The cover of Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker totally caught my eye when the book was released earlier this year and I was stoked to finally get my hands on the book. Paris Syndrome is a charmingly sweet read aimed at young adult audiences but given its wide appeal, three generations of female readers in most families would enjoy this delightful story.
Veronica Happiness Glass (Happy) moves to Brisbane in the summer before Year Twelve. Happy and her mum have moved from Sydney after family breakdown and Happy misses her best friend, Rosie. Luckily, Happy’s obsession with Paris sustains her during her loneliness. When Happy wins The French Tourism essay competition she meets eccentric Professor Tanaka, hunky French Alex, and Brisbane gardener, Alex.
Professor Tanaka identifies Happy to be at risk of Paris Syndrome (an ailment afflicting overly enthusiastic lovers of Paris), and Happy agrees to help research the ailment and spends time with both French Alex and Brisbane Alex to further this end. Happy is a quirky teenager whose love of all things French means her wardrobe consists of outfits inspired by the French film, Amelie. She even gets a job at the local cinema because it is showing a series of French films.
Readers will delight in Happy’s journey through the summer where she proves herself to be quirky, fun, and true. I particularly enjoyed the multilayered, intergenerational story and descriptions of Brisbane (where I lived for a number of years in my youth).
Paris Syndrome is a touching coming-of-age story and although it deals with some difficult issues at times, Walker deftly keeps the tone light. Paris Syndrome is Walker’s first young adult book and I hope to read more teen fiction from her in the future. