Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss

4.7 652
by Stephanie Perkins

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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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and

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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 Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Charla Hollingsworth
Anna is happy with her life in Atlanta. She has a best friend, a good job, and a potential boyfriend. This idyllic life ends when her dad decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris. Despite her fears and worries, Anna adjusts well to Parisian life and ends up making fast friends with Meredith, Josh, St. Clair and Rashmi. The quintet takes in the sights and frequents the cinemas in Paris while squeezing in some time for homework. As the semester progresses, Anna develops a crush on St. Clair and he seems to return those feelings as they both stay at school over Thanksgiving. Complicating the budding relationship is St. Clair's girlfriend, Ellie. As winter turns into spring, St. Clair stays in the comfortable relationship with Ellie instead of venturing into a new relationship with Anna. This confuses and upsets Anna and she acts out by getting drunk at a school party. Things go from bad to worse when she finds out her potential boyfriend in Atlanta has been dating her best friend. But not to fear, by the end of the book Anna and St. Clair are the new hot couple on campus. Most teen girls will overlook the predictable story elements as they root for Anna and St. Clair to finally make their infatuation official. An allusion is made to teen sex, and underage drinking occurs in the novel. Anna and the French Kiss would be a welcome read to those who have finished all the Sarah Dessen and Simone Elkeles books in the library. Reviewer: Charla Hollingsworth
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Anna's father has made his money in chick lit fiction and has now decided that his seventeen year old daughter should study at a boarding school in France. Anna does not want to go; she is a senior in high school, with a job at the local Cineplex and no desire to leave American soil and American boys. Nonetheless, she packs up and goes to spend her senior year at the School of America in Paris's Latin Quarter. As she meets Meredith, Josh, and Rashmi, she starts to feel like she just might fit in. But when Anna meets Etienne St. Clair, her stomach flips and she knows that Paris has more to offer than she had ever imagined. St. Clair is the son of a Frenchman and American woman, raised in London. All the girls are in love with St. Clair, including Meredith. Anna's year is filled with the stereotypical high school drama—who likes whom, who says what, and what do you do when your best friend likes the boy you like. Although some of the plot twists are predictable, the characters are well developed with realistic qualities and quirks. Anna's voice is sharp and sassy, but innocent enough to lend credence to the uncertainty of her emotions and decisions. The relationship between Anna and St.Clair grows slowly and sweetly, with friendship, misunderstandings, and final realizations. As is true with many first loves, nobody is confident enough to say what they really mean. There is some adult language, making this appropriate only for more mature middle school audiences, but high school girls will enjoy the realism of high school romance set in the "City of Lights." Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Anna Oliphant has big plans for her senior year in Atlanta: hang out with her best friend, Bridgette, and flirt with her coworker at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex. So she is none too happy when her father sends her off to boarding school in Paris. However, things begin to look up when she meets Étienne St. Clair, a gorgeous guy—with a girlfriend. As he and Anna become closer friends, things get infinitely more complicated. Will Anna get her French kiss? Or are some things just not meant to be? Perkins has written a delightful debut novel with refreshingly witty characters. There is strong language and mention of sexual topics that make the book more appropriate for older teens. The chapters are concise, and the steady pacing leading up to the "will they or won't they?" moments will capture even reluctant readers. Teens will feel like they are strolling through the City of Lights in this starry-eyed story of finding love when you least expect it.—Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Since her father's Nicholas Sparks–like novels have been turned into blockbuster movies and he now has the means (and status) to give her culture, Anna Oliphant finds herself uprooted from her Atlanta home to become the newest senior at the School of America in Paris. Her seemingly enviable situation is offset by her inability to speak French, her fear of venturing off school property and a possible romantic interest back home. But then the young film critic meets gorgeous, heart-stopping classmate Étienne St. Clair, who has a sexy British accent and offers to show her around Paris—and who also has a serious girlfriend at a local university. Perkins's debut surpasses the usual chick-lit fare with smart dialogue, fresh characters and plenty of tingly interactions, all set amid pastries, parks and walks along the Seine in arguably the most romantic city in the world. Sarah Dessen fans will welcome another author who gracefully combines love and realism, as Anna's story is as much about finding and accepting herself as it is about finding love. Très charmante. (Chick lit. 13 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Kim Mai Guest delivers a pitch-perfect performance in the audio version of this confectionery romance about Anna Oliphant, an Atlanta high school student whose parents suddenly decide to send her to a posh Paris boarding school for her senior year. Although Anna initially resists her year abroad, she soon becomes intoxicated with the city, its food, its movie theaters, and—most of all—fellow student Etienne St. Clair. Guest’s narration is enchanting, hitting all the marks in her portrayal of Anna: sighing impatiently at her author father (who is a spot-on parody of novelist Nicholas Sparks), squealing with convincing excitement at the attentions of male suitors, gurgling with revulsion when one of them vomits on her after a night of binge drinking. Additionally, her rendition of the school’s requisite “mean girl,” the air-headed Amanda, is equally enjoyable. Guest enhances this standard teen romance with her sparkling performance. A Speak paperback. (Oct.)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 11.68(h) x 1.21(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page



