Sunday, December 21, 2014

French Kissmas by Cathy Hapka

For Nicole Larson, the Christmas season in Paris is more than just a romantic interlude—it’s also a homecoming. Nic studied abroad in Paris a year ago, and is back in town with her friend Annike to spend Christmas and New Year’s in the City of Light. Of course, now that Nic is there, the chemistry she once had with Parisian hottie Luc instantly reignites. But why fuel a romance that has only three weeks to survive? Nic would rather spend time with her new buddy Mike . . . until it becomes clear that Mike is also interested in being more than just friends. With a backdrop of twinkling lights on the Champs-Elysées and Parisian Christmas carols, it’s going to be difficult for Nic to deny the romance around her.

My Thoughts:
I picked this up because I was looking for a cute Christmas read. This just wasn't. Cute, I mean. It is a Christmas book. Young people studying abroad at Christmas time. Sure. And apparently it's a sequel, which makes sense. But with all the recapping and allusions to the first book I don't feel like I need to go back and read it at all.

Not much happened in this book. I started out reading every word then got really bored and skimmed the entire book in two hours. I probably should have just stopped reading but I thought, "Cute little Christmas read in Paris! What could go wrong?"

For starters, the main storyline was completely ridiculous and contrived. The drama didn't need to exist at all. It's like the author thought, "You know what would sell a book? A love triangle! Now, how do I work in one of those?" Because there was an unnecessary, unbelievable love triangle. Nicole could have spent a lot more time having fun and a lot less time whining about her love life if she'd just gone with her feelings in the beginning. And what was with Luc, the French guy? He seemed to spend all of his free time with Nicole when he was a local. Did he not have regular friends? Holiday plans? Family nearby? How could he suddenly drop his entire life to hang out with a girl he a) wasn't dating, b) hadn't seen in a year, and c) would only be in town for a few days? Doesn't. Make. Sense.

And the boys acted like girls. This is SUCH a HUGE problem in YA literature!! Massive! It annoys me so much that I have to mention it every time I see it in a book. Grrrr. At one point, Mike, who is one-third of the love triangle, says his buddies will be so excited to hear that he went to the French ballet. Um, no they won't. They're guys. They will call him gay and possibly rag him about it for years. So dumb. And everyone info-dumps in their dialog. EVERYONE! I know way too much about how these characters feel about everything.

So, in short, this was dumb. I shouldn't have wasted my time and you probably shouldn't, either. HOWEVER, it was a completely clean read that I would feel absolutely safe recommending to a pre-teen if asked for a sweet holiday book to read, especially if they're into Paris or travel. Because it was nice. It was just waaaaaaayyy too immature for me. I'm sure a pre-teen girl would find it cute and endearing and fun. And maybe not quite as corny or contrived as I thought it.

Sexual Content: Mild (some kissing)
Language: None
Violence: None
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild (one scene of drinking champagne)

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