05 July 2013

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

How cute was THIS book? YA is in this pattern, as Alice has pointed out , of following either the Stephenie Meyer or the John Green paths of fiction; that is, the Possibly Paranormal but Definitely Controlling Boyfriend and Mary Sue Path, or the Super-Witty Self-Aware-Teen Path. Two paths, someone once said, diverged in a wood, and Stephanie Perkins took neither of them.

I worked hard on that metaphor

Anna’s dad is a pretentious author who decides that she needs to spend her senior year at a school for Americans in Paris instead of in her own hometown. Anna, being a teenager, vigorously protests this move because she didn’t think of it first.

I really liked how… teenager-ish this novel was. Anna does stupid things, kids drink without someone dying (it’s legal in Paris which is why no one has to Learn a Lesson about Drinking), characters miscommunicate and then figure it out – or not, and despite the setting of Paris – which seems not quite like a real place to me – it’s realistic and adorable.

“Beautiful. He called me beautiful! But wait. I don’t like Dave.
Do I like Dave?”

Being a teenager is so confusing.

“We stop at a red light. Mom stares at me. ‘You like him.’”

And embarrassing.

So good for you, Stephanie Perkins, for creating interesting teenagers upon whom adults can smile sagely, and to whom teenagers themselves can relate without reinforcing their terrible relationships or their self-satisfaction.

And hey, congratulations for actually completing NaNiWriMo!

8 out of 11 Lost Dorm Room Keys