Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

I've always loved stories about international schools. There's just something so exciting about the whole experience of going to a new place, making new friends, and having adventures in unfamiliar cities. That in itself is something I can always appreciate, but now that I have had my own study abroad experience in London, my favorite part of this "genre" has become the personal metamorphosis of the protagonist. It's impossible to go somewhere new for an extended period of time and not change to some extent, and these novels do a great job of showing how these inner shifts can play a huge factor in the way relationships with people back home, as well as the new friends abroad, can change.

My old favorite book in this genre was Bloomability, by Sharon Creech, but I think I have a new favorite that blows it out of the water because of the explosive and wonderful relationship between the two main characters Anna and Etienne: Anna and the French Kiss!

Anna and the French Kiss is such a wonderful book. I just finished reading it yesterday, but I've been picking it up again and again and again to read my favorite passages. It made me laugh out loud several times. It made me feel like a giddy teenager again (although, considering I'm only twenty, that wasn't that long ago), but most of all, it made me wish I was back in London so I could try and find my own Etienne- who, despite his name (and nationality, as you'll see if you read the book), is quite the Brit. Anna, in the passionate way it describes Paris along with its characters, breathes life into the city so delightfully that I want to go back there with this book in tow.

Anna and the French Kiss has been getting excellent reviews, and I honestly have nothing new to say that doesn't repeat what so many other bloggers have already said about this wonderful book. But from one former study abroad student to another (even though she is fictional), thanks for your story! You've inspired me to try and put the experiences I had in London into prose. Hopefully, I can reach others the same way you and Etienne reached me. :)


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