chapter one

chapter two

chapter three

chapter four

chapter five

chapter six

chapter seven

chapter eight

chapter nine

chapter ten

chapter eleven

chapter twelve

chapter thirteen

chapter fourteen

chapter fifteen

chapter sixteen

chapter seventeen

chapter eighteen

chapter nineteen

chapter twenty

chapter twenty-one

chapter twenty-two

chapter twenty-three

chapter twenty-four

chapter twenty-five

chapter twenty-six

chapter twenty-seven

chapter twenty-eight

chapter twenty-nine

chapter thirty

chapter thirty-one

chapter thirty-two

chapter thirty-three

chapter thirty-four

chapter thirty-five

chapter thirty-six

chapter thirty-seven

chapter thirty-eight

chapter thirty-nine

chapter forty

chapter forty-one

chapter forty-two

chapter forty-three

chapter forty-four

chapter forty-five

chapter forty-six

chapter forty-seven



Dutton Books

A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


Published by the Penguin Group | Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. | Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) | Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England | Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) | Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) | Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India | Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) | Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa | Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2010 by Stephanie Perkins


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.


The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


CIP Data is available.


Published in the United States by Dutton Books,
a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014



ISBN: 978-1-101-44549-5

For Jarrod, best friend & true love

chapter one

Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie 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. The art museum is called the Louvre and it’s shaped like a pyramid and the Mona Lisa lives there along with that statue of the woman missing her arms. And there are cafés or bistros or whatever they call them on every street corner. And mimes. The food is supposed to be good, and the people drink a lot of wine and smoke a lot of cigarettes.

I’ve heard they don’t like Americans, and they don’t like white sneakers.

A few months ago, my father enrolled me in boarding school. His air quotes practically crackled over the phone line as he declared living abroad to be a “good learning experience” and a “keepsake I’d treasure forever.” Yeah. Keepsake. And I would’ve pointed out his misuse of the word had I not already been freaking out.

Since his announcement, I’ve tried yelling, begging, pleading, and crying, but nothing has convinced him otherwise. And now I have a new student visa and a passport, each declaring me: Anna Oliphant, citizen of the United States of America. And now I’m here with my parents—unpacking my belongings in a room smaller than my suitcase—the newest senior at the School of America in Paris.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful. I mean, it’s Paris. The City of Light! The most romantic city in the world! I’m not immune to that. It’s just this whole international boarding school thing is a lot more about my father than it is about me. Ever since he sold out and started writing lame books that were turned into even lamer movies, he’s been trying to impress his big-shot New York friends with how cultured and rich he is.

My father isn’t cultured. But he is rich.

It wasn’t always like this.When my parents were still married, we were strictly lower middle class. It was around the time of the divorce that all traces of decency vanished, and his dream of being the next great Southern writer was replaced by his desire to be the next published writer. So he started writing these novels set in Small Town Georgia about folks with Good American Values who Fall in Love and then contract Life-Threatening Diseases and Die.

I’m serious.

And it totally depresses me, but the ladies eat it up.They love my father’s books and they love his cable-knit sweaters and they love his bleachy smile and orangey tan. And they have turned him into a bestseller and a total dick.

Two of his books have been made into movies and three more are in production, which is where his real money comes from. Hollywood. And, somehow, this extra cash and pseudo-prestige have warped his brain into thinking that I should live in France. For a year. Alone. I don’t understand why he couldn’t send me to Australia or Ireland or anywhere else where English is the native language. The only French word I know is oui, which means “yes,” and only recently did I learn it’s spelled o-u-i and not w-e-e.

At least the people in my new school speak English. It was founded for pretentious Americans who don’t like the company of their own children. I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.

Instead, I’m stuck with ninety-nine other students. There are twenty-five people in my entire senior class, as opposed to the six hundred I had back in Atlanta. And I’m studying the same things I studied at Clairemont High except now I’m registered in beginning French.

Oh, yeah. Beginning French. No doubt with the freshmen. I totally rock.

Mom says I need to lose the bitter factor, pronto, but she’s not the one leaving behind her fabulous best friend, Bridgette. Or her fabulous job at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex. Or Toph, the fabulous boy at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex.

