ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins (Dutton 2010) is impossible to pigeonhole. Is there romance? Yep. Is it a typical romance novel? Not in the least. Does it deal with issues of family, especially families split by divorce? Sure. Is it a story about divorce? Not really.
Meet Anna. Her father, a pop novelist, has sent her to France to a fancy boarding school to broaden her horizons. Trouble is, Anna does not desire to be broadened. But when she makes friends including the handsome and charming Etienne St. Clair, Anna feels a trifle less abandoned. But Etienne sends mixed signals. Does he want to be just friends or is there more to their relationship? Debut author Perkins manages to take what could be a fairly predictable genre and create something more. Good humor, stranger in a strange land elements, families in turmoil. Misunderstood friends and shifting friendships. Even some mean girl bullies. All this set against the wonderful City of Lights which serves not only as a backdrop but as a metaphor for what is going on in Anna's life. <54>
Reading Ladder thoughts:
LOOKING FOR ALASKA
GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY trilogy