Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: The Distance From A to Z by Natalie Blitt

The Distance From A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Series: Standalone
Published: January 12th, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
352 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
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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.

 


The Distance From A to Z is a fun, adorable, romantic debut from Natalie Blitt. It encompasses everything I love about contemporary YA - realistic characters, great banter, strong friendships, and a slow burn romance.

This story was really different for a lot of reasons. I’m a sucker for boarding school/dorm-type stories, and I liked that Abby was a high school student who was admitted to an eight-week summer program to become fluent in French so she could potentially go to school in France, a place she’d always been fascinated with. I also liked the baseball element - the fact Abby hated it, and the reasons behind it (her family’s all-consuming obsession led her to not even want to hear about baseball, let alone watch it, discuss it, etc).

I loved the contrast between Abby and Zeke being complete opposites, but Abby and her roommate Alice being so similar they joked about being the same person. In some ways I connected more to Alice than to Abby - her anxiety (holy wow were some of the situations familiar) and her passion for writing. Their connection was one of my favourite parts of the book, and I appreciated that they taught each other some important lessons.

Another thing I loved: the French lessons. Being Canadian and half-French, I should be more fluent than I am, but I’ve always loved the language and I loved Abby’s passion for it. I was also quite impressed with myself that I understood most of what she and Zeke were saying (but I loved that the translation was always included, and in a fun, natural way - extra points for that). I liked how things were different for French Abby and French Zeke compared to their regular, English-speaking selves. They were like different people, their best selves, and they could forget about their differences and the outside world in general.

The Distance From A to Z was such a fun, light book. There were serious, real-life issues, but mostly it was a book that made me grin and giggle. And I won’t lie - I cried at the end. It was just so sweet! I can’t wait for more from Natalie Blitt.

 


Have you read The Distance From A to Z? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Are you fluent in a language other than English? If you could learn any language, what would it be?
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1 comment:

  1. Well dang! This one sounds adorable! I love these types of stories. I can only speak one language. Boring as I am, I'd probably learn Spanish. Just because it would be useful.

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