And I still can’t believe she’s separating me from my brother, Sean, who is only seven and way too young to be left home alone after school. Without me, he’ll probably be kidnapped by that creepy guy down the road who has dirty Coca-Cola towels hanging in his windows. Or Seany will accidentally eat something containing Red Dye #40 and his throat will swell up and no one will be there to drive him to the hospital. He might even die. And I bet they wouldn’t let me fly home for his funeral and I’d have to visit the cemetery alone next year and Dad will have picked out some god-awful granite cherub to go over his grave.

And I hope Dad doesn’t expect me to fill out college applications to Russia or Romania now. My dream is to study film theory in California. I want to be our nation’s greatest female film critic. Someday I’ll be invited to every festival, and I’ll have a major newspaper column and a cool television show and a ridiculously popular website. So far I only have the website, and it’s not so popular.Yet.

I just need a little more time to work on it, that’s all.

“Anna, it’s time.”

“What?” I glance up from folding my shirts into perfect squares.

Mom stares at me and twiddles the turtle charm on her necklace. My father, bedecked in a peach polo shirt and white boating shoes, is gazing out my dormitory window. It’s late, but across the street a woman belts out something operatic.

My parents need to return to their hotel rooms. They both have early morning flights.

“Oh.” I grip the shirt in my hands a little tighter.

Dad steps away from the window, and I’m alarmed to discover his eyes are wet. Something about the idea of my father—even if it is my father—on the brink of tears raises a lump in my throat.

“Well, kiddo. Guess you’re all grown up now.”

My body is frozen. He pulls my stiff limbs into a bear hug. His grip is frightening. “Take care of yourself. Study hard and make some friends. And watch out for pickpockets,” he adds. “Sometimes they work in pairs.”

I nod into his shoulder, and he releases me. And then he’s gone.

My mother lingers behind. “You’ll have a wonderful year here,” she says. “I just know it.” I bite my lip to keep it from quivering, and she sweeps me into her arms. I try to breathe. Inhale. Count to three. Exhale. Her skin smells like grapefruit body lotion. “I’ll call you the moment I get home,” she says.

Home. Atlanta isn’t my home anymore.

“I love you, Anna.”

I’m crying now. “I love you, too. Take care of Seany for me.”

“Of course.”

“And Captain Jack,” I say. “Make sure Sean feeds him and changes his bedding and fills his water bottle. And make sure he doesn’t give him too many treats because they make him fat and then he can’t get out of his igloo. But make sure he gives him at least a few every day, because he still needs the vitamin C and he won’t drink the water when I use those vitamin drops—”

She pulls back and tucks my bleached stripe behind my ear. “I love you,” she says again.

And then my mother does something that, even after all of the paperwork and plane tickets and presentations, I don’t see coming. Something that would’ve happened in a year anyway, once I left for college, but that no matter how many days or months or years I’ve yearned for it, I am still not prepared for when it actually happens.

My mother leaves. I am alone.

chapter two

I feel it coming, but I can’t stop it.


They left me. My parents actually left me! IN FRANCE!

Meanwhile, Paris is oddly silent. Even the opera singer has packed it in for the night. I cannot lose it. The walls here are thinner than Band-Aids, so if I break down, my neighbors—my new classmates—will hear everything. I’m going to be sick. I’m going to vomit that weird eggplant tapenade I had for dinner, and everyone will hear, and no one will invite me to watch the mimes escape from their invisible boxes, or whatever it is people do here in their spare time.

I race to my pedestal sink to splash water on my face, but it explodes out and sprays my shirt instead. And now I’m crying harder, because I haven’t unpacked my towels, and wet clothing reminds me of those stupid water rides Bridgette and Matt used to drag me on at Six Flags where the water is the wrong color and it smells like paint and it has a billion trillion bacterial microbes in it. Oh God.What if there are bacterial microbes in the water? Is French water even safe to drink?

Pathetic. I’m pathetic.

How many seventeen-year-olds would kill to leave home? My neighbors aren’t experiencing any meltdowns. No crying coming from behind their bedroom walls. I grab a shirt off the bed to blot myself dry, when the solution strikes. My pillow. I collapse face-first into the sound barrier and sob and sob and sob.

Someone is knocking on my door.

No. Surely that’s not my door.

There it is again!

“Hello?” a girl calls from the hallway. “Hello? Are you okay?”

No, I’m not okay. GO AWAY. But she calls again, and I’m obligated to crawl off my bed and answer the door. A blonde with long, tight curls waits on the other side. She’s tall and big, but not overweight-big.Volleyball player big. A diamondlike nose ring sparkles in the hall light. “Are you all right?” Her voice is gentle. “I’m Meredith; I live next door. Were those your parents who just left?”

