SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: mbwest1220 on January 02, 2011, 06:08 PM

Title: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: mbwest1220 on January 02, 2011, 06:08 PM
Has anyone read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, yet? I read it in one day and absolutely, completely, and totally adored this book. I felt it was so refreshing and authentic. It is one of the only books I have ever read that I wanted to flip to the beginning and reread it as soon as I finished. Perfect, believable characters. Great emotion and drama. And lots and lots of humor. I loved it!

Anyone else?
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: J-Bert on January 02, 2011, 06:31 PM
I read this recently too and completely agree! I've followed Stephanie Perkins' blog for a while and I'm pretty sure she shared there that she wrote this book having never been to France. (I believe she did go last year for a research trip.) I kept thinking about that the entire time I was reading ANNA because I was continuously marveling at how she made Paris come alive for me. I've never been myself so I would have no clue if she got any details wrong, but it all seemed entirely believable. What's more, Paris is a place that's never been high on my list of places I wanted to visit but after reading this book it's jumped up a few spots.

The setting was so well done, it was actually a little distracting to me reading the book because I kept thinking, "How did she KNOW that?" The writer part of me was constantly wondering about her process--how much of the details and descriptions were added or changed after her trip? It's something I'm especially observant about and attentive to right now because setting plays a big part in my WIP, and it's set in a city I grew up outside of and lived in for 3 years, and yet I still constantly worry I'm not getting things right. It would feel very daunting to pick a city I had never been to.

In addition to loving the setting, I thought the novel had wonderful characters, humor, and the whole premise of going to a boarding school is so fascinating to me (loved FACTS OF LIFE growing up).
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: KDuBayGillis on January 02, 2011, 06:43 PM
Just finished it.  So great!  My only itty-bitty complaint. . . I actually thought the chapter before the last should have been the end.  I thought it felt perfect to end right there at the top of the Notre Dame.   Really great read.
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: Danyelle on January 02, 2011, 07:01 PM
I really enjoyed this one too.  :biggrin:

My only complaint was at the end when she realized that Bridgette hadn't had a choice in the whole Tophe thing. This irked me a little, because while attraction may not be a conscious choice, acting on the attraction is, that was a huge part of what the book talked about to me. Especially after she and √Čtienne had just owned up to all their mistakes. It kind of felt like B got a free pass. I did love how she brought not only Paris to life for me, but the Parisian culture!
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: KatyD on January 02, 2011, 07:28 PM
I'm a sucker for a good romance. So, yeah. I loved it.
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: TaliaVance on January 02, 2011, 08:33 PM
This ended up being my favorite read of 2010.  Loved it :)  The characters felt real and I loved them.   :love
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: andracill on January 03, 2011, 09:56 AM
I didn't like this one, so it's interesting to read about all the love (not only here, but just about everywhere)...I should add that there are aspects of the book I definitely like, but other aspects completely turned me off -- just shows how subjective it all is!
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: KDuBayGillis on January 03, 2011, 10:02 AM
Andracill. . . curious to know what you didn't like about it. . . would love to hear more about your perspective.
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: andracill on January 03, 2011, 10:04 AM
Well, without going into too much detail, I'll just say the love triangle idea (with Ellie, Etienne and Anna) didn't work for me.  At all.  I lost a lot of respect for Etienne through all that, and it pretty much killed the story for me.  A couple of us had a blog 'discussion' about it -- if you're interested, I can link you :)
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: KDuBayGillis on January 03, 2011, 10:33 AM
We are having our YA writer book club discussion on it later this month.  I'll wait to read your group's discussion. . . I see what you mean.  For me, it worked.  Mainly b/c it is very close to stuff that happened to me in high school and college (minus the amazing Paris backdrop and co-ed living, mind you).  I'll be curious to hear if my book club folks felt the same way.
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: andracill on January 03, 2011, 04:00 PM
I think my strong reaction is partly because I also had something similar happen to me -- except the boy told me he had already broken up with the girl and I found out later he'd lied.  I was heartbroken, not only because he wasn't who I'd thought, but also because he put me in the position of being the 'other' girl, and I never wanted to do that to anyone.  Plus, I just don't like love triangles.  They've never really been my 'thing', and they have to be done very well (meaning there have to be darn good and strong reasons for there to even be a love triangle in the first place) in order for me to read them (with any amount of enjoyment).

I'll be curious to hear if anyone in your group sees it the way I do...most people don't ;)
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: YAScribe on January 03, 2011, 07:56 PM
When I was querying my first YA novel, FRENCHED, I kept hearing about this book, how similar it was to mine, so when it came out last month, I was both eager and sad to read it.

I couldn't help but compare and there were some similarities: both set in Paris, boy with a girlfriend, girl wanting a real French Kiss from a hot guy. But the plot and characters were very different, of course. I liked Anna, but I wasn't wild about Etienne.

I lived in Paris as a teenager, and I take my hat off to the author for the authentic feel she gave without ever having been there.

I thought I wouldn't enjoy this novel, under the circumstances, but I did, even though it means I'll probably have to permanently shelve my own. :sigh:



 
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: AuntyBooks on January 15, 2011, 10:45 AM
andracill, I felt the same way about the love triangle in this one. I did not respect Etienne because of the way he treated Anna. But you and I are in the minority.

eab
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: YAchicka on January 15, 2011, 11:23 AM
I'm so surprised to hear the author had never been to Paris before writing this! The city was an important character in the story and very well done I believe. So much for writing what you know! Very cool to be able to construct a convincing setting based solely on research - but does explain why the main landmarks were each covered in turn.
I enjoyed so much about this book! I do agree St Claire was unfair in leading girls on, but liked that he wasn't totally perfect.
And sorry to hear of the similarities to your novel YAscribe - hopefully you'll be able to salvage something since more books set in Paris may be just what teens want after reading this one.  :love4:
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: andracill on January 15, 2011, 12:52 PM
eab, it's nice to know we're not completely alone :)
Title: Re: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Post by: Anne Marie on July 05, 2011, 06:33 AM
I've had a REALLY hard time in the last couple of years reading YA written in the first person--so much of it sounds the same to me.  But I thought Perkins really nailed it.  I loved Anna and at times, thought I was reading my own diary from that age. :)  She really felt 17 to me.  I especially liked the exploration of sexuality.  It acknowledged all those heady and wonderful feelings of the age and showed Anna's sense of thoughtful responsibility without being preachy.