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the addict



NAME: H. SHAR
AGE: 21 YEARS

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Anna and the French Kiss.
12:39 PM
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Rating: 3.5 stars

After hearing so so so many raves about this book, I decided to just purchase it and give it a try. I suppose I never was drawn to this book 'cos of the cover which really bugs me. It looks so cliche and almost childish, in my opinion. Also, it's really obvious and tacky. It's just not something I would gravitate towards or get me curious about the story behind the cover. But I finally gave it a try and I'm really glad I did. It was a sweet and endearing story. Though quite common in themes and plotlines, it is not at all as tacky as the cover. So I am extremely relieved that it was totally worth my money.

It is a romance story about a girl named Anna Oliphant (weird surname made me laugh) who was sent to a boarding school in Paris on her senior year. Although it sounds like it's something to rejoice over, she'll be leaving her family, friends and basically her entire life and live in a completely foreign country all by herself for a year. Also, she doesn't speak a word of French, so it seems like she's gonna be screwed. Fortunately she managed to make some good friends in the School of America in Paris (SOAP). One of them being the hottest guy she ever laid eyes on, aka Etienne St. Clair. Just as things were turning round, drama happens as she is forced to deal with the problems of long-distance relationships, being independent and falling in love with the "wrong" person (as St. Clair has a girlfriend).

To be honest, the plot was everything I expected it to be, which is a not-too complicated, light-hearted sort of read. Nothing too jaw-dropping happened, but that doesn't mean that it was not engaging and exciting. Definitely the drama that was unfolding as we getting further into the story totally sucked me in, simply because Anna was a likable heroine and I was rooting for her to get the guy. The stand-out of this book is definitely the witty dialogue and writing style and literally had me laughing out loud.

Another stand-out is of course, Etienne St. Clair who is a delicious male protagonist and any girl's dream guy. He simply has such a way with words and there are some very sweet and romantic moments (the sort that makes girls' hearts melt and flutter) with Anna. But what I like most about him is that he is not TOTALLY, unrealistically perfect. I mean, yea, he seems too good to be true (especially towards the end), but he also has a very real side as he deals with the family problems that's plaguing his life and his torn feelings towards Anna & his girlfriend, Ellie. Also, he is prone to making mistakes and screwing up. So that gives his character a nice human touch. I got really frustrated with him 'cos he kept leading Anna on, but I'm glad that the writer addressed that issue and resolved it nicely.

Anna is also a very funny and entertaining protagonist. I love her sense of humour and I find her very down-to-earth and flawed, but still likable. She isn't obnoxiously whiny and reflects on her mistakes, more importantly acknowledges them and tries to right them. So eventhough she pisses me off (like the whole drunk scene), the fact that she tries to right things again and realizes her shortcomings makes me root for her and want to be her friend.

The other characters could have been developed further. I really wanted to know more about Josh, who seems so mysterious in a tortured-artist sort of way. And I also wanted to learn more about Rashmi and Meredith. Other aspects, such as St. Clair's artwork and the reasons behind Anna's neat-freak mentality, I wish could have been explored further.

My only problem with it (besides the horrible cover) is the suddenness of certain realizations. Such as how Anna instantly, over the holidays just spontaneously realized her deep love for St. Clair and calls him Etienne. Another part that bugs me is how exaggerated some scenes were, such as when Anna saw St. Clair, she literally swooned on the sidewalk and people around her thought she was sick. She's also abit stalker-like in her thinking. (But I guess that is just part of being a teen, the raging hormones) And I wasn't too convinced on how deeply they felt for each other when he confessed, simply 'cos the lines then were pretty cliched (but still sweet).

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and BREEZED through the entire thing. It wasn't so AMAZING as all the hype was surrounding it. It wasn't like-changing. BUT, it's such a fun and easy read. It is a great pick-me-up when you're in a foul mood or having a bad day. Though I do prefer a more intense romance, I do love the endearing quality of Anna and St. Clair's relationship. And this book is also filled with little messages about how to be a good friend and the true meaning of home, which I thought was an admirable touch to this story, making it a more meaningful read. It made me wanna fly off to Paris and find myself a British-American hottie. LOL! Chances are NIL. (Only in books, really)

ALSO WARNING: This book is SO incredibly sweet that it will either make your heart flutter and puts a grin on your face OR make you completely dismal and feel kinda pathetic (especially if you have a non-existent love-life like me and don't live in a place as remotely cool as Paris).



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