My puffy eyes signal the affirmative.

“I cried the first night, too.” She tilts her head, thinks for a moment, and then nods. “Come on. Chocolat chaud.

“A chocolate show?” Why would I want to see a chocolate show? My mother has abandoned me and I’m terrified to leave my room and—

“No.” She smiles. “Chaud. Hot. Hot chocolate, I can make some in my room.”


Despite myself, I follow. Meredith stops me with her hand like a crossing guard. She’s wearing rings on all five fingers. “Don’t forget your key. The doors automatically lock behind you.”

“I know.” And I tug the necklace out from underneath my shirt to prove it. I slipped my key onto it during this weekend’s required Life Skills Seminars for new students, when they told us how easy it is to get locked out.

We enter her room. I gasp. It’s the same impossible size as mine, seven by ten feet, with the same mini-desk, mini-dresser, mini-bed, mini-fridge, mini-sink, and mini-shower. (No mini-toilet, those are shared down the hall.) But . . . unlike my own sterile cage, every inch of wall and ceiling is covered with posters and pictures and shiny wrapping paper and brightly colored flyers written in French.

“How long have you been here?” I ask.

Meredith hands me a tissue and I blow my nose, a terrible honk like an angry goose, but she doesn’t flinch or make a face. “I arrived yesterday. This is my fourth year here, so I didn’t have to go to the seminars. I flew in alone, so I’ve just been hanging out, waiting for my friends to show up.” She looks around with her hands on her hips, admiring her handiwork. I spot a pile of magazines, scissors, and tape on her floor and realize it’s a work in progress. “Not bad, eh? White walls don’t do it for me.”

I circle her room, examining everything. I quickly discover that most of the faces are the same five people: John, Paul, George, Ringo, and some soccer guy I don’t recognize.

“The Beatles are all I listen to. My friends tease me, but—”

“Who’s this?” I point to Soccer Guy. He’s wearing red and white, and he’s all dark eyebrows and dark hair. Quite good-looking, actually.

“Cesc Fàbregas. God, he’s the most incredible passer. Plays for Arsenal. The English football club? No?”

I shake my head. I don’t keep up with sports, but maybe I should. “Nice legs, though.”

“I know, right? You could hammer nails with those thighs.”

While Meredith brews chocolat chaud on her hot plate, I learn she’s also a senior, and that she only plays soccer during the summer because our school doesn’t have a program, but that she used to rank All-State in Massachusetts. That’s where she’s from, Boston. And she reminds me I should call it “football” here, which—when I think about it—really does make more sense. And she doesn’t seem to mind when I badger her with questions or paw through her things.

Her room is amazing. In addition to the paraphernalia taped to her walls, she has a dozen china teacups filled with plastic glitter rings, and silver rings with amber stones, and glass rings with pressed flowers. It already looks as if she’s lived here for years.

I try on a ring with a rubber dinosaur attached. The T-rex flashes red and yellow and blue lights when I squeeze him. “I wish I could have a room like this.” I love it, but I’m too much of a neat freak to have something like it for myself. I need clean walls and a clean desktop and everything put away in its right place at all times.

Meredith looks pleased with the compliment.

“Are these your friends?” I place the dinosaur back into its teacup and point to a picture tucked in her mirror. It’s gray and shadowy and printed on thick, glossy paper. Clearly the product of a school photography class. Four people stand before a giant hollow cube, and the abundance of stylish black clothing and deliberately mussed hair reveals Meredith belongs to the resident art clique. For some reason, I’m surprised. I know her room is artsy, and she has all of those rings on her fingers and in her nose, but the rest is clean-cut—lilac sweater, pressed jeans, soft voice. Then there’s the soccer thing, but she’s not a tomboy either.

She breaks into a wide smile, and her nose ring winks. “Yeah. Ellie took that at La Défense. That’s Josh and St. Clair and me and Rashmi. You’ll meet them tomorrow at breakfast. Well, everyone but Ellie. She graduated last year.”

The pit of my stomach begins to unclench. Was that an invitation to sit with her?

“But I’m sure you’ll meet her soon enough, because she’s dating St. Clair. She’s at Parsons Paris now for photography.”

I’ve never heard of it, but I nod as if I’ve considered going there myself someday.

“She’s really talented.” The edge in her voice suggests otherwise, but I don’t push it. “Josh and Rashmi are dating, too,” she adds.

Ah. Meredith must be single.

Unfortunately, I can relate. Back home I’d dated my friend Matt for five months. He was tall-ish and funny-ish and had decent-ish hair. It was one of those “since no one better is around, do you wanna make out?” situations. All we’d ever done was kiss, and it wasn’t even that great.Too much spit. I always had to wipe off my chin.

