Released: December 2010
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Around the World Tours
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. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
There's no doubt that you've seen a million posts up already gushing their love about this book. Yes, this will be another review where the blogger feel head over heels with Anna, and will re-read it many upon many times. And I know with all the hype, some people might get it, and not love it as much as they thought they would. Honestly, if it wasn't for a couple bloggers who kept telling me I had to read it, I probably would have overlooked this book at least for a while.
What I love about Anna is that she is one of the best well-rounded and realistic characters I have read in a very long time. She is not perfect. She is not a doormat. She is not too cool for her own good. She is just a regular girl who is experiencing this whole new adventure in a new city. I've never been to Paris, and I doubt I'll ever get the chance to go. But Stephanie Perkins writes that place so vividly, I felt like I've already been there. And hey, if I ever want to go re-visit, I can just jump back into the book ;)
Then there is St. Claire who you're already sighing a bit over when you first meet him. BUT St. Claire is just an average guy. He's not tall, dark, brooding, and acts like he's the biggest badass around. He's short, funny, laid back, and if I were at that school I'd either be in love with him or his best friend. I prefer the in love part, but you can tell he's just one of those guys who would sit next to you and strike up a conversation no matter who you are.
The romantic part of this story is obviously swoon-worthy and the part I really enjoyed. The attraction to St. Claire is there, but it is so well plotted. There are so many "almost" moments just like in real life. The relationship really does grow in this strong friendship that the two form throughout the school year. The host of friends Anna has were never just in the background to me. They were all so clearly individual and entertaining. Even everything above isn't the only reason why I loved this book. I loved seeing Anna grow from the girl she was when she stepped into that new school in strange city to the girl she became at the end of the story.
Stephanie Perkin's writing flows so easily, I was seriously about a hundred pages into the book, and didn't even realize it. She is so well in tune with Anna, you really do feel everything she writes and what Anna goes through. Another thing I wanted to add in is something I've noticed in a lot of books lately where the mention of sex or cursing sometimes goes a bit overboard. What I like about this book is that it was there when it needed to be there. Nothing was over-done.
So basically my name is Amber and I am an Anna Fangirl! If you love a wonderfully well-written contemporary novel then you have to get this one. For being a debut author, Stephanie Perkins has blown me away and made me an instant fan. I will definitely be picking up anything she writes next!
If you want to see my fangirl reaction when I first finished Anna months ago, check out this post.
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