Review: Pardon My French

7:00 AM

First of all, OHMIGOSH this is an actual review post which I haven't done in ages. I'm so excited that I got this done. Whoo!


Hehe, but seriously. This is an important moment. *pauses to take it in* Fine, fine, I'll start the review.

Pardon My French by Cathy Hapka
Publication Date: November 3, 2005
Publisher: Speak
Format: paperback
Source: myself
Pages: 224

Seventeen-year-old Nicole dreams of spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend Nate. So when she finds herself on her way to Paris to study abroad without him, she’s less than thrilled. Paris is filled with cars that move at the speed of light, edible snails, and a language that Nicole can’t speak or read. Worst of all, Nicole feels lost without Nate. She’s not sure she’s capable of finding joie de vivre on her own, but with the help of some new friends—and a certain handsome Frenchman— Nicole might find Paris as sweet as a café au lait after all.

I knew this book would be a fluffy contemporary as soon as I saw it, and I was right. But that's kind of the reason I picked it up. That and it was TEN CENTS. It was the perfect book to read in between classes and homework and all my other things of business.

What grabbed my attention right off was the cover. The cover is fabulous. I love the artsyness and the envelope-type quality. And it's obviously about travel, so I was like, "Yes, please. This is the perfect quick read."

It turned out it wasn't as impressive as the cover. At least to me. :) My favorite part of the book was all the traveling and exploring France! The descriptions of the food and culture were pretty well done and it made me even more determined to travel all over the world, whether it's in college or after.

But that was pretty much the only part that I really liked. I didn't really connect with any of the characters, which we all know are THE most important part to me. The characters were nice, but that's just it. They weren't amazing. I found the main character Nicole really hard to empathize with, and I think it's because of these reasons:

1. She had a really negative outlook for most of the book.
2. She hated change and traveling.
3. She was completely different from me.

I don't automatically reject characters who are my opposites. Nope. But Nicole was so unappreciative of the amazing opportunity she got to visit France. She didn't care about the art, she didn't care about the city...I guess I just couldn't relate.

I want to point out here that she wasn't an awful person, or this way for the whole book. She did undergo some character change. She learned to appreciate art. She changed but her character never clicked with me. Also, she was seventeen and she just didn't strike me as being mature for her age at all.

There was romance--basically, it's something between her and a French college guy. It didn't go anywhere there. On one hand, I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out because it wasn't cliche, buuut on the other hand I wanted it to go somewhere. I'm the kind of reader who usually likes a little romance (growing not pointless) in my stories. I don't like full-on romance novels and I don't like novels without any romance. Unless the characters are twelve. I make exceptions for that.

So, that also lowered my opinion of the book. I was conflicted over how I should feel about it.

It describes food a little bit though. Those kinds of books always make me feel hungry even if I'm not sure I would like the food. POINTS.

BUT DON'T MENTION SNAILS TO ME RIGHT NOW OKAY. I've just recently read a disgusting, puke-inducing scene involving snails in my World Lit book assignment. Leave snails out of it, thank you.

In the end, it was a nice light read, but I'm not sure I would read it again. Doesn't mean YOU wouldn't like it though ;) I would recommend it to readers who like traveling, food, Paris, and foreign languages that you can't understand but sound nice.

My Rating:

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