Sunday, January 18, 2015

ReRead Review | Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - with Audiobook Notes

Anna and the French Kiss 
by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Dutton
Publish Date: December 2, 2010
372 Pages
Source: Print - Bought, Audiobook - Library

Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 


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 √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne 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?
 (from Goodreads) 


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

WHY I Wanted to Re-ReadI chose to re-read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins for the THIRD TIME for several reasons. First - it qualifies for the #365DaysofYA Reading Challenge, yeehaw! Second - it qualities for the ReRead Challenge, and y'all know I'm all about the rereads. 

AND ALSO THIS: I never made it past this first book because the relationship between Anna and St. Clair frustrated me so completely the first time. While it frustrated me less on my first reread, I did not feel my feelings resolve enough that I wanted to pick up the second book. This has really bothered me, or maybe annoyed me, because I want to love these books too! Also, with the most recent release of Isla and the Happily Ever After, I began to feel like I just wanted to get thru the series, to see what all of the fuss is about, to be able to say I've completed it. 

Finishing this series is basically a challenge unto itself FOR ME. Sigh sigh sigh. 

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WHEN I First Read ItI first read Anna and the French Kiss in June 2012 and then again in April 2013. The first time I read the book, it was at the very beginning of my love affair with YA contemporary and to be honest, I picked it up because there were so many people that recommended it to me when I asked for recs. I read it the second time because I felt so unresolved in my dislike for it, because I tend to have this weirdly 'open-ended' feeling when I don't love books that everyone else loves -- I enjoy a sense of closure so when I do not get it, I often reread. (I wrote a little about that in a discussion post here.) 

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WHAT I RememberI remember being charmed by the Parisian setting right away - who isn't? I remember being IN LOVE with the references to movies and Danny Boyle because I love him so - I wrote about that in my reviews. I remember liking the book on a superficial level. BUT - 

I remember feeling very sad that there was such a strong connection between Anna and Etienne St. Clair, and yet they had such a hard time getting their mess together. I remember being frustrated for a very long time in the story because their problems could be solved if they WOULD JUST TALK TO ONE ANOTHER. 

Here is a really great story of two people that genuinely get along and are best friends, and yet they cannot communicate worth a flip. It bothered me so much. And even though it bothered me a little less on the reread, it still bothered me. Because I'm such a fan of healthy guy-girl friendships, and that includes good communication. I felt like this book includes a great guy-girl friendship with not-great communication. 


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HOW I Felt After Re-ReadingGulp, I tried to be more open-minded with this reread. I did. 

It started out easily for me, but I have to admit to falling into the same feelings of frustration again. On this third read, I was successful at not feeling so hard on these two. But by about two-thirds into the story, I was sighing and shaking my head at parts that I'M SO SURE most of you swoon over. Here's part of my last reread review for this book and I think it sums up how I felt really well:

"I get Anna. I do. She's the high-schooler with the crush that turns into love - but you see, she falls in love with her guy friend. And this guy friend has a girlfriend. So what does she do? She just keeps being a really good friend to him while her heart just breaks over and over. Sure, there's more to it than that. But not really. 
And St. Clair. So swoony, this guy. Such a fun friend and then OOPS! he falls in love with Anna. Still, he stays with his girlfriend. While he is in love with his friend. Who is also in love with him. Yes, there's more to it than that. But not really.
I MEAN, IT AIN'T LIKE THEY DON'T KNOW THEY'RE IN LOVE. GAH."

YES, St. Clair is hella swoony. But HE IS ALSO A PLAYER and kind of a jerk for how everything goes down, in my opinion. And YES, Anna is a bumbly young gal that is pretty typical for someone her age -- BUT SHE KNEW THAT HE HAD A GIRLFRIEND. So, you know, this story is pretty tricky for me and I eventually just wanted it to be over so I could move on with the series because I already knew how it would end. Cute story, but I'm just not on the St. Clair bandwagon. 


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WOULD I Re-Read AgainI can't say for sure if I'll be revisiting this one again. There are so many things that I enjoyed about it. There are so many times I reread phrases because I think Stephanie Perkins is whip-smart and nailed being young and having that crush that you just can't act on. But this is the third go with Anna and 
St. Clair and while it has gotten better with each reread, I think that I'm probably just going to devote my time to the other bazillion books that I want to read so badly. 

ALSO: it should be noted that I immediately began Lola and the Boy Next Door. I blew through it and while my thoughts on that one are forthcoming, I'll go ahead and tell you that I'm pretty sure about my feelings on that one right away. I'm waiting for Isla and the Happily Ever After to become available to me in both print and audiobook formats at the library 'cause you guys know I have to have both or things get kind of crazy around here. 

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Anna and the French Kiss will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary Romance
Romance: Love Triangle. 
(Painful for me even though I am not anti-triangle.)
Great setting: Paris

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
is currently available for purchase.

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Audiobook Notes: The Anna and the French Kiss audiobook is published by Listening Library and is 10 hours, 29 minutes long, Unabridged. The book is narrated by Kim Mai Guest who does a pretty good job with all of the accent parts and non-accent parts. More than anything else, I appreciate that this narrator is able to capture all of the happiness, all of the frustration, all of the confusion, all of the everything - all of the emotions that go along with this period of time in a young person's life and this situation in particular. I enjoyed this reread via audiobook even more than the last audiobook reread and would still wholeheartedly recommend an audio read of this book for first listen or reread. Fans of this book will want a copy for their audio library. 

I wish I could LOVE this book but I feel like 
swoony St. Clair is the thing holding me back! 
Friends need to have open communication, 
even when it is tough. 

Readers that do LOVE this book: why? 
Is it because of St. Clair? 

And if you do not love it: why? 
Is it because of St. Clair? 

I'M SO CURIOUS! 

*This format for my ReRead Review is inspired by Hannah from So Obsessed With and Kelly from Belle of the Literati. Thank you, ladies!  






2 comments:

  1. I totally know how you feel! I ended up rating this book 4 stars, but I did have a problem with St Clair staying with his gf FOR SO LONG. If he didn't love her and was falling for someone else, he should have broken up with her. Period. I'm glad the book wasn't from his perspective or I probably would have been even more mad. :/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, St. Clair is swoony but I agree he's also a jerk. I even said the same thing on my review. LOL I enjoyed this book and rated it 4/5 stars, though. :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

    ReplyDelete

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