Anna and the French Kiss : A Series Review

Posted July 16, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Anna and the French Kiss : A Series ReviewAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on December 2, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Travel, Romance, YA
Pages: 372
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars

Anna has everything figured out - she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere... Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

I have been reading a lot of fantasy and fairy tale lately and I just needed something…well, not fantasy or fairy tale. So I took to Twitter and was recommended by Danielle at Love at First Page to read the Anna and the French Kiss series. Of course, I’ve heard of this series. I don’t think you can be a YA book blogger without hearing of this series. People gush about, love it, squeal over it. But I honestly didn’t think it’d be a series I would enjoy. Just the title of the first book: Anna and the French Kiss. It sounds so fluffy and like it has no substance but the romance. Buuuuuut I went for it. I checked them out of the library and I went for it. And then I remembered that I used to love books like this. The happy-go-lucky, romantic comedy type of books. And, yes, I loved this series. It was romantic, fun, but it also has substance behind them. And it made me want to travel the entire world…so, yes. Who wants to go with me?

Anyways, Anna and the French Kiss was my favorite out of the three books. St. Clair and Anna are just wonderful together and I was pining for them the entire time. Although St. Clair is so dumb for most of the book…View Spoiler »

I actually wrote down some notes after reading the first chapter of Anna and I thought she was annoying. She was complaining about being sent to Paris and I’m just like:

what

How can you not want to be in Paris? I just didn’t get that and listening to her complain about it seemed melodramatic. Buuuut then I read this line: “If this were a vacation, I’m sure I’d be charmed. I’d buy an Eiffel Tower key chain, take pictures of the cobblestones, and order a platter of escargot. But I’m not on vacation. I am here to live, and I feel small.” That line made me sympathize with her. I understand moving to a new place. I understand feeling small because of it. And I realized that moving to a new country would be ten times that feeling.

After that, I just really liked her character. Stephanie Perkins creates really real characters. Whose thought processes are right on. Basically Anna and the French Kiss is a big book of “Does he like me or not?” This is the question of the ages, my friends

And Anna wasn’t the only very real character. All of them. All of the secondary characters (who may later become main characters in the sequels..). And the boy. St. Clair. I just love him. And I don’t think I would like him like that in real life, to be honest. But for Anna, he’s perfect. But he’s not perfect. He isn’t built up as this ideal boy with no flaws. He has flaws. And I like that. Like I said, Stephanie Perkins creates really real characters.

Also, I had to google how to say Étienne (St. Clair’s first name).

Anna and the French Kiss : A Series ReviewLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Published by Dutton Juvenile on September 29, 2011
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.

That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola's past be the love of her future?

Fall in love with the international bestseller from queen of young adult fiction, Stephanie Perkins.

Lola was actually my least favorite of the three, but it’s ironic because I literally finished it in less than a day. I finished Anna one morning, picked up Lola right after, and was finished before I went to bed that night. I think it’s just my least favorite because I relate to Lola the least.

Lola is the very dynamic girl who is constantly wearing costumes. She dreams of designing outfits for celebrities and movies and she loves being the center of attention. In her costume, of course. I’m just not that type of person. I wear casual clothes and not a lot of makeup and let my hair do whatever it wants (and it’ll do whatever it wants, trust me). And I don’t like to be the center of attention. But, Lola, like I have said, is still very realistic. She has all this big personality traits, but then she still has insecurities. She still worries about what people think of her, especially when she’s just herself: no costume, no makeup, just her.

And let’s just talk about this sentence: “It’s maddening how someone so easy to read can be so impossible to understand.” When I read this sentence…I just stared at it for a minute because I completely get it. I’ve often described boys are being so simple they’re complex. Literally, I feel like boys shouldn’t be so hard to understand…but they are. And I loved this simple sentence that made me feel better about my lack of understanding, hahahah.

And Anna and St. Clair are in this story, too! I forgot to mention earlier. So Anna is the story of Anna and St. Clair at a high school in Paris. Then the following year, Anna and St. Clair both go to (different) schools in California, where Lola lives. And Lola and Anna work at the same movie theater. So in this sequel, Anna is a secondary character, but I loved that they were still in it, because I loved them. Just look at this conversation between St. Clair and Lola:

‘Exactly how far into the future are you planning?’ [Lola to St. Clair]
‘Far.’
The word hangs between us, loaded with strength and meaning…’When it’s right, it’s simple,’ he says to my unasked question. ‘Unlike your hair.’

Lol.

But one thing about this book: Lola opens the story with her boyfriend, Max. And I just wish there was something redeeming about him…because there’s really not. He’s just a toolbag the entire book. Oh well, I guess.

Anna and the French Kiss : A Series ReviewIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton Juvenile on August 14, 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Travel, Romance
Pages: 339
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

And finally, we get to Isla. Which is pronounced Eye-la, by the way. Not Iz-la. Just in case you didn’t know.

Isla is probably who I would relate to the most out of the three girls. This story takes us back to the school in Paris, where Isla is now a senior who has a major crush on Josh (one of the secondary characters and best friends of St. Clair from Anna). Isla is quiet and more reserved, but she is fiercely loyal. To her friend Kurt who has autism. To Josh whose she’s been crushing on for a year. And, eventually, to her family, her sisters, though she might have not realized it at first.

This book is different from the first two, in that she and Josh kind of realize they like each other in the very beginning. The book is instead about how they struggle to know their true feelings and they struggle to overcome barriers that try to keep them apart. And ultimately it makes them stronger.

Also they travel to Spain in part of the book and I want to go back to Spain! Someone, please, take me back.

View Spoiler »

So, overall, this series is beautiful. If you like contemporary or romantic comedy movies, you’d like this series. And each character is so different and so unique and so real, that you’re bound to really connect with at least one, if not all, of them.

And yes, they’re pretty fluffy. But fluffy isn’t always bad. And this gif is now necessary for this moment.

fluffy

 

four-stars

  • I loved Anna and the French Kiss! I still have to get around to buying Lola and Isla to read, because they sound good too. I’m sorry that Lola wasn’t as good as the other two. :/

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    • No, it’s not that Lola wasn’t as good as the other ones…just that I didn’t relate to her as much as I did with Anna or Isla. I think that’ll be different for each person!

      And, yes, if you loved Anna, you should read the other two for sure! They’re super fast and I love them.

  • Like the masses, I also loved Anna and the French Kiss! Unfortunately, I didn’t fall in love with the other two books in the series (Lola & Isla). And if I had to pick a LEAST favorite, I’d definitely agree with you – Lola.

    • Yeah she was just the least relatable to me cause I’m definitely not one to enjoy being the center of attention. I’d much rather be reading and writing in my little corner of the internet-sphere, lol.