The Anna & The French Kiss Series Review
Anna and the French Kiss (Book #1) | Lola and the Boy Next Door (Book #2) | Isla and the Happily Ever After (Book #3)
What is the series about?
For all you standalone lovers, you are in LUCK. Because this is not a series you need to read chronologically as they're all stories that stand well on their own. Of course... I still suggest you do read them in order to get the full experience as old characters are reintroduced in each book but you definitely don't need to! The books are totally different from each other, following the arcs of different characters but they're all amazing contemporaries with great writing. In Anna & the French Kiss, the story's centered around a girl named Anna and her adventures in Paris. Lola & the Boy Next Door follows Lola in San Francisco and Isla & the Happily Ever After is about Isla in New York. So there're fun destinations, great characters and amazing writing all around.
How did you hear about this series?
Most likely from the blogosphere although my memory is shaky so I could be wrong but seeing as I learn about most books from the blogosphere anyway, I'm probably right. At the time I first learned of book blogging in 2012, I don't imagine that Anna was out for very long so was probably all the rage then and me, being in love with contemporaries set abroad, would have most likely been all grabby hands for it.
What attracted you to the series?
First and foremost, it's a contemporary. And I LOVE contemporaries. Favourite genre, hands down. There isn't even any room to consider competition. So chances are, if you're a book labelled as a contemporary, you're already a ballot in the race. And if you're a contemporary set abroad? That's another ballot added for you, Mr. Book. And if it's in a place I've wanted to visit for AGES? With the promise of an adorable romance? With a lot of people already singing your praises? Well then that's pretty much a done deal for me.
Anna and the French Kiss (Book #1) | See my review here
I read this book over two years ago but I still remember my reactions crystal clear. Practically tailored to be a favourite of mine forevermore. The writing was hilarious and easy to read. The characters were awesome - I loved the gang at the boarding school. Anna and Etienne were also super easy to root for even if they did get themselves in a rather sticky situation that maybe wasn't very smart on their part. The setting was fantastic; Paris was truly brought to life in this book and I LOVED that. It's always a disappointment when a book is set in such an interesting location but there is very little to no effort made to really bring that setting to life and utilize the full potential of it. But luckily, there is none of that in this book. There really are very little faults I can find with Anna, even two and a half years later. So what else do I need to say?
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Book #2) | See my review here
In many ways, Lola was a book I loved even more than Anna, if that was even possible. Lola as a character just stood out to me more with her outgoing personality and eccentric fashion sense. I found myself really being able to relate to her. And HER DADS. Family is such an important part of daily life, I'm sure, and I love reading about it in YA especially. And in Lola, there's such a strong sense of family with her two amazing dads that I just loved so, so dearly. Then there's Cricket who you cannot possibly hate. And just MAN what a wonderful book.
Isla and the Happily Ever After (Book #3)
Isla and I got off to a rocky start even before I had read it. I was so excited when it came out, I literally ran to the bookstore first thing in the morning but then once I had gotten it, the fear settled in. I call it the final book syndrome when I'm just so scared about how things are going to end that I push the book aside. And that's exactly what I did. For over a year. I pushed Isla to the side until I finally read it and... loved it. Isla was a refreshing departure from Anna & Lola: a different look at a relationship and a more mature voice. Although I did also have qualms with Isla and Josh's characters, I also thought Isla was a great ending to the series, particularly because it had me wanting to reread the series all over again - something I think should be a hallmark of a great final installment.
What was your favourite book?
NOPE. NOT DOING THIS TO MYSELF. Although I'd probably say Lola because I think I had the strongest reaction after reading it. But maybe also Anna? It's hard to rank these books but I know Isla would not be my favourite as a fact - it'd probably be somewhere in the middle - so it's either Anna or Lola. But probably Lola. SO HARD THOUGH. They're really so close in level of affection that the difference between each one is minuscule. Like you'd have to get a super high power microscope to see the difference. So seriously, don't even take this section into consideration. It's pointless.
What was your least favourite book?
Tough decision once again but I would probably say Anna, simply by virtue that it was the book I have the faintest memory of. Because really, how could I pick any of these books over the others? I have so much love for them equally that it's nearly unthinkable. But say, if this were a life or death decision, if I was being held at knife-point until I gave out an answer, Anna would probably be my choice.
What was your reaction upon finishing the series?
I'M NOT READY FOR THIS TO BE OVER? WHAT. But seriously, why did it have to be over? I would have been so content with Stephanie Perkins never writing anything else but these books. Like Meredith? I could so get behind a book about Meredith. And Josh's ex who's name I'm blanking on? And KURT? How fantastic would a Kurt book be? (So fantastic.)
Was the pacing good?
Since these books all pretty much stand alone by themselves, pacing is basically a non-issue.
Was the ending satisfying?
Well... I mean... I LOVED Isla & the Happily Ever After (as much as the other two is still up for debate) so I would say I'm pretty satisfied. You could definitely see the progression in narration and characters and story by Isla and I loved that. Plus I was super happy with how all the characters ended up so yeah. A ton of lovey eyes all around.
What did you like about the series?
Freaking everything! The characters were amazing. I loved Anna and Lola and Isla. I loved Etienne and Cricket and Josh. The secondary characters were all so great as well. The setting of each book was great and sated the inner traveller in me. And the writing is so easy to read and so funny and MAN, these books are just the epitome of the ultimate pick me up read. They're just so wonderfully sweet with great characters and interesting storylines. If you don't end the series with a goofy grin on your face... I don't even know who you are.
What didn't you like about the series/what could have been better?
Honestly, I just want MORE. MORE MORE MORE. (In other words, this question is impossible. Anna is PERFECT. There is no answer to this question.)
Who would you recommend this to?
If you're a fan of sweet romances, this is the perfect series for you. It's witty, it's interesting and there is never a dull moment with Anna and the gang. I would highly recommend this to fans of Emery Lord, Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han... just to name a few authors. But seriously, read this series. One of my favourite YA series of all time. And if you're a contemporary fan, YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. You must. You must.
READ THIS SERIES. That is it. If I haven't convinced you by now, I don't know what else to do! This series is fantastic; YOU SHOULD READ IT. (But probablyyy most of you already have. So let's reminisce together on how amazing Anna was.)