Saturday, August 30, 2014
Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is from Goodreads: Anna is 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. Which is why she is 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 Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Here are the beats I found.
1. Opening Image: What Anna knows about France.
2. Theme Stated: Um...Sometimes you need to be alone before you can find love?
3. Set-up: Anna gets left at an American School in Paris without knowing any French, leaving behind a best friend and a could-be boyfriend, and develops a friendship with a group that includes St. Claire, who has a girlfriend.
4. Catalyst: Meeting St. Claire.
5. Debate: Anna finding her place in the school and in France.
6. Break into Two: St. Claire takes her out for a night on the town.
7. B Story: Cinema, the relationships of the friends
8. Fun and Games: She and St. Claire grow closer, which only confuses her more.
9. Midpoint: Thanksgiving
10. Bad Boys Close In: St. Claire's mom has cancer, his father sucks, Toph and Bridgette hook up and don't tell Anna, she dates Dave and breaks up...
11. All is Lost: Anna has lost all her friends, fights with Amanda, has rumors spread about her....
12. Dark Night of the Soul: Anna is alone.
13. Break into three: St. Claire kisses her (before #11 and #12).
14. Finale: Notre-Dame
15. Final Image: Home isn't a place, it's a person.
This book made me smile. It was so much fun to read because of the location, the characters, the issues. I loved that it was clean, that the characters had genuine issues and likes and dislikes, that they had character arcs, that there were mean people with motives and nice people who turned mean and anger and redemption and hate and love and broken hearts.... *sigh*
Some of the reviewers got it right. I think my favorite is from Maureen Johnson who said, "Very romantic. You should date this book."
I think the only thing I didn't like is the part where Anna tells St. Claire how to beat his father at his father's own game. It seemed a little false. And then, the fact that he did it and still met her at Notre-Dame made the timing seem off. Sometimes there is too much good that happens at the end, and it may have happened here. However, I did like that at the very end not all the couples were still together, not everything was as people wanted but it still seemed okay--good move, I think.