I have always been a big fan of contemporary novels, I’ve picked out my favorites here and there; until recently I’ve decided to read Stephanie Perkins’ stand-alone series. Now that I’ve devoured the three books, I thought I’d share my thoughts and opinions, including the star ratings I gave it in good reads. The discussion is separated into three posts, one for each book.
Before we start, I just want to share that I;m the kind of person who whenever I read books, I usually pick out or imagine my own cast list. Even if they don’t fit exactly the physical description in the book/s, I still pick them. Anyway, you don’t have to agree with my choices, you are free to build your own cast list. Lastly, I usually have a song that whenever I hear it, I’m reminded of the book–like a theme song. Try to listen to it, if you like.
Okay, now all of the introduction is done, we can get started!
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Georgie Henley as Anna and Avan Jogia as Etienne
Song: I Think I’m Falling by MYMP
Goodreads Summary: 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?
Seeing that this is the first book in the series, it definitely builds up the excitement of the reader to continue on with the next two books. Stephanie Perkins’ series can be read as a stand-alone but since there are references of the previous characters, it will be advisable to read them in order: Anna and the french Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, & Isla and the Happily Ever After.
This is a very cheesy book, it’s light and definitely a story that relates to a lot of people. It’s a contemporary which means the events are close to reality; a perfect read if you’re a fan of high school/coming of age romance.
I gave this book a 4.50 rating, I did like it especially because it made me pick up the rest of the series but I had a few problems with the plot. I will try my best to discuss it one by one for your better understanding. First, the growth of attraction between Anna and Etienne can be described as rapid, although of course most contemporary novels are written this way but if you look closely, theirs is one step-ahead of Romeo and Juliet’s love at first sight trademark. I say this because when Etienne met Anna, she’s all he can think about and he occupies her mind just the same. The only difference is that they do not jump into a relationship over night due to the facts that Etienne was committed to someone else and Anna was dating someone in her hometown.
In stories like this, contemporary novels, the major theme is Hopeless Romance. One of the goals of an author is to embed such love story in the minds of the readers. Definitely this gets us interested (DON’T DENY!), probably because it is something that is lacking in our life. Now, since it’s been known that such genre is written to portray perfect love affairs among the protagonists, what sets them apart from another contemporary novel is the struggles they go through. This may range from their personal lives as an individual and their persistence to be together against all odds. Anna and the French Kiss did not have so much depth in terms of the characters’ struggle as much as the other two books in the series.
Another thing I don’t like about this book is that the characters felt distant, like I am aware they are just fictional characters rather than associating them with a person I know from real life, or simply relating myself to them. I believe this is the less view of their family life, of course the basics were discussed: divorced parents, controlling parent, etc. Family is an important aspect of a character’s personality because it gives the readers a full understanding as to how the character came to be. Also, the addition of a mean girl and a douche-guy in the story to complicate Anna’s life felt forced. I think the story would have been fine if they weren’t in it; seeing that they’re already in the story, it would have been better if they were also given spotlight. They would appear and disappear suddenly in the story line which doesn’t justify their hatred towards Anna or Etienne.
Of course it may not be as exciting or interesting as the other two books but I still enjoyed this book nonetheless. In the series, since it is still fiction, there are parts wherein you’d see how close the stories to reality. For Anna and the French Kiss, it was the over-used in books but very much true to life is that one of the characters is with someone else in the beginning and then they meet the other protagonist who soon becomes their love interest—and the next thing you know, they’re destined to be together, the end. It was precise and simple, Etienne felt Anna is her missing link but then he was with another girl; while Anna was pining over Max, whom she left in Atlanta, she starts to realize that maybe he’s not her dream guy after all.
Lastly, I love how the friendship among the characters were given importance and highlight! It wasn’t perfect but that’s what makes it realistic and beautiful. Rashmi losing communication with her best friend proves that we all have that one friend who we thought we’d be friends with forever but turns out, life has other plans for us.
Check out my next reviews: Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. Thank you! You can comment your thoughts about the book down below!
Keep reading and NERD on. Fortuitous Twinkles!