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June 7, 2016

Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

by Elisa Hordon

One Paris Summer
I really love a gripping intense read from start to finish and that is exactly what I got with Denise Grover Swank's One Paris Summer.

One Paris Summer is a YA Romantic Drama, full of young love, teen angst and so many emotions bouncing off everyone it really is a wonder the characters didn't self-combust

Sophie is 16 years old and on her way to spend the summer in Paris, France. Sophie is still reeling from the roller coaster her life became a year ago when her father walked out and moved to Paris for work, leaving Sophie and her older brother Eric behind. Sophie is also reeling from being forced now to go to Paris not only to spend the summer with the father who abandoned her but to watch him get married to a woman they have never met and meet her new step sister, Sophie had a feeling Paris was going to be way more than she was bargaining for.

Sophie is also gifted pianist, and, yes, these parts of the story were described so well I could actually here Sophie play while I was reading, I also loved the way Denise described Paris. It really felt like you were right there the whole time. When Sophie is offered an audition at a very exclusive French music school can she convince her father to let her audition? Sophie is not even sure she will get in but just going to the audition would be an honour. Eric and Mathias are both encouraging Sophie but her father is not convinced and Sophie wonders if he doesn't want her in Paris now he has a new family.

Oh the teen angst of it Too many emotions, missed communications or no communicating at all and parents who should know better than to keep secrets from their kids, this just all adds to the great drama in this story.

Mathias, cute, French and totally besotted with Sophie from the moment he lays eyes on her. Mathias is, well he is harder to explain than I I found Mathias to be different to the majority of teenage boys, he has made mistakes but he is responsible enough to own up to it and face what life throws at him. He doesn't make excuses for others and he is loyal to those he cares for even if they don't deserve it. Mathias also has his faults which he pushes onto others at times - his unwillingness to fully trust someone he claims to love and when he just believes what he thinks he sees instead of finding the truth and listening to his love and his heart he then loses both through no one else fault but his own stubbornness.

Camille, the wicked step-sister, and, omg, is she wicked, cruel and so many other horrible adjectives. I would be here all day if I used them all so let's just finish with Camille is the worst type of bully and even though her father died and she has been on a downward spiral ever since enough is enough everything she put Sophie through is just wrong and when everyone keeps letting her get away with it, well that just makes me sick.

Eric, Sophie's older brother and protector. I really loved Eric even when he was playing big bad he loves his sister and no one is going to hurt her on his watch and that even means their own father. Eric is struggling with his parents' separation and divorce just as badly as Sophie. He just hides his emotions better, yeah I know that's a guy Eric is sweet. I really love how he looks out for Sophie. I also love how he realised Dane was an ass so quickly and he had Camille pegged as well. Eric always has Sophie’s back whether she wants him to or not what are big brothers for? I would love to read Eric's story one day.

Dane, Eric's friend from school who comes to spend part of the summer in Paris with Eric. Sophie has had a crush on Dane forever but she quickly discovers his true nature when he hooks up with Camille and his true colours shine through over the weeks in Paris as Dane follows Camille's every wish to make Sophie's life a misery. For me, Dane is a spineless douche bag who will do anything to impress a pretty face but he has no idea how to handle a real woman with substance. I just wish when he got back home that his life didn't just go back to him being Mr. Popularity at school. There should have been more of a life lesson for him after everything he did.

The whole story was brilliantly written; it flowed well from beginning to end and it also finished really well. I love how the characters grew and changed at different times throughout the story and I especially loved that Sophie blossomed the most and showed her inner strength when she needed to the most. I am dying for French pastries after how many times Sophie and Mathias had breakfast together throughout the book….lol I am also encouraged to plan a trip to Paris after reading this book so I can visit all the places Sophie did in the book.

This really was a great story, with wonderful characters and some really horrible but even the horrible characters were written well and fitted within the story perfectly. One Paris Summer would not have been the same without them and I will never forget Sophie and Mathias, their story shone through.

Buy One Paris Summer at Amazon

Elisa Hordon, reviewerElisa lives on the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia were she spends her days reading, journaling, painting, cooking and home schooling her daughter. She has always been an avid reader, Elisa loves reading many genres of books except horror; her favourite genres would be mystery, romance and paranormal. Elisa also loves pursuing many creative outlets if she is not relaxing with a book she can be found writing, sketching, painting or cooking. Elisa loves to share her obsession with books especially with her family and friends. Reading and reviewing books is a favourite pastime of Elisa’s.

Book info
available formats: ebook and print (352 pages)
published: June 2016 by Blink
ISBN13: 978-0310755166
genres: drama. family life
target audience: young adult
source: a free ebook provided by the author

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  1. I love books about Paris. Thanks for the recommendation

    1. Susan, I love books about Paris to especially if they are written so well that you really feel like you're there and One Paris Summer was spot on with making me feel like I was in Paris while reading :-)