Starred Review for Anna + Gushing Review for Sherlock

I've received the a-okay to share this news. Kirkus gave Anna and the French Kiss a starred review!

"Perkins’s debut surpasses the usual chick-lit fare with smart dialogue, fresh characters and plenty of tingly interactions, all set amid pastries, parks and walks along the Seine in arguably the most romantic city in the world. Sarah Dessen fans will welcome another author who gracefully combines love and realism, as Anna’s story is as much about finding and accepting herself as it is about finding love. Très charmante."

HURRAH!! This was very, very unexpected and very, very exciting! I will happily accept the positive review, but the star? That belongs to my brilliant, instinctive editor. Thank you for making my book worthy, Julie. It's such an honor to work with you.

The full review is available here.

I haven't linked to many blogger reviews, because they tend to be spoiler-y, plus you'd grow tired of me! But since I'm on the subject, I'd like to share three favorites:

Persnickity Snark: "I was losing hope that a contemporary romance could be authentic and deep, self-aware (but not bloated) and fun (without trying too hard) would show its face this year. Perkins threw me a life raft in a sea of bitterness and allowed me to ride the swell of her fantastic debut . . . Full of yearning, laughter and a touch of discord, Perkins has made her mark with great character beats, a genuine friendship and the minutiae that make overseas travel such a unique experience."

Beth Revis: "What ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS has that most other contemporary love stories don't:
  • A very hot boy
    • Who also has flaws and is no where near perfect
  • A very nice girl
    • Who isn't a push-over and is willing to stand up for herself
  • A very beautiful city
    • That's so realistic, it's practically a third main character
  • A plot
    • Yes, really! There's a plot! An actual, interesting plot!"

Lisa Schroeder at YA Bliss: "There were places I laughed out loud, and places I teared up because my heart hurt for the characters. I've always said—my favorite books are the ones that are able to bring that full range of emotions. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is *definitely* one of my favorite books."

Thank you to everyone—listed here and not—for giving me such a bounty of wonderful, thoughtful reviews. I feel unworthy.

But ecstatic!

In non-me news (because seriously), did you guys watch Sherlock last night on PBS?


The new-to-America series consists of three 90-minute episodes. The characters have been shifted into the twenty-first century, and Holmes has become a text-messaging "highly functioning sociopath" and Watson is a blogging Afghanistan war veteran. The show's appearance is cool and stylized, and the writing is intelligent and hilarious (hugely, unexpectedly so).

"Oh, look at you lot. You're all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing." —Holmes

There is simply nothing not to like about it.

Of course, there's also much to admire HBM-wise about the new Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman, aka the new Bilbo Baggins). Holmes is equipped with a killer wardrobe, and the rapport between the actors is so tight that it elevates the entire production into something far beyond the usual television fare. It's impossible to imagine one actor without the other.

They're so fantastic that . . . I'm beginning to wish they were a romantic couple. Their chemistry could be as legendary as Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Imagine Watson gazing coyly at Holmes over a piano! Holmes BURSTING from a lake in wet undergarments!! And then, of course, there would be this scene, shot in the rain as a sexy, sexy nod to Macfadyen and Knightley:

HOLMES: You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
WATSON: Um . . . what did you just say?
HOLMES: Nothing. Shut up. You're annoying.


If you missed it, here's the trailer:

You can catch the entire show here on the PBS website now through December 7th.


  1. YAY! OMG soooooo exciting. Anna and YOU (and yes, your editor too) deserve every bit of praise and acclaim. It truly is a wonderful book, and I can't wait until the rest of the world has a chance to read it. *tosses confetti for you*

    Also--hm, this Sherlock Holmes MIGHT be worth taking a break from my TV embargo (I've been trying to steal a few extra hours by avoiding TV. But this sounds too good to miss...)

  2. WOOT! You've got stars! And sparkles!

    (I just threw the sparkles on you. Hope you don't mind. It seems like a sparkle-compatible situation.)


  3. Anonymous3:58 PM GMT-5

    Congratulations on the starred review! That's really, really amazing!

    Also, Sherlock. I couldn't help it and had watched it before last night, but OH WOW. The mini-series is absolutely phenomenal, and I love Sherlock (the character) so, so much, and his interactions with John = total love, and his disdain for everybody else's intelligence is so much win.

    Er. Yeah. I'll be quiet now.

    *slinks away*

  4. some awesome, awesome reviews! Love that your book actually has a plot!

  5. All is right with the world.

  6. Woohoo! That's so shiny.
    Also, bless you for giving me the website for Sherlock. I missed last night's (there were homemade doughnuts involved), but I intend on watching the next two. Martin Freeman makes me knees weak.

  7. I loved the Sarah Dessen line, I love me some Sarah Dessen. But shhh don't tell her but I loved Anna more!
    I am sad I didn't watch Sherlock Holmes last night. I have been going to bed early in hopes my sister finally goes into labor in the middle of the night. I guess I will have to watch it online. I liked Benedict Cumberbatch on Starter for 10.

