Monday, August 22, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

First Question: Why didn't I write this book?

Second Question: When can I go back to Paris?

I love this book for so many reasons. But first and foremost, I love it because I love France, and this book does it justice. I spent 18 months in and around Paris several years ago, and quite frankly I fell in love. Not with some gorgeous male lead with fabulously messy hair, I fell for the country, the culture, the magic in the air. But reading this book took me back. Too bad it only lasted two days--because that's how long it took me to read it.

I heard about this book over a year ago when it showed up in the deal news. A young girl going to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year...how awesome. I thought, "I gotta read that!" At the time, I was writing a novel set in France, and was way excited about it.  But then I forgot, or got sidetracked, or stuck in quicksand, or whatever. You know the feeling.

Then, during last week's WriteOnCon, agents, editors, and authors kept bringing this book up. They talked about what a great first page it had, what distinctive voice it had, and how good the pacing was. I went out and bought it that night.

What I loved most about this book was that it transported me. I used to walk up and down those same Parisian streets everyday, and I was there all over again. Even though I was sitting on my back lawn watching my kids play in water for two hours (sweating in the 110 degree sun)...I felt like I was in Paris in Spring. I could taste the macaroons and eclair pastries. I stood in awe of the looming Notre Dame and the shimmering Seine river at night. And I could even hear the opera lady outside the protag's dorm room. I had a similar situation when I lived there, but with an accordion and a drunk neighbor.

I could actually go on and on about this book. I loved the romance, the feeling of falling in love. I loved the depth of the characters. I loved the writing and the trust I developed in the author that she wasn't going to let me down--and she totally didn't. I loved the comparisons of France to America-totally spot on. And I loved the adventure of it all. Well done Mademoiselle Perkins. Bien fait et felicitations!

15 comments:

  1. Ooh lalala. This is going straight on my list to read! Sounds perfect. And I love Paris too! Am planning a trip very soon. xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah. That was a WAY fun read, and yes, it made me want to go back to Paris, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was a great read. I'm so excited for Lola and the Boy Next Door! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. books set in Paris or Italy just can't go wrong :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've always wanted to go to France! I studied French in high school, so it would be a dream come true. I have to check out this book!

    Samantha

    P.S. Make sure you check out my blog, 'cause I have an or something for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh!! I've been dying to read this book--and now I will.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have hit my jealousy button - oh, how I would LOVE to visit Paris! One day I vow to go there! This book sounds wonderful. I am going to have to check it out. I am going to do some Amazon shopping tonight so this should go on the list. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I want to read this book, and you've only increased the desire. Now to see if my library has it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ooh lala is right...everyone get this one. You wont be sad you did.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anna and the French Kiss was SO good. It's one of those books that you read more than once. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the follow! I've heard great things about this book, how it's been a big hit for a contemporary book. B is for this book BELONGS on my to-read list!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, now, I just have to read this. Great review. Thanks for following my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now putting this one on the list. So many books, so little time...

    ReplyDelete
  14. This book sounds great. I'll have to put it on my TBR list.

    Love your blog. I'm a new follower. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Aw, Jessie! I love the thoughts of you being in all the same places they were at in the book!

    ReplyDelete