Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Discussion: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (@naturallysteph)

Are you guys hot? Cause we're smoking! Happy July everyone. I hope all your summers are going as well as ours. Last month we brought you some sexy, this month we are bringing you some sweet and ironically, more frenchness! (Not a word, I know. Go with it!) If you haven't read our review on the book first, go do that now.

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven't read the book yet (or our review), be careful of what you read from this point on. Few spoilers throughout. But if you've read the book, then join us!

  1. How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to “get into it”? How did you feel reading it? 
Nikki: At first I was annoyed with it. I wasn't into Anna’s complaining. I found myself putting it down very often. But something about St. Clair and the whole boarding school experience really made me continue reading.

Keira: I agree. In the beginning I found Anna frustrating and the story wasn't holding my attention. Luckily, that didn't last long.
  1. How important is the setting to the story? How would it have played out differently in a different setting? 
Nikki: Since the setting is pretty much in the title, I think it is very important. Personally, I don’t think that it could have worked elsewhere. There is something about Paris that pulls you into this romantic place. I've never been but reading about all the places Anna and her friends go, made me really wish I was there. Seeing what she saw, experiencing what she did.

Keira: Anna and the French Kiss wouldn't have worked if say, I don’t know, Anna was going to school in Seattle. The Parisian atmosphere made me feel like I could touch France, which has always been a place I wanted to visit, and now doubly so. In my opinion, the setting was the most important thing about the story.
  1. Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?
Nikki: I loved Rashmi. There was something about her that made me want to be her friend. She had this brutal honesty yet was vulnerable at the same time. My least was Dave Higgenbottom. I mean, with a name like Higgenbottom you just expect an ass. And he did not disappoint.

Keira: St. Clair! As I said in my review, he was real. He had highs and lows, as we all do. I also loved Josh. He seemed so out of place at SOAP, but his character always seemed to know when to and when not to say things. I found him a great addition to the story. My least favorite was Topher, and probably Bridgette, too. I mean, HE HOOKED UP WITH HER BEST FRIEND AND THE BEST FRIEND LET IT HAPPEN!
  1. What moral/ethical choices did the characters make? What did you think of those choices? 
Nikki: The choice St. Clair made to NOT break up with Ellie the moment he caught feelings for Anna. I mean, he could had many chances to end it but no, he kept stringing both girls along. It was just a dick move all around.

Keira: That was an incredibly IMMORAL choice. I hated that, too. Anna struggled with her like of St. Clair because of her friendship with Meredith. I really appreciated that. Of course, lust always wins, but the attempt was nice, nonetheless.
  1. Do the main characters change by the end of the book? 
Nikki: I believe they do. I think Anna and the rest of her friends realize that change isn't bad and things don’t need to stay the same. And being alone isn't all that bad.

Keira: Anna definitely changed. She was all but a different person by the time the year ended. I think she was taught some great values as she embarked on this accidental journey of self discovery, and found a lot out about herself; her likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc.
  1. What did you think of the ending?
Nikki: I thought it was really sweet. Like sickeningly sweet but that isn't a bad thing. I am happy that everyone got a happy ending even if it wasn't in the way they originally thought things would turn out.

Keira: It was sweet. Getting to that point was irritating at time because I just wanted to scream, “Would you kiss and make up already?” since Anna and √Čtienne seemed to be fighting for 70% of the story, but the ending made up for it and was gratifying.
  1. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?
Nikki: I would ask her how she chose the movies that Anna went to see. I felt like each one held a purpose in one way or another. And being a film geek myself, I want to know everything pertaining to the movies.

Keira: I would want to know why she made St. Clair so short! Was it to humanize him or is she just into short men? His height made me so uncomfortable. Not because he was short, but because she kept talking about it!
  1. What surprised you the most about the book?
Nikki: The fact that St. Clair was short! I kept flipping back and forth in my mind of how short and tall he was. It caused me a little distress.

Keira: LOL I’m glad I wasn't the only one! I couldn't understand that. What was the point? Okay, so what surprised me the most was Bridgette and Toph. I really thought Bridgette was a good friend, and well, friends don’t do that. It’s cool that Anna forgave her, but I really didn't think she should have.
  1. If you could smack any of the characters upside the head, who would it be and why? 
Nikki: Can I say all of the guys? I mean each and every one of them did something that was smack worthy. Yep, every male character in this book.

Keira: St. Clair for not breaking up with Ellie sooner. Anna’s dad for being a complete tool. St. Clair’s dad for dbag. Dave for lying. Yeah, what Nikki said. The guys in this book were ridiculous.

Oh St. Clair....

See ya next month!

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