We broke up when I learned about France, but it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t cry or send him weepy emails or key his mom’s station wagon. Now he’s going out with Cherrie Milliken, who is in chorus and has shiny shampoo-commercial hair. It doesn’t even bother me.

Not really.

Besides, the breakup freed me to lust after Toph, multiplex coworker babe extraordinaire. Not that I didn’t lust after him when I was with Matt, but still. It did make me feel guilty. And things were starting to happen with Toph—they really were—when summer ended. But Matt’s the only guy I’ve ever gone out with, and he barely counts. I once told him I’d dated this guy named Stuart Thistleback at summer camp. Stuart Thistleback had auburn hair and played the stand-up bass, and we were totally in love, but he lived in Chattanooga and we didn’t have our driver’s licenses yet.

Matt knew I made it up, but he was too nice to say so.

I’m about to ask Meredith what classes she’s taking, when her phone chirps the first few bars of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” She rolls her eyes and answers. “Mom, it’s midnight here. Six-hour time difference, remember?”

I glance at her alarm clock, shaped like a yellow submarine, and I’m surprised to find she’s right. I set my long-empty mug of chocolat chaud on her dresser. “I should get going,” I whisper. “Sorry I stayed so long.”

“Hold on a sec.” Meredith covers the mouthpiece. “It was nice meeting you. See you at breakfast?”

“Yeah. See ya.” I try to say this casually, but I’m so thrilled that I skip from her room and promptly slam into a wall.

Whoops. Not a wall. A boy.

“Oof.” He staggers backward.

“Sorry! I’m so sorry, I didn’t know you were there.”

He shakes his head, a little dazed.The first thing I notice is his hair—it’s the first thing I notice about everyone. It’s dark brown and messy and somehow both long and short at the same time. I think of the Beatles, since I’ve just seen them in Meredith’s room. It’s artist hair. Musician hair. I-pretend-I-don’t-care-but-I-really-do hair.

Beautiful hair.

“It’s okay, I didn’t see you either. Are you all right, then?”

Oh my. He’s English.

“Er. Does Mer live here?”

Seriously, I don’t know any American girl who can resist an English accent.

The boy clears his throat. “Meredith Chevalier? Tall girl? Big, curly hair?” Then he looks at me like I’m crazy or half deaf, like my Nanna Oliphant. Nanna just smiles and shakes her head whenever I ask, “What kind of salad dressing would you like?” or “Where did you put Granddad’s false teeth?”

“I’m sorry.” He takes the smallest step away from me. “You were going to bed.”

“Yes! Meredith lives there. I’ve just spent two hours with her.” I announce this proudly like my brother, Seany, whenever he finds something disgusting in the yard. “I’m Anna! I’m new here!” Oh God. What. Is with.The scary enthusiasm? My cheeks catch fire, and it’s all so humiliating.

The beautiful boy gives an amused grin. His teeth are lovely—straight on top and crooked on the bottom, with a touch of overbite. I’m a sucker for smiles like this, due to my own lack of orthodontia. I have a gap between my front teeth the size of a raisin.

“Étienne,” he says. “I live one floor up.”

“I live here.” I point dumbly at my room while my mind whirs: French name, English accent, American school. Anna confused.

He raps twice on Meredith’s door. “Well. I’ll see you around then, Anna.”

Eh-t-yen says my name like this: Ah-na.

My heart thump thump thumps in my chest.

Meredith opens her door. “St. Clair!” she shrieks. She’s still on the phone. They laugh and hug and talk over each other. “Come in! How was your flight? When’d you get here? Have you seen Josh? Mom, I’ve gotta go.”

Meredith’s phone and door snap shut simultaneously.

I fumble with the key on my necklace. Two girls in matching pink bathrobes strut behind me, giggling and gossiping. A crowd of guys across the hall snicker and catcall. Meredith and her friend laugh through the thin walls. My heart sinks, and my stomach tightens back up.

I’m still the new girl. I’m still alone.

chapter three

The next morning, I consider stopping by Meredith’s, but I chicken out and walk to breakfast by myself. At least I know where the cafeteria is (Day Two: Life Skills Seminars). I double-check for my meal card and pop open my Hello Kitty umbrella. It’s drizzling. The weather doesn’t give a crap that it’s my first day of school.

