Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French KissI'd been hearing about Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss since it's release. I'd take note of it and then promptly forget about it. I possibly never would have gotten around to reading it if Leila hadn't kept mentioning it. That would have been a very bad thing because I loved it.

I would have loved it even more if I were in high school because Anna basically gets to live out one of my dreams -- living in Paris. But she gets to do it while she's young and doesn't have to worry about all the bureaucratic nonsense that we adults have to deal with when we live in another country. No, her father, a Nicholas Sparks type of author who writes love stories (not romance novels!) in which people tend to die, decides it's would be a great thing for his status if his daughter went to boarding school in Paris.

Anna promptly makes friends and falls in love with the guy that everyone is in love with. He happens not to only be one of her best friends but also has a girlfriend. They dance around each other and you wonder if either of them will just 'fess up already.

Paris is its own character in the book. Every few chapters I'd look up and whine to Lee that I want to go back to Paris. The crepes ohhh the crepes. What I wouldn't have given for a crepe avec jambon et fromage while reading this. Crepes were our favourite breakfast while we were in Paris. We're grab one by the crepe stand down the street from our hotel. I was partial to the jambon et fromage, Lee like the same but with an oeuf added for the extra protein. We'd pay our few euros (did I mention it was also the cheapest breakfast?) and walk to whatever we wanted to see that day and munch away at our crepes. Highly recommended.

I also had to laugh at myself a little bit while reading about St. Clair's fear of heights. I am not scared of heights but I get vertigo and the teeny-tiny round staircases at most Paris attractions did nothing for me. I really didn't realize how bad my vertigo had gotten until we went to the Arc de Triomphe but it hit its pinnacle somewhere between the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. We went up to the very tip-top of Notre Dame. I had thought that I'd be able to get down and rest for a moment at the main viewing level (basically the middle part of the "H") but that didn't happen so I went all the way from the top to the bottom in one swoop. When we left the staircase I walked about 20 feet away from the building, burst into tears and demanded wine. Luckily wine is really easy to find in Paris in the winter. Vin chaud does a Sassymonkey good.

Anna and the French Kiss was a great read and it brought back fun memories of our trip to Paris. I really, really want to go back now. I hear Paris is lovely in the springtime...