Monday, November 26, 2012

Audio Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Listening Library
Release Date: Dec 2, 2010
Rating: 2/5

Cover Impressions:
The cover is cute, but pretty typical of YA romance novels.  Not something that would grab my attention on a shelf. 

The Gist:
Anna has been sent to Paris against her will.  Her father has signed her up for a year at the School of America in Paris.  There she meets Etienne, suave, charming and ... taken.  As they grow closer, Anna learns about friendship, desire and love.

Anna and the French kiss is one of those books that everyone seems to love.  It was remarkable 1) how many of my Goodreads friends had read it and 2) how many of them raved about it.

I was not able to join them.

The writing was great.  The romantic scenes were sweet and exciting.  You cannot beat a setting like Paris.  However, I hated both Anna and Etienne.  When characters or scenes annoy me, I have a tendency to skip or skim over them.  But while listening to the audio book, I wasn't able to do that.  Instead, I found myself yelling at both Anna and Etienne for being idiots.  They were both hypocritical and got angry at each other (and the other characters) for actions that they themselves committed earlier or later.  They danced around each other for an entire book and were constantly doubting the other's feelings.  Etienne was the "beautiful boy" that every girl wanted and Anna was the girl that every boy immediately lusted after.  Come on.  No girl is so hot that every male within sight falls at her feet and she HAS NO IDEA!  This called for some serious eye rolling.

I read several reviews that claimed that this book was HILARIOUS.  I did not get that.  The only humorous passages that I can recall were where Anna was being a complete klutz (I hate the typical pretty, klutzy girl character) or acting like a moron - which annoyed me more than they amused me.  The other characters only served to move the plot along and/or reveal information and did not really get a life of their own.  

I could rant and rave about all the nit-picky things that I didn't like about this book BUT I can completely understand why teens love it.  It was cute and romantic (even though I only wanted the characters together so that they wouldn't force their special brand of idocracy on anybody else).

No more Stephanie Perkins for me.  I am far too cynical for this type of book.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

16 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing, Talk of sex
Violence: Physical fighting
Inappropriate Language: Dick, Bastard, Shit, Prick, Fuck, Slut, Bitch
Substance Use/Abuse:  Underage drinking


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