The story follows 16 year old Sophie Brooks as she and her older brother are forced to spend the summer in Paris in order to attend their father's wedding. While anyone else would be thrilled at the idea of visiting Paris, Sophie is battling against her feelings of her father's abandonment little over a year ago, and can't quite come to terms that she's also meeting her new stepmother and stepsister.However, everything could have been better if only her father had kept his promise of getting her a piano to practice, for she is a talented pianist who hopes to gain a scholarship back home and needs all the practice she can get. But seeming as he is against of her following her own dreams, Sophie is left to deal with a terrible stepsister who might ruin all the things she loves (and comes to love).
What I Loved:
One Paris Summer has all the elements I love in a YA Contemporary Romance. It has great characters, a beautiful setting, talks about family relationships, and has a relatable main character that grows magnificently throughout the story.
One of its biggest highlights is that there's no evil stepmother in the story (evil stepsister is a whole other thing). Actually, Sophie develops a special mother-daughter bond with Eva that greatly proves how sometimes good things do come out of bad situations or circumstances. It also shows how people who you least expect might become precious later on in your life.
The romance in this book is enchantingly sweet. A first love in the City of Lights with a charming, handsome boy like Mathieu (very French) is the kind that will make readers swoon and run off to learn French like moi! There were a few times that his personality threw me off, but overall, he's a great love interest.
The plot is not something unheard of, yet it manages to stand out well on its own. I love how it tours you through Paris, visiting famous landmarks and also giving a taste of its delicious food.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The issue of Sophie's father running off to Paris (or any other city) without notice is a theme that always sets me on edge. I know these situations happen in real life, but it's something hard to accept when that particular parent doesn't give you enough reasons for his/her leaving, like Sophie's dad. That's why it comes off as unsettling to me when both parents force Sophie and Eric to spend the summer with him in another country AND to meet his new family.
Sophie surprised me by being mature with the whole situation. Yes, she was angry and highly against his father's actions, and yet she comes to forgive him quite easily. While that is wonderful, I wish she had demanded a better explanation from him and her mother to give me, the reader, the chance to also forgive both of them for their immature actions as parents.
Besides Sophie's father, I also had a bit of a hard time swallowing Camille, her terrible stepsister, and Dane, her brother's friend who gets to visit during their stay in Paris. Both are immature and nasty, without a single redeemable quality to them. I would have liked to at least see a sweeter side to Camille since the ending wasn't enough for me.
One Paris Summer is a trés bien read set in the beautiful city of lights with an adorable romance that blooms in its pages. Although it's not perfect, it had me flipping pages non-stop because it's the kind of YA romance us readers like to fall in love with.