Friday, May 3, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss
 By Stephanie Perkins

Anna has been forced to spend her last year of high school at the School of America in Paris, France. Although this may seem like a wonderful opportunity for the rest of us, Anna knows nothing about France, the French language or even living away from her mother and friends in Atlanta. Now she has to figure out how to order breakfast, make friends and get over being away from the boy on whom she had just begun to have a crush. Then she meets Etienne St. Clair. Too bad he is already taken.

Anna and St. Clair become good friends and there are hints they could be more throughout the book. Both come to realize things about themselves through their mishaps with one another. If only they could really communicate! I liked the way Perkins allowed their friendship to develop, although I felt it was a bit strained toward the end. I especially liked how hard Anna worked to pretend she did not have any romantic feelings toward St. Clair.

I also enjoyed getting to know Paris through Anna's eyes. Perkins opens up the City of Lights bit by bit through Anna's adventures. Although she is painfully shy, Anna slowly adapts to her new surroundings and really begins to blossom. The one thing I did not like was the drama in the school toward the end of the book -- it seemed contrived and over the top.

What did this book have to do with my faith? I realize how introverted I still am when I see how Anna interacts with her new surroundings. Like me, Anna is most comfortable in familiar surroundings. It takes someone like St. Clair to encourage her to explore and try new things. In doing so, Anna discovers how much the French like movies which fits in with her own desire to be a movie critic. In our faith life we need other followers to get us out of our comfortable surroundings, try new things, discover what God has waiting for us around the next bend. We might find that our true purpose is just beyond our current location.

I recommend Anna and the French Kiss.

Happy reading!


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