the chasm of potential rejection. Anna's thoughts and reactions were often laugh-out-loud funny, mostly because I remember being just like that.
Stephanie Perkins, my hat is off to you. Well done! Bravo! *cheers*
You make me want to be a better writer.