Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A high school girl falls in love while studying in Paris.


"Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins is a captivating young adult novel that takes readers on a journey to the city of love, Paris. This heartwarming coming-of-age story follows Anna Oliphant, an American teenager who is forced to leave her hometown and attend a boarding school in Paris. As she navigates new friendships, explores the enchanting city, and grapples with her feelings for a charming boy, Anna learns valuable lessons about love, independence, and self-discovery. Through its engaging narrative and relatable characters, the novel explores themes of friendship, romance, and the excitement of new beginnings.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story unfolds in Paris, where Anna Oliphant finds herself at the School of America in Paris (SOAP) for her senior year of high school. Initially reluctant and homesick, Anna gradually begins to embrace the vibrant city and form meaningful connections with her peers. She befriends the charismatic Étienne St. Clair, who becomes a central figure in her Parisian adventures. As Anna and Étienne grow closer, their relationship becomes increasingly complex, leading to a series of emotional and transformative experiences.


The majority of the story takes place in Paris, France, a city renowned for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and romantic ambiance. The iconic landmarks, charming streets, and bustling cafes provide a picturesque backdrop for the characters' experiences and interactions.

Main Characters

The novel features a diverse cast of characters, each contributing to Anna's journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Anna OliphantA spirited and relatable American teenager who undergoes a transformative experience in Paris.
Étienne St. ClairA charming and enigmatic student at SOAP with a complex personal history and undeniable allure.
Meredith "Mer" ChevalierAnna's compassionate and witty friend at SOAP who offers support and companionship.
RashmiA confident and outspoken student at SOAP who becomes an integral part of Anna's social circle.

Chapters Summary

Chapters 1-5

Anna arrives in Paris, feeling overwhelmed and out of place at SOAP. She meets her new roommates, Meredith and Rashmi, and begins to navigate the challenges of adjusting to a new school and a foreign city. Anna's initial impressions of the school and its students set the stage for her transformative journey.

Chapters 6-10

As Anna explores Paris and forms deeper connections with her peers, she develops a growing fascination with Étienne St. Clair. Their interactions become increasingly significant, leading to moments of both joy and heartache for Anna. The complexities of friendship and romance come to the forefront, shaping Anna's emotional landscape.

Chapters 11-15

Tensions and misunderstandings arise within Anna's social circle, testing the strength of her friendships and her burgeoning feelings for Étienne. The interplay between loyalty, attraction, and personal growth becomes a focal point, as Anna grapples with the complexities of her evolving relationships.

Chapters 16-20

Anna's experiences in Paris culminate in pivotal moments of self-discovery and emotional revelation. Her journey of navigating love, friendship, and identity reaches a turning point, leading to profound insights and transformative realizations that shape her outlook on life and relationships.

Main Events

  1. Anna's arrival in Paris and initial struggles to adapt to her new environment.
  2. The development of Anna's friendships with Meredith, Rashmi, and Étienne.
  3. The exploration of Paris and the city's influence on Anna's personal growth.
  4. The complexities of Anna and Étienne's evolving relationship and the emotional challenges they face.
  5. The culmination of Anna's transformative journey and her newfound understanding of love and independence.

Themes and Insights



The novel delves into the intricacies of friendship, exploring the dynamics of loyalty, support, and the challenges of maintaining meaningful connections in the midst of change and self-discovery.


Through Anna's experiences with Étienne, the story examines the complexities of romantic relationships, addressing themes of attraction, emotional vulnerability, and the pursuit of genuine connection.


Anna's journey in Paris serves as a catalyst for her personal growth, as she grapples with questions of identity, independence, and the pursuit of her own happiness and fulfillment.


The novel offers insights into the transformative power of new experiences, the importance of authenticity in relationships, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of change and uncertainty.

Reader's Takeaway

"Anna and the French Kiss" resonates with readers through its heartfelt exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery. The novel's relatable characters, engaging narrative, and evocative setting invite readers to embrace the joys and challenges of new beginnings, while discovering the beauty of personal growth and the enduring power of genuine connections.


Stephanie Perkins' "Anna and the French Kiss" weaves a captivating tale of love, friendship, and self-discovery, set against the enchanting backdrop of Paris. Through Anna's transformative journey, readers are immersed in a narrative that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact of genuine connections. As the characters navigate the complexities of relationships and personal growth, the novel imparts valuable insights into the universal themes of love, friendship, and the pursuit of authenticity. With its compelling storytelling and relatable themes, "Anna and the French Kiss" offers a poignant and memorable reading experience for audiences of all ages.

Anna and the French Kiss FAQ

  1. What is 'Anna and the French Kiss' about?

    Anna and the French Kiss is a young adult romance novel about a girl named Anna who is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. There, she meets a charming and handsome boy named Etienne St. Clair and the story follows their budding romance.

  2. Who is the author of 'Anna and the French Kiss'?

    Stephanie Perkins is the author of 'Anna and the French Kiss'.

  3. Is 'Anna and the French Kiss' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Anna and the French Kiss' is the first book in a companion trilogy. The other books in the series are 'Lola and the Boy Next Door' and 'Isla and the Happily Ever After'.

  4. What is the target audience for 'Anna and the French Kiss'?

    The target audience for 'Anna and the French Kiss' is young adult readers, typically ages 13 and up.

  5. Is 'Anna and the French Kiss' a standalone novel or does it end on a cliffhanger?

    While 'Anna and the French Kiss' is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone novel and does not end on a cliffhanger.