Review: The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt10:00
Author: Natalie Blitt
Published January 12th 2016 by Epic Reads Impulse
This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.
Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.
That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.
But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.
When I discovered I could request my library purchase ebooks I wanted, and a lot of them were US editions too, this was the first I ordered. I read this book in its entirety last night, in about three hours. I knew I was in the mood for a nice, cutesy contemporary, and thought this would hit the spot, and boy, was I right. I'd heard wonderful things about it, it wasn't expecting it to be just as enjoyable as it was.
In The Distance from A to Z, Abby is spending her summer at college to become fluent in French. It's her wish to be able to study in Paris, and to be accepted for either senior year, or for university, she has to be certified as fluent in the language. Her plan is simple: spend these 8 weeks completely immersed in the language, and not let anything else get in her way. And to get over her hatred for all things baseball. Unfortunately, she meets Zeke, who seems as much of a baseball loving jock as you can get, and they end up being partnered together, with them both being high school students. Zeke in English is annoying, but when they're speaking French, something is different, and Abby soon finds herself falling for him. But, obviously, we can't have a nice YA contemporary without a bit of angst thrown into the mix, so there are a few issues.
I loved Abby! Her whole family is obsessed with baseball, and so was she, when she was younger. Once she realised how much it was taking over her life, she needed a new hobby, and taught herself French. I wish I had that ability - I have a Spanish GCSE, but still don't really know the language. Abby knows what she wants in her life, and I really connected with that. Quite often, teenagers in books don't have a clue what they want - and I know that happens a lot in reality too - but since I was young, I had my plan. Seeing that in someone else was wonderful. Just because Abby was studious, doesn't mean she was a total geek, who did nothing else. The friends she made in the book seemed perfect for her, and I wish Alice was my best friend.
Zeke was a swoony SoB. I loved him at times, but also hated him at others - just like Abby did. It was obvious that he was keeping something a secret from Abby, and I knew that would come back to bite him on the bum, and that's exactly what happened. I can understand why he didn't want to tell her, though. I liked the resolution, and how it came about - I'm just hoping that we get the epilogue, as I need to see more from Zeke and Abby.
Basically, this was a really wonderful contemporary debut. I loved Blitt's writing style, and am looking forward to reading more from her in the future. I would recommend all YA contemporary lovers to buy/request this book, as it will definitely be one for you!