Title: Summer In Paris
Author: Michele Ashman Bell
Published: March 2010 by Valor Publishing Group
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance | Mystery
First Lines: Kenzie Williams didn't want to die. She had the perfect life, everything a girl could ever want.
Kenzie is a spoiled, rich, and popular girl that has lived in New York her whole life. So when her parents break the news to her that they have declared bankruptcy, she feels like her world is crashing down on her. Especially when she hears that they're sending her over the summer to live in Paris, Idaho, until they get things back in order. She's planned to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. Kenzie must wake up at dawn, make new friends, do chores - basically she feels like she's doomed for life. Until she meets Adam White, the loner and outcast in town who everyone blames for the mysterious fires that have occurred in town, and the death of his best friend. Kenzie is instantly drawn to him and wants to find out the truth.
From Page 45
At that moment, Kenzie's whole summer changed. She had never felt such an immediate connection to a person, especially one she hadn't even met. But something about Adam got to her - his looks, his persona, or his story. Kenzie was determined to find out more about this "killer".
I was extremely impressed with this book. There are very few complaints I can think of to say about it - the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. In the beginning, I couldn't stand Kenzie; she was lazy, selfish, and self-centered. However, living in Paris for just the summer totally changed her. I loved watching her transform into a completely new person. And it felt very realistic, not like the author had to force it to happen - it just gradually did before my very eyes! Even though Kenzie isn't a goody two-shoes, she does have morals and doesn't give in to peer pressure. I really adored her wonderful, smart character. Each character in the book I got to know very well. They seemed so real, and some reminded me of people I personally know. They each had their own persona and played a different role in Kenzie's summer. The book would have been so different if the author had chosen other characters instead. Hallelujah she didn't! I extremely liked Aunt Frankie, who was an amazing role model for her family and never stopped loving Kenzie and her sons after they'd get in trouble.
From Page 24
Her aunt hugged her while she cried. The tears kept coming from somewhere, and Kenzie was too weak to fight them. How could her parents have done this to her? Frankie's warmth and concern were appreciated, but didn't get rid of the empty space she felt inside.
The setting played a big part in the book. Even the little details added to it made it that much better. I did some research, and all of the places are real - even how Bear Lake is famous for their raspberry milkshakes, like in the book. I prefer when authors research for their book, it shows devotion to their writing. I also liked how wholesome and clean the book was! There weren't any bad words and even Kenzie and Adam's romance didn't get risque like many of those other romance books can get.
The book has a little bit of everything in it - romance, self-discovery, and mystery! There's a little twist at the end that I didn't see coming, and the ending wrapped everything up perfectly. I found myself smiling after I finished reading the last page. Now I'm dying to visit Paris, Idaho!
Cover Thoughts: I think it would be more appealing if it didn't have a cartoon girl on it - it makes the book look juvenile, when it really isn't. They should have used a photograph instead.