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Anna and the French Kiss 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 653 reviews.
Girl-with-da-Boots More than 1 year ago
Anna and the French Kiss is a phenomenal read. It is one of those books that draw you into the plot and it feels like you are actually there. The characters are very easy to connect to because they are teenagers who are very much human. By giving the characters faults and human qualities, Perkins makes the characters come alive! The plot was easy to follow with a few surprises here and there. Anna is the one that I could connect to the most. I could picture myself in her shoes and the happenings in the story were so life-like that they could have actually happened. To think that this book is actually filled with teenage drama, I actually loved this book and would recommend it to any teenage girl who is looking for a great book to read over the summer. I am looking forward to reading the next two books written by Perkins. Hopefully they will contain the same life-like qualities that draw you in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great pick-me-up. Witty, adorable, and filled to the brim with those ooey gooey warm fuzzies of young love. Read for a good time.
missy1029 More than 1 year ago
I don't think there are words to express my love for this novel. It was seriously that good. I can't believe that I waited so long to finally read it. I was a little worried I would be disappointed because it has been so hyped up and I am glad to say that I most definitely was not. This is one of those books that I will be pushing everyone that I know to read. I adored Anna and St. Clair. They were one of my favorite duos ever. They fit so perfectly together. I also loved all of the supporting characters because well, without them, this story would not have been what it was. Teenage love in the city of romance. Yes, please! I virtually read this in one sitting because I did not want to put it down. Time flew by and I didn't even notice. Even after I finished this I couldn't stop smiling. It was such a feel good book! It was so easy to connect with Anna. She handled certain situations in the same way that I could see myself doing. She was incredibly realistic! She could easily be someone who is a friend of mine. I swear that I could actually feel what Anna felt. I wanted to laugh when she laughed and cry when she cried. She was such an extremely likeable character! I can't wait to see what else Stephanie Perkins has in store for us in the future!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Gold Star Award Winner! ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is, without a doubt, one of my favorite books ever! Stephanie Perkins is a fabulous author and she created a romantic, fun, and addicting debut. Considering I visited Paris over the summer, this book was even more relevant because I recognized so many of the places Anna and her friends visited. Paris is a beautiful city and the perfect setting for any novel. It made me want to return as soon as possible, or even start attending a boarding school there! Anna Oliphant was an awesome main character. She was so realistic and believable, and best of all, she wasn't perfect. Anna was an ordinary teenager, and reading about her experiences was so much fun. She never failed to add humor to the story and I really wanted to know her in real life. Anna is one of those characters you can't help but like and want the best for and I was constantly rooting for her throughout the novel. Her family wasn't perfect, either, but I enjoyed reading about them. Her father especially. I always find it interesting when a character in a book is an author, and Mr. Oliphant was no exception. He reminded me of Nicholas Sparks in a way, or at least his books and movies did. Sean was a sweet younger brother and he really did love Anna. She had a lot of ups and downs with her friends in America, but I'm satisfied with how everything turned out. The characters that played the largest role in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS were Anna's friends at the School of America in Paris. It was such an original idea to have Anna go to boarding school in Paris, and it made the story that much more magical and intriguing then if it was just in the US. All of the people Anna met in Paris made an impact on both Anna and the reader and I loved them all. Especially her best friends; Meredith, Rashmi, Josh, and St. Clair. They were a great group and each of them played a large role in the story, most importantly Etienne St. Clair. St. Clair deserves his own paragraph in this review- he is just that awesome. I loved his character and every page he was on. St. Clair was not your standard typical, gorgeous, popular guy, but rather a sweet and realistic character who adds so much to the story. I especially liked watching Anna and St. Clair's friendship grow and develop into something more. The setting and plot was also great. The idea of attending boarding school in Paris was so original and reading about all the places they visited and people they met was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. Another part of the story I liked was reading about Anna's love for movies, most especially old classics. Stephanie Perkins wrote a magical and romantic first novel that will steal the hearts of readers everywhere and leave them dying to visit Paris. Anna and St. Clair were awesome main characters and the writing was fabulous. I can't wait to read Ms. Perkins' next release!
Balina More than 1 year ago
