Anna and the French Kiss
By Stephanie Perkins, read by Kim Mai Guest
Published 2011 by Listening Library
Anna is looking forward to her senior year of high school - she has the perfect job and a crush with excellent potential for more. So, she is understandably outraged when she is shipped off to boarding school in Paris. How could her father do this to her? With a rocky start, Anna begins to wonder how she'll ever survive the year. Maybe she could get a little help from hunky Etienne...
I downloaded this audiobook on a whim - I remember reading a ton of good press about it when it came out and I was interested to see how I might feel about it (I am always looking for more contemporary YA). I was definitely in the mood for something light and sweet after listening to a couple of crime family dramas and this was perfect. Well, the book is not perfect, but it was exactly what I wanted at the moment. Yes, this book is lovely - the characters, oh my goodness, you will absolutely fall in love with them. The setting - I mean, really? IT'S PARIS! And the storyline - the chemistry between Anna and Etienne is obvious from their first meeting and readers can't help but root for them (at least, I couldn't). But there are still some flaws - at times, Anna is a bit too oblivious for my liking. And a huge plot misstep (at least for me) - when Etienne asks Anna about the book he gave her, why doesn't she immediately go pull it off her shelf and figure out why it seems so important to him? That would have been my first thought, especially if I wanted to be reading something more into it like Anna clearly did. Additionally, the audiobook narrator drove me crazy. She has a very pleasant voice and I think she's well-suited for this narration; however, she spoke so quietly that I had to turn my volume to the maximum. Very annoying. Overall, though, this book is indeed quite the charmer. I couldn't help but fall in love with it. I will definitely be checking out Perkins' other titles.