Wren Reviews: ‘Anna and the French Kiss’

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Romance, Realistic, YA Fiction

 

Premise:

(Goodreads)

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

 

Plot: The plot starts with a mopey Anna Oliphant, nicknamed Banana Elephant, arriving at SOAP a high school in Paris. She ends up with Meredith as the person next door. She meets St. Clair the ‘hot’ British American French guy. To simplify things, because I’m sick of this book, she falls in love with him. Sadly, Mr. ‘hot stuff’ has a girlfriend in college. His friend Meredith is also crushing on him. Anna, to put things simply, ends up together with another guy named Dave, but Dave is a ‘slob’. Anna kisses St. Clair and ruins things with Meredith. She falls deeper into something dark. She gets bullied by the resident ‘mean girls’. And she ends up finally pulling her stuff together. She gets together with St. Clair who broke up with Ellie.

That is a very hurried version of what happened in this book, but, let me tell you this, this is a very unoriginal plot. Girl meets boy. Boy has girlfriend. Girl tries to resist boy, but she fails. Boy ends up falling for girl. They kiss, and someone’s heart breaks. Girl and boy separate. They come back together with love for each other. They get together. The end.

This plot has been used time and time again. It isn’t original at all. It’s repetitive and used over and over.

To add this in, the action and drama with Anna being heartbroken over St. Clair is absolutely unnecessary. She is overreacting. Why did he not break up with Ellie? He needed stability. Why did Anna not believe it when she heard it from St. Clair’s friend?

 

Character Development:

Anna. She is weak. She is innocent. She is ignorant. Anna is the epitome of all things I hate about realistic fiction girls. She tries to stand up for herself, but she fails. She needs a knight in shining armor to save her. Oh me oh my. She is overly dramatic. She stays in and refuses to go into the city by herself. She is afraid. She doesn’t even take a chance. She reacts to things, not acts. She is passive in her life, letting things pass her by. I absolutely hate Anna. And her nickname is childish. Banana elephant? Right. You’re a senior. Act like one.

Étienne St. Clair. British. American. French. He doesn’t relate with any of those. I feel like this is a lame  attempt at diversity. He has some phrases only Brits use, but I feel like they are few and the common ones. Stephanie Perkins, stay in London and listen to the Brits talk. I’ll admit that I like the plot twist with his father. It was interesting. But. Other than that, I feel like St. Clair lacks something special. He has the cheesy pickup lines. He has the hair. He has the radiance that draws people to him. But  why does he let only a few in? It could be trust issues. But that isn’t explained in this book.

 

Problems: There are so many problems. Don’t get me started. I’ll just name a few.

The romance is unoriginal. It has no purpose. Where is that spark? Being together for a year. St. Clair being friendly. Where is the attraction to Anna? I don’t see it. This is why I don’t like romances unless they are built over a series or if they have attraction on both sides. I refuse to admit that unrequited love is something that is ‘love’. I really don’t see it. You can love someone and not have them love you back. I just don’t count it as anything special. That happens to fangirls. It just shouldn’t happen in books.

The characters are flat. I only like St. Clair. And he is still annoying. Cheesy. Anna is weak and innocent. She has no past or backstory to her. She is a flat, two-dimensional character. She has nothing to her. The other characters are in the background. They don’t contribute much more than a bit of encouragement to the story. And that encouragement is little.

The plot is unoriginal. It is something I’ve seen and read about before. And I hated it then. And I hate it now. There is nothing really original. There are a few special scenes I liked a bit. The part with St. Clair standing up to his father? Brilliant. I love the teenage rebellion. It’s interesting. The part with Anna slapping the Queen Bee? I like that. I like when people get offended and fight back. That might be one of the only times Anna stands up for herself. At all. In the entire story.

 

Good points: There are few good points. I have finished the whole series with reading this book. And I can say that I’m not impressed. At all. I felt disappointed. There was so much hype, but I felt let down. This could have been a better series.

There was a little potential.

Let me tell you one thing I liked about this book.

There were some scenes I liked. Those were mentioned in the problems. Here they are. The part with St. Clair standing up to his father? Brilliant. I love the teenage rebellion. It’s interesting. The part with Anna slapping the Queen Bee? I like that. I like when people get offended and fight back. That might be one of the only times Anna stands up for herself. At all. In the entire story. I like those parts. Rebellion. Fighting back. Defiance. I love those actions in stories. They get my heart racing. It’s exciting for me.

In all, this series is lackluster. I can’t say I really liked this series. ‘Lola’ was better than the other two.

 

Score: 5/10

Recommended: If you like cheesy romance. If you like the international romance with a ‘hot’ British French American.

 

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