Book Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

summer paris

Sophie Peterson and her brother Eric are spending the summer in Paris, France, with their father and their new stepmother. Their father left them back in America almost a year ago with barely any advanced notice or too much communication since. Not only are they meeting their dad’s fiance for the first time in Paris, the day before their wedding, but they are also meeting their soon-to-be stepsister, Camille. Camille is set on making the summer miserable for her new “little sister.” Sophie has no desire to be in Paris, she needs to focus on the piano since she is applying for a scholarship in the fall. The only reason she is going to Paris is because her father promised there would be a piano for her to play. When he falls through on his promise, she learns that a cute French boy, one of Camille’s friends, happens to own a Steinway. Maybe Paris won’t be so bad after all

I am a sucker for any book set in Paris, especially if it is a young adult book. One Paris Summer started off really slow. Towards the middle, it picked up speed and started to keep my interest. I really enjoyed learning a little bit of French and reading about all the amazing sites to see in Paris; all the places I will one day visit. I also enjoyed reading about all of the French pastries, I am going to go on a diet before Paris, just so I can fatten up on sweets.

The growing relationship between Mathieu, Camille’s friend, and Sophie was drawn out nicely. I always like it when it is a bit of a challenge for characters to form friendships; it makes a book more intriguing. As for other relationships, like Camille and Sophie’s, I found it to be a bit over the top. I can’t imagine all of that stuff happening right before parent’s eyes and them not doing much about it, although they were unaware of many of the incidents. I also didn’t understand Eric’s obsessive behavior towards his sister and dating, also a bit dramatic.

Overall, if you’re looking for a beach read, plane read, a book that doesn’t require much deep thought, this one if for you. Plus, it’s about Paris, so it can’t be too bad, right? Now I need to go buy myself a crepe.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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