Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank10:00
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Published June 7th 2016 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.
YA contemporaries is one of my favourite genres, and I've had this book on my TBR list for a while. One Paris Summer is about Sophie, who is sent to Paris for the summer to reconnect with her father, whom she hasn’t seen for a few years. She and her brother don’t really want to go, but know that it would be best to go, in the long run. Whilst they’re there she falls for the handsome Mathieu, but her evil stepsister Camille is ruining everything. Though she hated it at first, she soon finds the appeal of Paris too hard to overcome.
If you’ve read Anna and the French Kiss, this book is very similar. Sophie knows that Paris is an opportunity she’s unlikely to ever get again, but her relationship with her father soured when he left abruptly, with little to no explanation. Now she has a step mother and sister to contend with, and though her step mother is lovely, her step sister is awful. I don’t say this lightly, when I say she’s a complete bitch. Though there’s some redemption, I still can’t forgive her for how awful she was. Also, her brother, Eric, brought his friend, Dale, with him, and that was a bad decision. He’s a downright creep, and I despised him from the beginning.
Sophie’s relationship with her father and step mother was wonderful to see. Understandably, at the beginning, it was tense, and they didn’t seem to understand her, but once they realised how important her piano was to her, they got on board with her practising.
The romance with Mathieu was enjoyable to read, but it always lacked a certain something. He wanted to keep it secret, and the reason for this was quite stupid. If people had just talked, it would’ve been all sorted earlier, and none of the angst wouldn’t have been necessary.
It was an enjoyable book, but not amazing. It filled the wish for a nice contemporary, and was a nice, cutesy, easy read.