Review by Gill-Marie Stewart
I loved this book about teenage love.
Stephanie Perkins has written three linked books which she calls ‘companion novels’; ‘Anna and the French Kiss’, ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ and ‘Isla and the Happilly Ever After’. I read them out of their chronological order (because, hey, you read what’s to hand) and reviewed ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ here. I’ve now finally read the first of the three, ‘Anna and the French Kiss’.
I loved it. I expected to love it because I loved the others, and because I had already met Anna and St. Clair. But I didn’t know I would love it this much! It is a stand-alone book and can be read without the companion novels, but Stephanie Perkin’s world of Anna, Lola and Isla is definitely one you want to visit more than once, so reading all of the books allows you to do so.
On one level ‘Anna’ is the classic childrens’/YA book – young person going away to boarding school, making new friends, finding out about themselves in the process. But this boarding school is in Paris! How cool is that? And Anna’s feeling of mixed nervousness and excitement is brilliantly depicted, as is her gradual acclimatisation to life in Paris. As for the hero, St. Clair, he’s gorgeous – funny, touching, seriously hot. The difficulties in their personal lives, their growing attraction to each other – it is all sensitively, and at times humourously, portrayed making this a book where you enjoy every word.
The only thing wrong with the book is that it ends, and you really don’t want it to. A great read.
Gill-Marie writes YA mystery/romances as Gill-Marie Stewart. As Gilly Stewart she also writes women’s contemporary fiction. The first book in her YA series about George and Finn is Music and Lies (try out the first chapter here).