I pretty much read every spare second I have in the day and usually, it’s something new. But every now and then I need to pick up a book that I know will make me smile, make me feel good, because I’ve had a bad day and need something comforting and familiar. There’s a few titles that have found their way on to my ‘comfort book’ list but the one I seem to gravitate toward every time is:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I loved the other two books in the series(and Isla will forever hold a special place in my heart for the PEI mention) but Anna is where it all started. It’s light and fluffy with just a hint of drama and it never fails to bring a smile to my face when I need it.
This was my WoW pick(hosted by Breaking the Spine) way back on October 9th 2013. Such a long time ago. Back then, I’d said:
“Anticipation level: 10/10. Books like this are the reason time machines should already exist.”
And I still completely agree with it! I reviewed it and I couldn’t say enough great things. It was perfect, the whole series was perfect. This is a series I could read again and again and it’s one I recommend to anyone.
Isla and the Happily Ever After
Isla and Josh have gone to the same school for years but have never really known each other. That all changes their senior year, after a random meeting in a coffee shop in New York sparks something that follows them to school in Paris.
I would say this was my favourite book out of the series(but I might be biased by how Isla got her name). It took everything I loved about the first two books and combined them into something I spent all night reading.
I liked the little glimpse we got of Isla in Anna and the French Kiss, but now, in her own book, she really stood out as a character I loved. She was shy and a little awkward, protective of her friends, and she had no idea what she wanted to do after high school. I really liked that this was an ongoing issue throughout the book and the school year instead of being glossed over. I loved Josh in Anna and the French Kiss, I felt for him being younger than all his friends and having to do senior year alone. The more we found out about Josh in this book, the more I felt for him.
I really did enjoy everything about this book. The characters had depth and flaws and struggles and all those things were reasons why Isla and Josh worked so well together, and why Isla’s friendship with Kurt was so memorable, why I can remember Isla’s sisters names(besides the cute name story) even though they played pretty minor roles. If Anna was discovering the touristy Paris, Isla was all about the secret spots only locals know about.
This book could easily stand on its own so a reader doesn’t have to read Anna or Lola to understand the story(but should because they’re awesome). Unlike the first two where the struggle was more about the couple actually getting together, Isla and Josh’s struggle was more about the work it can take to make a relationship last, the accepting of other friendships, past relationships, any and all outside forces that wish to keep them apart. I loved it all.
One last note: beware, this book could cause a book hangover. Proceed with care.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna’s father decides to send her to boarding school for her senior year. In Paris. She has to leave behind her best friend, her job, and the boy she’s crushing on, and start over at a completely new school thousands of miles away. She’s not happy. Until she meets Étienne St Clair. The problem: his serious girlfriend Ellie.
I put off reading this book for a long time because of all the hype but with it being summer, I was in the mood for a good summer read and this was perfect. The romance between characters stayed at a level where I could still enjoy it without feeling it was too juvenile but it wasn’t too graphic so I could still recommend the book to younger readers.
The characters in this book were definitely memorable. Even their names. If I ever hear Anna Oliphant or Étienne St Clair mentioned, I’ll automatically think of this book. Anna’s voice was addicting and felt realistic for her situation. Her growth through the book was at a believable pace and the flaws she had were those a real teenage girl could have. Everything about her gave me a ‘this is a girl I could know in real life’ feeling. The progression of friendship to feelings between Anna and St Clair was just amazing and had me smiling and giggling at times to wanting to scream at them at other times. The three other students who made up Anna’s group of friends, Meredith, Rashmi, and Josh, had their own stories going on that helped make them memorable in their own ways instead of just being there because more characters were needed. I really enjoyed the friendships between Josh and St Clair, Meredith, Rashmi, and Anna, and all five of them.
The book isn’t too short, almost 400 pages, but I could have kept reading if there was more. It was a quick read, light-hearted for the most part with some drama. It’s the perfect book to read outside by the pool in the summer but also curled up by the fireplace in the winter. I’m not sure yet where Lola from the sequel to this book fits in but I’ve already got Lola and the Boy Next Door ordered to find out.
Filed under books, reviews