Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss

4.7 651
by Stephanie Perkins
     
 

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Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her… See more details below

Overview

Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

"Magical. Anna and the French Kiss really captures the feeling of being in love." - Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series

Anna and the French Kiss charms [readers] with its Parisian setting and très bien boy.”
MTV.com

"Very sly. Very funny. Very romantic. You should date this book." - Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author

"Tantalizing pacing, sparkling repartee, vibrant supporting characters . . ." - Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay

"Imagine a mug of rich, thick hot chocolate. Now add a swirl of sweet whipped cream. Yummy? Oui. Well, Anna and the French Kiss is richer, sweeter, and--yes--even hotter. You're in for a very special treat." --Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of Peace, Love and Baby Ducks and Let It Snow

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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
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
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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101445495
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
12/02/2010
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
18,137
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

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 any more.


“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.



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