Monday, June 27, 2016

Yong Adult Summer Reading Challenge: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Young Adult Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank!

About the book:

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.
This has been my favorite book (so far!) in the YASCR!  To me, One Paris Summer is the perfect example of what a YA novel should be.  It has a teen going through a real life event and showing tremendous growth throughout the story.  Sophie and her brother, Eric, are being forced to visit their dad in Paris.  That should be great, right?  Well unfortunately for Sophie and Eric, their dad moved away unexpectedly and is getting remarried.  They have not heard from him in about a year, so to say that this will be a heart-felt reunion would be a lie.  On top of all of that, their new stepmom's daughter, Camille is anything but friendly.  Sophie struggles with the strained relationship with her once, close father and with being in a new city.  Camille and here friends take Eric and Sophie on sight-seeing adventures, but Camille does not make these outings very fun for Sophie.  

Sophie loves playing the piano and is hoping to study music in college one day.  One of Camille's friends, Mathieu, is the son of a very prominent piano teacher and allows Sophie to practice playing the piano at his home.  However, Mathieu and Sophie must keep this a secret (and more!) from Camille since she has the power to ruin Mathieu's future.  Sophie has a great opportunity to pursue her dreams but her father does not seem to be on board.  Something horrible happens to threaten that chance (and her relationship with Mathieu) and there may be no going back for Sophie.  

Over time, Sophie warms to the city, its people and her newly repaired relationship with her father.  This is a great story about overcoming fears, dealing with family issues, growing as a person and about love.  I loved how Sophie became braver and stronger as the story went on and how she started to make decisions for herself and not because of someone else.  You get a great background in Paris and it is fun to watch Sophie learn her way through the language barrier.  I adored this book.  Or should I say J'adore?  This is a great summer read and it doesn't hurt that there is a great love story (but it's not the sole focus of the novel)!  Our copy will be arriving sometime this week and will be available for checkout soon!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

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