My Blind Date With A Book


Aiden McKinney, Junior Broadcast Assistant

I can still feel the sweet, cool Paris air. I can still see the sunset above the river. And I can still feel the vivid French romance this book is overflowing with. 

I didn’t realize I would experience this, however, when I walked into a Barnes and Noble one day. But I was soon met with a surprise, a wall fall of wrapped-up books. Each one had a cryptic description, and each one made me yearn to discover their secrets. So many choices…but the one that I chose was labeled as a “teen romance in a boarding school.” My mind raced as to what book this could be…before I saw a book I had never seen before. Anna and the French Kiss. This peachy-colored book was created by Stephanie Perkins, and I didn’t know how to feel yet. It was a blind date, what was I expecting? But I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed, it seemed almost…bland? Not that I’d ever say that to its face, of course.      

However, I gave it a fair chance. Little did I know how much this book would surprise me. 

We start off being shipped away to France…exciting, right? Not for Anna, unfortunately. As complicated as her relationship is with her dad, she loves her home. Her mom, her little brother, Sean, and her best friend Bridge and the hot guy at the theater she works at, Toph. What could some foreign country with a whole new school have to offer her? (Movie critique)

At first, the School of America is nothing like America…confusing French menu, taken cute French boys, and a bully who has already singled her out. 

However, in the overwhelming mess of France, Anna meets a new friend named Meredith, who introduces Anna to Josh and Rashmi, the power couple, and the popular boy, St. Clair. She begins to grow closer with her new friends, but with St. Clair she finds her favorite classmate. They begin to spend valuable time together, making jokes, laughing way too loud, and enjoying each other’s company. But one dark truth swimming under the surface rears its ugly head…St. Clair has a girlfriend! But Anna doesn’t like him that way…right? 

But as time goes on a bond becomes undeniable…but what does that mean for the two of them? Does St. Clair just view her as a close friend? But before they know it, it’s Thanksgiving break, and the only students not returning home…are Anna and St. Clair! So they begin to make plans to go see more French films and have Thanksgiving dinner. But there’s a change in St. Clair…his gazes last longer, his laughs are heartier, and his words are sweeter. And he’s not ready to stop spending time with Anna after a simple dinner and movie. So together they explore the beautiful City of Lights, and they begin to feel the two of them are the only ones left in the world. 

However, Christmas bells soon ring and Anna and St. Clair both go to their respective homes. During that time, though, all they can do is call, laughing and talking into the quiet hours of the night. And when they finally reunite in Paris, Anna realizes an undeniable fact…she’s in love with St. Clair. This soon leads to awkwardness…how is she supposed to handle this “thing” when she’s in love and she’s almost sure he feels the same way? There’s just one thing keeping her from confessing…St. Clair still had a girlfriend. No matter how much they bicker and don’t spend time together, he still can’t see that Anna is surely better for him. Right? 

But no matter how much her feelings change, St. Clair’s do not. So ultimately Anna does something to help push down her feelings…she begins to date a new guy! Unfortunately he is nothing like the St. Clair she compares him too, starting an ugly rumor that causes Anna to heavily regret her decisions. 

One day, whether it’s the emotional time away from home, the romantic Paris air, or the temptation of the charming French boy, Anna can’t help but kiss St. Clair! Unfortunately, this leads to her friends…and St. Clair’s girlfriend…beginning to hate her. 

Times begin to feel as dark as they can feel for Anna, but soon St. Clair revealing his emotional struggles to Anna escalates to a confession…or more, a declaration…of love! And the rest of the year, Anna and St. Clair gets what they really want. And Anna, of course, gets her French kiss.

Now, this blind date was definitely an experience for me. But was it a good one? Absolutely! 

Not knowing what book I would get was a fun surprise, and I ended up falling in love with the world and characters of this book. It began to feel more like a way to talk to friends in Paris than the pretentious love story I feared it might be. It had its issues, but don’t we all? 

As much as I recommend this book, I also recommend giving a blind date with a book a try…you never know when you might end up with a keeper!