Release date: January 12, 2015
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 wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.
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 who she is and who he is is worth the risk.
As a romance, this book has most things right. It cute, adorable teenage love set in the romance of the French language. Abby and Zeke are high-schoolers who are attending a summer intensive program at a university and are partners. At first, Abby is put off by him being a baseball-obsessed jock and he is offended by her rudeness to him. They however, are drawn to each other, sparks fly yada yada – you know the drill. If you want mushy, skip-a-heartbeat romance with excellently written scenes, this is the book for you.
As a contemporary coming of age novel, I was not so convinced with the plotline of this book. It revolves around two characters mainly; Alice does get her part but it’s like the second half kind of forgot her. Secondary characters pop out of nowhere – like the scene at the trivia game where a bunch of girls call out to Abby and I was scratching my head wondering when they were introduced in the book. The central conflict was ridiculous in my opinion, and I was a little underwhelmed when the differences between the characters turned out to be just a freaking sport.
Abby starts off as judgemental and overly sensitive – she literally has the first-world problem of a baseball-obsessed family. Coming from a nation where cricket is a religion, I would like to say I get her; even I get irritated by the obsessed people but literally judging them for it? She also jumps to conclusions pretty fast, like the time the lady at the tea-house asks her to join, and she immediately imagines her to be a hippie. Abby was so devoted to learning French, and she is dedicated, but I can’t reconcile that girl with the one who gets upset because a guy wouldn’t kiss her? Zeke, and his hot and cold behavior drives most of the conflict in the story, and I was sitting there reading going – man, that’s what you were hiding? Really? I don’t even get why it had to be such a secret. The chemistry between them is good, however, and I loved how they created a world of a language around them. The ending is cute and well, adorable, and so I give this book 3 stars – for good writing, and good romance.
Received a free galley from Epic Reads Impulse via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or the review.