Friday, June 3, 2016

one paris summer: stardust arc reviews

One Paris Summer
by Denise Grover Swank

release date: June 7th by Blink



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.

full review under the cut! 

I received a copy of this book from netgalley and blink, so thanks to them for that!  One Paris Summer is a really cute book that I would definitely recommend to people looking for a sweet something to kick off their summer. It revolves around a girl named Sophie who is sent to visit her estranged father and his new wife and stepdaughter in Paris for the summer. I ended up really enjoying the story, even if there were a few things that felt a bit juvenile to me, that might just be because these characters were young. It was a story that filled me with warm fuzzies though, and also really really made me want to go to Paris! 

I've always been a super wanderlusty person, and ever since I started taking French in school when I was 12, Paris was always the number one place on my bucket list. I got the chance to spend a few days there last summer, but that short amount of time, combined with books like this, just made me want to spend time there more! I thought this book did a great job of guiding me through the streets of Paris, even going to far as to use really specific street names and metro stations :) I loved seeing the city through Sophie's eyes, because she was clueless, which meant that, as she learned her way around, so did I. I think that Paris is an irresistible background for just about any story, and for romance especially, so I think the setting played a big part in the things that I liked about this book. 

Sophie, as a protagonist, was great. The main things that I liked about her were her character growth and her love of music. She really comes into her own in this book, going from a scared and unsure person to someone who is grounded and confident in who she is. That is a beautiful thing to see, and I think it took some humiliation and hardship for Sophie to reach that point. But once she decided to be strong and confident in herself, I found myself shifting from liking to loving reading from her POV. I found her a bit naive throughout, but as character traits go, that is far from the worst thing you can see in a protag. I loved how happy playing the piano made her, and how she fought for her dream of playing music, even when outside forces tried to dissuade her. 

Eric, Sophie's brother, is also a main character in this book, and I ended up really liking him too! I haven't read many books where there's a good dynamic between an older brother and a younger sister, and I really liked seeing that relationship here. Eric is protective to the point of being a bit crazy, but his heart is in the right place, and I loved him for that. I also really loved Eric and Sophie's stepmother, Eva, who was basically the one drama free character in this whole book! Sophie and Eric's dad was... complicated. I will let all of you decide about him for yourself, if you do decide to read this book. I didn't dislike him, but I didn't like him either. Like I said... complicated. 

Camille, the "evil" stepsister in this novel, truly lived up to that nickname. At first, I was in total disbelief that someone could be this mean to a girl they just met, but as the book went on, some motivations behind Camille's actions were revealed, and everything made a bit more sense. Still, at some points, I felt like there were scenes where she was made to seem as bitchy as possible, with no real reason why. 

Then, there's Matthieu. SWOON. I loved him as a male protag. He was definitely a dream come true, though he had his faults, which just made him better because he wasn't just a perfect one-dimensional Ken doll. There was perhaps a bit of instalove between Sophie and him, but it didn't end up bothering me that much. This like a summer romance, but in Paris, so you can expect some cheesiness, though it wasn't too bothersome, to me at least. I liked it when they really started to get to know each other and we saw who he really was. Which was someone still REALLY close to perfect :) I would absolutely love to find a cute french boy to love me like Matthieu....? Hello? Where's my cute French boy, world? 

Basically, this book has a cute romance, an amazing setting, complicated family dynamics, self-growth and acceptance, and lots and lots of classical music, so there are a ton of great things working together here! Though some of the situations were a bit juvenile and perhaps a little unrealistic, I could easily ignore those (willing suspension of disbelief, people! look it up) because I loved so much else about it. I had a blast reading this novel, it was definitely right up my alley :) 



  1. Great review! Sophie irked me a bit in this one but the setting couldn't have been better!

    1. I totally get that, I definitely thought she seemed young/naive! but i also loved reading about paris, so it made it okay :)


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