This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.
Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.
That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.
But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.
This was one of the cutest contemporaries I’ve ever read. It was pretty easy to pave my way inside the book. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and I’m really happy to say that the hype did not disappoint.
The book was told from the point of view of Abby, a high school student who applied to an Advanced French Class in a university. She met Zeke, a fellow high school student from the same program. Abby’s enthusiasm for the French culture is really something to look forward to. I adored her passion for learning French, which isn’t easy to learn. Abby also hated baseball with the same intensity for her love with French, so meeting Zeke, who happened to be a baseball enthusiast, didn’t exactly go off the right way.
“The fact that in French you don’t say I miss you. You say tu me manques: literally, you are missing from me. Because when you miss someone, it’s more than just the active feeling of missing, it’s like they have actually taken a piece of you with them when they left.”
The chemistry between Abby and Zeke was something that grew on me. They didn’t exactly start off with a bang for me, but the tension was there, and it was raw so their relationship was something to look forward to. Not to mention how much time they needed to spend with each other since they were the only high school students enrolled in the program so they were paired off with each other.
Contemporaries mostly feature a swoonworthy male lead. Well, at least for a story with straight leads. This one, well… Zeke made me swoon sometimes but I’m sad to say he constantly annoyed me because he’s a bit of a player so he was confusing for most of the story and I hate it when guys get all confusing and stuff. And I definitely hate players.
“It means the distance from A to Z is really just an alphabet of possibilities.”
Alice is one of my favorite book BFFs! I love her character so much and I also love the way she complements Abby’s character. She’s quirky and funny and her chemistry with Abby was so fun to read.
Overall, the pacing of the story was fine. The writing style was excellent! I really enjoyed learning all the French words and phrases from the book. It felt like I had an amazing glimpse of what it was like learning French. The baseball part was cool too, except yeah, I couldn’t really relate to it.
I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a cute and fun read with a bit of a dramatic flair.