Saturday, 4 August 2012

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I should hate this book. It has a plot based around relationships of a particularly fluffy and cutsey nature, it was predictable, cliched, over-dramatic BUT I LOVED IT!!!!! In fact even while reading, I was thinking to myself, 'I shouldn't like this. This is just the sort of book I try to stay away from' but there was just something so charming about the whole thing, that I just couldn't help myself. I freely admit it. Me, who usually hates anything overly sentimental and tacky (not that this was tacky in any way.)

This book reminds me of those girls you used to know in school. You know the ones. Not only were they popular, beautiful, intelligent, athletic, they had to be just so gosh darned nice. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how much you wanted to, you just couldn't hate them. Not that I wanted to hate this, but you know what I mean. It didn't matter that the revelations, betrayals and drama were glaringly obvious, Perkins managed through her approachable writing style and witty characters, to make it impossible to resist. I couldn't hate it even if I wanted to. Like a snuggly duvet, I dove in and let it wrap it's soft cuddleyness around me.

Even the constant to-ing and fro-ing, will they/won't they, Ross 'n' Rachelness of the relationship I enjoyed the most, that butterfly in the tummy feeling of waiting for the moment that you hope will come, that you hope will be amazing and worth it and be everything you wanted it to be.

The plot? well ok there wasn't much of one beyond the growing closeness between the two leads, but what there is in the way of distractions compliment the story. I found myself being drawn more to Anna and Etiene's backstories, how each had found themselves in a school for American kids that just happened to be in France, romance capital of the world. Speaking of France, the way the author described Paris actually made me want to pack my bags and leave immediately. In fact sod the bag. And I don't even really like France (too many trips as a child). Her Paris was quaint, charming, oozing in elegance but above all beautiful.

A few gripes remain though. Etiene's 'Briticisms' threatened to distract me from the story on a few occasions, but being written for an American audience, it is understandable that the author would play up the 'Englishness', but still, I know that pissed means drunk. I haven't read a lot of UK YA authors, but I'm not sure there would be quite so many 'buggers', 'sods' and 'wankers' and I honestly didn't realise that American girls loved Brit boys so much. Is that actually true? Other than that there was little to displease.

So, yeah it was girly and smulchy and romantic, but sometimes that's just what we need, to believe in fairytale romances, that relationships that seem to good to be true could really exist. Why? for the simple reason that they ignite that glowy place in our tummies that makes us feel happy and ok with the world. And we know that these kinds of stories aren't real, but where's the harm in a little day-dreaming? So the drama is heightened and the scenarios are unrealistic? This book made me feel all warm and fluffy in my cold stone heart that is allergic to romance of the gag-worthy kind. And there is a little part of me that hopes that maybe, somewhere out there, there are people experiencing something like this. I even might envy them a little bit...but not much XD

The only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5, was that though they didn't get in the way of my overall enjoyment, there really were a lot of cliches!!! But that's what made it so much fun!!

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