written by Stephanie Perkins
I picked this book up after many mentions by John Green in his popular vlogbrothers videos. I figured, hey, a new YA novel, highly recommended by an awesome author? Sure, I'll give it a try. The writing in this novel is spectacular, I'll give it that. As John Green said, it is like his and Maureen Johnson's writing had a baby, and that baby was this book. However, when it comes to the story itself, I wasn't thrilled. Don't get me wrong, it was a cute story, but good? Meh. Anna and the French Kiss falls back on typical YA tropes, and maybe I just read too much YA lit, but really? A French boarding school with a hot guy who just happens to have a British accent? It's starting to sound plot-wise like the very Nicholas Sparks (I'm assuming it was Nicholas Sparks, although I could be wrong) novels Anna makes fun of. I felt like too much of the focus was on the love trianglequadranglepolygonthing, rather than the story potential. I would have loved to get to know Meredith, Rashmi, and Josh more, rather than having them serve as a flat, background cast of characters. The issues the characters had with their relationships with their parents would have been another fascinating thing to examine more closely, particularly St. Clair's relationship with his father (who, while mentioned, doesn't come into focus until the last few chapters of the story, at which point, everything seems rushed). It was nice to read a fluffy YA novel reminiscent of Meg Cabot, with added maturity in both character and writing. I'm still really saddened to see such good writing potential not used to its fullest though. I'm excited to see Stephanie Perkins' writing develop, and I will definitely be picking up Lola and the Boy Next Door upon its release!