Narrator: Amy McFadden
Length: 11 hours 44 minutes
Read: June 2017
Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.
Still, no one is immune to Paris’ charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch – he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie.
I remember browsing the new titles at my library and coming across this title a few times. Something about the title and the cover grabbed me and when it came time to get some audiobooks listened to for Audiobook Month, I picked it up and I’m so glad I did! I honestly went into this book without knowing anything about it, except that it obviously took place in Paris.
First off, I feel like I’ve read enough books that take place in Paris that I just know the city. I pretty much love any book that takes place in Paris and I love that it was Sophie and Eric’s first time to the city, even if it wasn’t under the best of circumstances. Second of all, I loved that Sophie played piano! I had no idea and being a piano player myself, I loved hearing about the pieces she was playing and I was definitely envious of that Steinway.
When two families come together there is going to be drama, so this story wasn’t just about getting to Paris for the summer, but there was so much drama taking place – sibling drama, drama between the parents and the kids, drama between friends, drama between lovers. Some of it was big and serious, others were petty. But it all made for such a fun story to listen to, even when it had its heavy moments now and again.
I don’t know what it is about books that take place in Paris, but I feel like they’re always written in such detail that you just feel like you’re there as you read. Honestly, I doubt I could be like Sophie and want to practice piano while I was in such a beautiful city, but I ate up all of the times they went out and explored. And with my super rusty French, it was fun to see Sophie learn some of it throughout the story.
There’s so much growth happening between the characters and I think a lot of it was an age thing – maybe a sibling not realizing you’re growing up, or a parent still thinking you’re the child they saw years ago. But on top of that growth, there was beauty and wonder — as well as tears and frustration. It was just such a good book to listen to!
As a side note, when I finished listening to this book it was said that this book was published by Blink, the HarperCollins Christian Publishing Division, which had I seen that before I might have thought this book was more religious, but it really wasn’t at all.
When I was about 75% through this story I had to look up the author on Goodreads to see what else she had written and I was happy to see that she’s written LOTS of other novels, including some adult books. I can’t wait to try out more of her books!
This was the first book I had listened that’s narrated by Amy McFadden and I really loved her narration! I loved how she got that slight Southern drawl to Sophie’s voice that was just a hint there, and she did so well with Camille and the other French accents, too. It was so much fun to listen to and I can’t believe that I hadn’t listened to anything else by McFadden. I’ll have to see if my library has more books narrated by her!