This one was great. I loved every minute reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very romantic, it is very well structured!! It is written so that you feel as if the story is happening to you or that you are witnessing the entire story. It makes you want to keep reading and never let the book go. This is a very amazing and intriguing book. I recomend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, every book that I've read lately about teens always starts the same, ends the same and is the same. That's what makes this book so different. Perkins tackles everything that those cliches attempt to do but in a much more realistic point of view. You literally see, feel, and understand everything from Anna's point of view. It's amazing how you can relate to her as well. She makes Etienne (St. Clair, depends how much you love him) crazy loveable. Every thing that Anna faces is so relatable that it feels like the stories actually about me even though I've never been to a boarding school in Paris. Also, Perkins works very well around the happy ending cliche and turns it to a realistic cliff hanging conclusion. I have read this book at least 3 times and I never read most books more than once. This is truly a wonderful piece that I would recommend to everyone. But I hope she contiunes the story or introduce one that is just as breath taking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3 words.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Anna and the French Kiss was simply divine. An absolutely good read that I could not put down. I think what I loved most about this book was that everything was at the right pace, right words, right timing. Nothing was thrown at you and you weren't spinned out of control with info. Anna is devastated. She is being sent around the world to a bordering school where she is alone. No one to help her. She is ALONE! All she sees is a year of exil. What she doesn't see is the cute boy who will soon walk into her future. I liked St. Claire. I loved his accent, the way he talks, his perspective of things. He guided Anna when she need him and they had fun together. What I didn't like was that he was selfish. Sorry, but I had to say it. I know he didn't mean to but he used her as his crutch when he felt lonely and that upset me. While I was glad that he like and fell in love with her genuinely, I was still saddened by his actions. Anna reminded me of me when I was in school. Scared to go to new places, try new things, and suffered in silence. Anna was so brave and took everything in stride. The character was likable and could relate to well. I like that she was strong. Even in a new and scary place, she held up her head high and made do with what she had. She is an easy person to make friends with and funny at times. He sarcastic side is something I l loved reading. Anna and the French Kiss is a great book. I think I may have even learned a french word or two. The love between St. Claire and Anna is sweet. It is a kind of loves that grows in time within the book and you just fall in love with them. I rooted for them all the way. I was extremely happy that they made it. If you have not, read this book. Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love this book. I believe this demands a sequel, no?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DONT BE FOOLED BY THE SYNOPSIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read the synopsis of this book and it sounded horrible, but I seen a lot of reviews that also mentioned this book so I figured I might as well try it and if I didn't like it i would put the book down. I have to say I loooooooooooved this book! The protagonist (Anna) wasn't perfect which made her easy to relate to she was sweet, funny but also real and made mistakes. Anna was someone who I would want to be friends with. Stephanie Perkins did an amazing job making the story and characters believable in a sense. The story was cute and fun to read, I read it in maybe 3 hours give or take. It's a great book to pick up any day and I will definitely be reading this book again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this book its sooo cute funny and romantic! Id recomend this to anyone looking for a laugh and a good book!
LWFIGI More than 1 year ago
Anna and the French Kiss is a charmer and appeals to the young and “more mature”. At its heart, it is a love story, but it’s much more than romantic tension. Anna’s Dad sends her to boarding school in Paris. Imagine the opportunity! But, no, Anna is not happy with that decision. It doesn’t take long after friendships are developed and Etienne St. Clair enters her life for her to become more involved in her foreign experience. Etienne is involved with someone else but a strong friendship between he and Anna develops and evolves. It was filled with chuckle-worthy moments, also anxious, excited, angry, sad, and hopeful moments. The struggles of love and life can be messy and complicated. This is basically a romance novel but done well with a beautifully detailed backdrop of Paris that only adds to the mystique of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was hilarious and really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever. It was smazing i wish it would never end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such agood book! I loved every part of it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anna and the French Kiss has a great start, referencing things like Rushmore and The Beatles. I thought it would be more than the average chick book, but around the halfway point it turned into just that. I'm not saying that it was bad- I mean, this book was recommended by John Green!- but I wouldn't call it supermegafoxyawesomehot or anything..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the start of the book I thought I would be able to predict every step of the book and it was kind of boring with the way Anna cried for everything. As I got into the book however, I began to like it. The fact that St Clair didn't just jump at Anna was good because it build up your hope of if they get together or not. This was a nice romance novel. The only part I didn't like was how St. Clair found out about his mom. I think it was very ramdon (in a bad way) and happened at the wrong time. But overall I would recommend this book and will read more of Stephine's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anna and the French Kiss is a really wonderful book. When you start it, you won't be able to stop. When you finish it, you won't be able to forget it. Perkins really brings Anna, St. Clair, and the other characters to life. It really feels as though they are real. When you read the story, it's like you're right there alongside Anna, in Paris. This book isn't just about Anna falling in love with Etienne. It's also about Anna falling in love with Paris. This isn't just a typical YA romance, though. Perkins tackles old clichés and the story feels fresh and new despite the "American in Paris" premise. This book is incredible. You really won't regret reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It started out slow for me, but when I got into it I couldn't put it down. I couldn't go to bed without knowing the end, so i stayed up until 3:00 a.m. reading. I almost didn't buy it, so if you're debating to buy it right now, just do it. I'm honestly SO glad I did. It's one of the best books I've read. If you liked this one, I would also recommend the book Meant to Be. Its a lot like this.