Anna and the French Kiss
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Penguin Group
Number of Pages: 384 (paperback)
Advertised Age Level: Ages 12 and up
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 17/18 – seniors in high school
Language: limited profanity, limited use of the “f” word
Sex: kissing, vague references to sex
Drug/Alcohol Use: characters get drunk
Violence: characters get into small fights
Social Issues: first love, experiencing new cultures, independence, dysfunctional families
Suggested Movie Grade: PG-13
Anna is horrified when her father decides to send her to Paris to attend the School of America for her senior year. She leaves behind friends and a potential romance with cutie Toph for a city where she doesn’t speak the language or know a single soul. Thankfully, she quickly makes friends with Meridith, Rashmi, Josh, and the charming, beautiful Etienne St. Clair. Half French, half American, raised in London, St. Clair introduces Anna to the wonders of Paris, and the two quickly become friends. Anna can’t help growing more attracted to St. Clair, but he already has a girlfriend. Even as it seems St. Clair shares her romantic feelings, he won’t take that last step, and Anna despairs that they will never be more than friends.
Potential Points of Concern:
Anna’s father sends her away from home for her senior year and seems unconcerned about the trauma and pain this causes his daughter. St. Clair’s father is manipulative and cruel to St. Clair and his mother.
St. Clair’s mother is diagnosed with cervical cancer and undergoes treatment. This happens off-screen and she recovers.
In Paris, young adults are allowed to consume alcohol at an earlier age. St. Clair becomes drunk more than once, and Anna gets drunk on her 18th birthday. Both experiences lead to hangovers.
The kids live in a co-ed dormitory. St. Clair spends a couple of nights sleeping in Anna’s bed – the two remain fully clothed and nothing sexual happens – the encounter is strictly platonic.
References to certain couples having sex but nothing graphic described at all. The dormitory’s residence director keeps a bowl of condoms by his door for students’ use.
Anna is called a slut after a boy she dated and a mean girl spread false rumors that she slept with the boy.
Age Appropriateness: 13 +