  8. CONGRATS! Anna totally deserves it! So, so exciting.

    And HOW had I not heard about Sherlock?! You hooked me; I'm watching it.

  9. Yay exciting! Congratulations on the starred review!!! And I don't know how I didn't hear about Sherlock, either. I have some watching to do sometime...

  10. OMG Stephanie this is wonderful news! :) Congratulations, I know how exhilirating it can be to get positive reviews on your work. Especially when they're from professionals/credible people who know what they're talking about. :D

    Kudos to you for writing such outstanding stuff. You deserve these reviews. :)



  11. Huge congrats! I can't wait to get a hold of this book!

    Also, AGREED about Sherlock! I actually blogged about it as well. :) Fantastic show. Fantastic actors. All around brilliant.

  12. :::huge hugs!:::

    That is AWESOME news!

  13. Wow! Kirkus stars are very shiny!Can't wait for the book!

  14. Dude, you are such a rockstar. Huge congrats!!

  15. YAY! You totally deserve this!! I'm so glad there is nothing but positive energy surrounding your book, and I really can't wait until everyone can read it!

  16. Hooray! Congratulations. You & ANNA absolutely deserve all the accolades.

    Also, I can't wait to watch SHERLOCK! I'm making a date of it with the husband this weekend.

  17. I seriously want to squeal for you! Wow...wow...wow!

    I have to say, for some reason I had it in my head that ANNA was coming out in October and when I realized it's not, I was bummed. Want. It. Now.

  18. Oh my gosh, KIRKUS! That's some serious stuff. They don't hand out stars lightly. You totally earned it! :)

  19. Congratulations! xD I know I say this everytime I comment, but I am so excited to read your book! *squeal*

    And I am so glad that someone else watched Sherlock yesterday. That show is really going to spice up my Sunday evenings for the next couple weeks. It was so funny and witty, even more so than I expected, that I squealed with delight a couple of times while watching it. ( I squeal a lot.)

  20. Wow, what great reviews! Now I can't wait to read it... even more! Congrats. :)

  21. Congratulations! That's so fabulous.

    And Sherlock Holmes is SO amazing I LOVE it but then it is by Steve Moffet :)

  22. CONGRATULATIONS! What wonderful news!

    And Sherlock on Sunday nights on PBS - got it. I'll be there, or I'll be a soggy wet blanket. ;-)

  23. Hurray!!!

    And thanks for letting me know about the new Sherlock. It looks excellent.

    I read an article recently detailing why Martin Freeman would be a poor choice for Bilbo and concluded that the journalist had never read The Hobbit. I don't think I've ever seen Martin Freeman in anything, but he sounds like he'd be a perfect Bilbo.

  24. Congratulations!! That is fantastic.

    Am trying so desperately hard not to spoil Sherlock but OMG episode 3, it made me swear in shock at least twice. Mark Gatiss = evil genius writer type. And Holmes and Watson have always been a romantic couple, haven't they?

  25. Congratulations on the review. Not long until release date now.

    And isn't Sherlock just the most amazing thing EVER?!!!! I love love love it. Stephen Moffat is a genius of a writer, but then he has his fingerprints all over Doctor Who and so I expected nothing less from him.

  26. That is just the coolest...!

  27. Amazing news! I'm so happy for you. AND As for Sherlock. I HAVE to watch that. It looks utterly blinding.


    I'm glad Kirkus got your book. They were known to be hard judges in the past ... but I'm happy to see they recognize a starry story.



    P.S. I watched the first two episodes of "Sherlock" online - can't wait for the third in real time, now. (The second episode was ... problematic.)

  29. CONGRATULATIONS! Ah, so amazing!!

    I cannot WAIT to watch Sherlock! (Thank you for that link; I can never remember to watch anything live on TV anymore!) The moment I can sit the husband down with me (or maybe I won't wait for him) I will devour them. (And I would not say no to Benedict Cumberbatch bursting from a lake in wet undergarments :D)

  30. Ooooooooo . . . a bright, shiny star!!!! Many congrats ‘cause I know you earned it. I’m sooooo happy for you!!!!
    :) michelle

  31. With every review, I find myself wanting more and more to read Anna and the French Kiss. I can't wait for the release day! :D

  32. Hurrah for the star, and for the buzz! It's truly wonderful, and I can't wait to read Anna! <3

  33. Congratulations! I am so happy for you!

    Well deserved, I say!


  34. One of the BEST books of the year!

  35. You are such a tease!

    Just 1 month to go :)

  36. Anonymous4:37 PM GMT-5

    Holmes: I ardently admire and love you. LOL Thanks for that. I'm waiting in the airport after a 3-day conference. SO needed that.

    Congrats on such great reviews!

  37. Yay Yay Yay STARRED REVIEW!!!!!!!!

    And I missed Sherlock. :-( I meant to watch it but got distracted.

  38. I just now saw this. Starred review?! WHOO-HOOOO!