Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Rating: ★★★★★
"I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it."
STEPS TO ENJOYING THIS NOVEL:
1.) Grab yourself a hot beverage
2.) Hunt down some yummy French macarons (I'd go for the violet ones, personally)
3.) Snuggle up and dive into this adorable story
Reading Anna and the French Kiss is like falling in love for the very first time. Time stops and the only thing you see is the world through new eyes; your heart pounding. It's like the moment you discover something so important to who you are. When you hear your favorite song. Reading this novel is like exploring the world on your own for the very first time. It's like a warm hug. It's... indescribable. I loved every minute of it -- the good, sweet, swoon worthy moments and even the 'bad moments.
Beautiful setting? Check. Beautiful and flawed friendships? Check. Swoon worthy love interest? Double check.
There's a certain level of passion in this novel that can't be beat. It's charming, it's smart, it's fluffy and cute, but it's passionate. Perhaps it's in the setting, perhaps not, it's just so captivating that I didn't want to put it down. It's real. And even though the ending was a good one... I never wanted it to end. I would have been content reading a thousand more pages. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a good friend by the time the last chapter rolled around.
In all truthfulness, I didn't expect to even like it let alone love it. But what can I say? I'm a sucker.
Actually, no, I'm not a sucker -- I just became really, really attached to Anna and Étienne. Before you know it, you become so invested in their friendship and budding romance. You become attached to them both as individuals. It is impossible not to. Stephanie captures both characters so well and doesn't rush their relationship. She allows their romance to bloom at a natural pace.
Friendship grows into something more and not even in a cliche way. It's beautiful watching the two grow together.
You cheer for them, for their happiness. You want to shake them when they fight and cry at the same time because even when they are fighting they are still perfect. And it's possible I nearly brought out some pom poms when they kissed for the first time. Or during Thanksgiving -- and their adorable little sleepovers.
GO, TEAM, GO!
Phew, that was embarrassing. Back on track, Jessica.
I'll focus back in on Stephanie's writing -- how well does she convey emotions? I feel like, at times, she was reading my soul; my thoughts and my experience with love and all its twists. She just gets it. She portrays friendships fantastically -- the ups and downs and the letdowns they sometimes bring. Stephanie reminds us that all friendships have problems and that sometimes, you can do more to mend them.
She also captures attraction perfectly. Whether that be minor crushes or feelings that you can't control, Perkins brings them into the story in a realistic manner.
And Paris? Paris was the perfect backdrop for the romance of it all and the fantastic news is she didn't use completely played out descriptions or stereotypes when it came down to it. You feel like you're there in Paris and are included in the story, somehow. It's all able to come to life before your eyes and it's a complete and utter delight. Anna and the French Kiss is sure to give you all sorts of feelings.
I would recommend this for anyone to read -- it's a fast read and totally, completely addicting. You won't regret picking it up.