Contrary to my rating, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is not a terrible book. It’s really not. How could a bad book have such a huge fan base (unless we’re talking about FSOG)? Reviewers and readers alike have given ANNA a high rating. ANNA has a 4.2 average rating on GR and my friends have given it an average of 4.45. And for the reviewers I follow? Almost all fours and fives.
So, why didn’t I like it?
I really should like the book. ANNA is adorable. Well, it’s by Stephanie Perkins who is universally known as one of the cutest people ever! ANNA is funny and sweet. However, even with all that’s going for it, ANNA didn’t meet my colossal expectations set by my Oceana and my other friends.
Personally, the biggest problem with ANNA is fairly simple. I know I’m going to have fangirls attack me for saying this but my biggest problem is that…
I hate St. Clair and Anna.
There, I said it. *pulls out shield* Almost everyone loves St. Clair. He’s in almost everyone’s book boyfriend list. I do get why people like him. He can be funny and sweet. My problem with him is that he’s a huge asshole.
Before you start sharpening your weapons, hear me out. I’ll admit, there are times where I can see where the ANNA lovers are coming from. Like I said, he’s cute. My biggest problem with him lies with how he was leading on Anna – even though he’s “taken”.
How am I supposed to like a guy blatantly flirts with another girl even though he’s supposedly madly in love with his girlfriend? Anna rather plainly shows interest in him and St. Clair doesnothing to stop her or even tell her that he’s not interested.
St. Clair even goes as far as to discourage guys who show any interest in Anna.
St. Clair doesn’t make one move to break up with his current girlfriend, hoping to get the best of both worlds. This isn’t a character I can find romantic, despite the fact that he’s cute and funny. I wish I could love him as much as everyone else does but sadly, I don’t.
Anna. Anna freaking Oliphant. This girl guys…
To be nice, I’ll start of with a positive thing. Anna,
when not being an annoying bitch, is pretty funny. Her humor reminded me a lot of Katy from Obsidian except she wasn’t nearly as awesome as Katy was.
Ok, I’m done with being nice for now.
Anna hated any girl who looked at St. Clair. I didn’t know you could be a possessive imaginary girlfriend but good job Anna, you did the impossible. Go get a gold star.
Most girls were painted in a negative light. Every girl eventually morphed into a jealous bitch. Even Mer, Anna’s bff, was reduced to an angry bitch by the end.
A major gripe with Anna was her tendency to slut shamed. To tell you the truth, I sometimes find it hard to find slut shaming – even when it’s pretty easy to see. But this example wasn’t exactly subtle:
“Arse. She’s not going as a slutty nurse.”
“Just a regular one?” I ask innocently. “With a low cut dress and really big breasts?“
Could she have been any less subtle? I think not.
Anna was also incredibly stupid at times. Apparently she was not only bad at French, she couldn’t tell what a French word sounds like. Guys, even if you never learned any French, couldn’t you tell that something like tout pourvoir is French just by looking at the word? No, our smart Anna had no clue that tout pourvoir is French.
With all that said, Anna isn’t a terrible character all the time. She’s sarcastic and humorous. I did like her sometimes but for the most part, she annoyed me with all her whining and complaining.
As I said earlier, I really hate St. Clair. I also gave you my reason for saying that so I’ll just cover the positive aspects (because there are some) and move on with the review.
St. Clair can be unbelievably cute at times. I don’t see how he’s the best guy in the world but I don’t think I ever will. He’s definitely not perfect, which necessarily isn’t a bad thing. It is a bad thing when these imperfections involve being a insufferableasshole.
Another big problem with the MCs was the common trope where everyone thinks the MC is the most gorg gurl ever (and the MC doesn’t realize it) and everyone in the world lusts over the love interest.
As for the side characters, my problem was that their only personality trait was funny. They were used to add humor into the book.
Now, I like funny just as much as the next guy but I do hate when characters are only used for comedic effect and for furthering the plot and nothing else. There weren’t any minor characters I really loved. I don’t know if this makes any sense but I didn’t likethem but their humor.
Plot and Writing
Plotwise, ANNA isn’t so strong (because the characters are obviously amazing). It is quite obvious that ANNA is a very character driven book. It follows a very routine story outline in which the main character moves to a new city and joins a new school.
There is no definite plot to ANNA, more of a series of events leading up to the big kiss. I can’t really dock any points for the lack of plot because in many purely contemporary YA romances, there isn’t much of a plot unless it’s a “girl is in horrible accident, recovers, and finds love” story.
No one can say that Perkins is a bad writer. She’s got a lot of talent, if only she used that to tell the story of two better characters.
Her writing is adorable. It can make me smile even when I really didn’t want to find the scenes adorable. Even despite how much I hate Anna as a character, her narrative voice was engaging and entertaining.
Likes and Dislikes
There are a lot of fans for this book but I’m definitely not one of them. I can’t recommend this book and after this, I’m not sure if I’ll try another Perkins book