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to re-read some of my favorite books. But, instead of reading the physical book or ebook, I’m listening to them on audiobook. I love listening to audiobooks in the car. It definitely helps to keep me calm in the horrendous DC area traffic. First up on the favorite re-read list was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I fell in love with this book when I read it last year. I fell even more deeply in love with it the second time around. I mean, what’s not to love about this book? Beautiful English-French-American boy with an amazing English accent, sweet and likable heroine, PARIS. Big fuzzy hearts. “I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.” Anna is your average teenage girl. She was witty and cute, smart and sassy. She feels completely out of her element at an American school in Paris. She misses her best friend, Bridgette, and her crush, Toth. She’s annoyed with her parents for sending her away and concerned about her little brother. Once she starts to settle in at school, she misses home less and less. As she begins to drift from her friends from home, she forges some great friendships with Etienne, Mer, Josh, and Rashmi. After a few weeks, Paris was beginning to feel more and more like home. A disastrous trip home over the holidays solidified this. “I’m a little distracted by this English French American Boy Masterpiece.” Oh, Etienne St. Clair. I love him so. He was beautiful, charming, sweet, and thoughtful. He was a friend to everyone, but only close to a select few. He also had a girlfriend who was not Anna. Etienne doesn’t have an easy home life, either. His father is a jerk and his mother is sick. It really takes a toll on him in the book. So much was changing that he was trying to hold on to the constant in his life, his girlfriend Ellie, thought it was rather obvious he was having very strong feelings for Anna. They had a ton of chemistry and it was a joy to read. “Most people in Atlanta don’t have an accent. It’s pretty urban. A lot of people speak gangsta, though,” I add jokingly. “Fo’ shiz,” he replies in his polite English accent. I spurt orangey-red soup across the table. St. Clair gives a surprised ha-HA kind of laugh, and I’m laughing too, the painful kind like abdominal crunches. He hands me a napkin to wipe my chin. “Fo’. Shiz.” He repeats it solemnly. Cough cough. “Please don’t ever stop saying that. It’s too-” I gasp. “Much.” “You oughtn’t to have said that. Now I shall have to save it for special occasions.” “My birthday is in February.” Cough choke wheeze. “Please don’t forget.” I couldn’t get enough of the scenes with Anna and Etienne together. Their dialogue was snappy and playful. While their attraction and chemistry was nearly immediate, they took the time to get to know each other. They quickly became friends and then best friends. They were the one person the other leaned on. No need to look for instalove here. Instead, their feelings grew slowly and steadily. The book was full of the sweet taste of first love… and some teenage angst. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the dynamic of a friend crush to first love story. There’s just something so real about it. I get sucked in every single time. “How many times can our emotions be tied to someone else’s – be pulled and stretched and twisted – before they snap? Before they can never be mended again.” There was conflict with friends and family, and sometimes with each other, as the novel continued. Anna and Etienne faced many obstacles: Ellie, their friends and relationships with them, uncertainty on what the future holds for them. But, I didn’t find anything to be overly dramatic in that way that YA books can sometimes be. The voices felt real – as did the situations that unfolded. This was a beautiful story of friendship, love and family set against a fabulous Paris backdrop that was described so well, in such detail, that it felt like I was there. “I don’t want to feel this way around him. I want things to be normal. I want to be his friend, not another stupid girl holding out for something that will never happen.” I loved that I got to spend the entire novel inside Anna’s head. Her inner dialogue was perfect. While it might have been nice to be inside Etienne’s, the story was perfect as is. Now, that’s not saying I wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy a book written from his POV. But it wasn’t needed. Stephanie Perkins does such a fantastic job of writing a teenage girl perspective that I had absolutely no problem believing it. “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” Because this was an audiobook, I feel I have to touch on the narrator. She was perfect. She sounded just as I imagined Anna when I first read the book. She did a fantastic job with all of the different voices and accents. I found myself taking the long way home or spending extra time running errands, just so I could listen to more of this book. I swear, I had a big goofy smile on my face for almost the entire book. If you like lighthearted, whimsical contemporary young adult books, you will likely find yourself in the same position if you pick this one up. And you really should. You won’t be disappointed.
Cristal_Lapin More than 1 year ago
Easy read...which I really needed after all the boring drab I'm forced to read for school. I read this in just two sittings which is unusual for me, usually as soon as a book hits a dull point I put it down and pick up later then so on in till I've eventually finished. It was really nice to read something so easy (not in a bad way) just that the whole story flowed nicely, and I didn't have to struggle to keep with it, the next thing I knew I was finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did anyone notice that annas father writes those books with depressing endings (the entrance) but ladys love them? That is very similar to nicolas sparks (the notebook, the last song) and how the ending is totally depressing but ladys love them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is brilliant ! You can connect with the characters and feel like youre really there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its perfect and funny and charming and i loved it!!!!!