Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review: "One Paris Summer" by Denise Grover Swank


One Paris Summer
by Denise Grover Swank


Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.
Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.
Books published under the Blink imprint are intended for a general readership without being overtly Christian.
Buy Links: Amazon | Goodreads


One year after her father left his family to go to Paris, Sophie and her brother are invited – or more like required – to spend their summer in Paris with him and his new wife and step-daughter, Camille. Still hurting from his betrayal, Sophie is not looking forward to the trip. At first, it seems as awful as she had imagined – tension with her father, a hateful stepsister for a roommate and tour guide, a language barrier, and no piano to practice on for her upcoming scholarship competition. But with the help (and possible romance?) from one of Camille’s friends, things begin to look up.

One Paris Summer captured me from page one and refused to let go. I read so many books, but only 1 in 10 addict me like this one did. I found myself thinking about the characters – and yearning to go to Paris – long after I finished reading it. I highly recommend it.

The romance was sweet and had its share of ups and downs. First, of course, was the initial “Does he like me? Should I like him?” jitters, leading into something more lasting and beautiful. There are complications, misunderstandings, and an attempted sabotage, all of which nearly broke up the relationship. But it survived and was all the stronger for it.

Also, the characters did not put too much stock in the romance; what I mean is, yes, the relationship between the characters was extremely important to them, but they did not make all of their decisions solely based on each other. They did not let their relationship stop them from following their dreams, which, in my mind, is a sign of a healthy relationship.

One Paris Summer addressed many topics, not just the romance, which was part of the reason it was so amazing. The father-daughter and step-family relationships were important to the story. They were difficult for the characters to deal with and were addressed very well. They also gave me a glimpse of what a few of the people I know, who are in similar situations, have gone through.

Music was another major theme. Its ability to express emotion and pain as well as its beauty were instrumental in Sophie’s life. They gave her opportunities to further her dreams as well as healing.

And experiencing a different culture was also a theme. It has to be, considering it is about a couple American teens living in Paris for the summer. One Paris Summer presented the culture differences very well. For one, differences in the way people conduct their romantic relationships had a large impact on the plot, as the characters had to bridge the gap in order for the relationship to succeed. And the beauty of Paris and the French culture was evident and made me long to experience it for myself.

One Paris Summer was magical. I loved it from the beginning and will never stop. I highly recommend it to YA contemporary romance readers.

I received a free copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

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