Sophie and her brother, Eric, are forced to spend the summer in Paris with their father and his soon-to-be new bride. With a summer starting off with lies, deceit, and hurt feelings, why not add in an evil stepsister with a revenge seeking agenda? Camille is hell-bent on torturing Sophie, making her friends seem like they are straight out of Mean Girls. Even worse, Eric’s friend and Sophie’s crush is coming to stay for the summer, and Camille goes straight for him. Wanting only to play the piano and survive the summer, Sophie sobs her way through the sights of Paris. Her French is nonexistent and her street skills lacking. Sophie’s life finally turns around as she starts falling for a Parisian, and at the end of the summer, she has tough decisions to make: audition for a scholarship, forgive her father, leave the love of her teenage life, return home to her mom and best friend, and/or confess Camille’s cruel actions? There is blackmail, scandal, family issues, well-rounded heartbreak, and best of all, romance. By the end, I could not put the book down until I learned Sophie’s fate. There is so much relevant teen drama in this plot. Sophie’s character and naiveté practically breed empathy and connection. I love Sophie’s soul encompassing passion for the piano and her trials and tribulations of surviving abroad. As someone who spent a year abroad, Swank really nails the ex-pat feeling. A must-read for realistic, fictional romance and travel lovers.
One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank (Blink, 2016)