Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

I’m not one for book reviews, especially two weeks in a row, but there’s no way I CAN’T tell you about this book.

Seventeen-year old Anna is sent to the School of America in Paris, thanks to her rich father’s need to fit in with his pretentious friends. She dreads saying goodbye to her best friend and the boy she likes, and is terrified of living in a country where “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.”

I mean, how can you not love her?

Here’s the jacket copy:

Anna was 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. So she’s 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 Lights, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

One of the reviews in the front of the book says “you’ll want to date this book,” and they aren’t kidding. I read it in two days (yes, that makes two books last week) and I immediately wanted to re-read it—at 1:30am. The characters are SO REAL and the dialogue is so dead on that I found myself wishing I could write that well and wondering how I could make my own book better (and I have a total crush on MY book right now). The tension between Anna and Étienne made me long for that crazy rush of first love and I had to really fight not to skip ahead and find out what happens.

On a personal note, it was bizarre how much I relate to this book. From being sent to boarding school at age fifteen and saying goodbye to all my friends and the only life I knew, to living in another country where I struggled (at first) to speak the language (she also studied Spanish), to being left-handed and loving Thin Mints and Tagalongs—I felt a strange connection with Anna. Especially when she falls for the HOT boy with the English accent (mine was Puerto Rican). The little details about dorm life in high school—having to stand in line for the bathroom with your worst enemy, seeing the boy you like right after rolling out of bed—were so dead on that I’m curious about how in-depth she researched boarding school life.

The final clue that this book really hit home for me—Saturday night I dreamed I was living in France and kept trying to speak Spanish when ordering at a restaurant.

I can’t recommend this book enough, and I’m sad I have to give it back to Erica, who loaned it to me.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Jarrod

    She researched dorm life A LOT. I don’t think she could’ve researched it any deeper unless she had gone to boarding school. I know- I’m the authors husband. 🙂

    Great review, thanks!

  2. I’m SO glad you loved it. I knew it!! I LOVE that book, I would friggen marry it, screw dating. I want a commitment! LOL.

    It’s one of the best I’ve EVER read. SO yeah, I’m kind of a huge fangirl ;o)

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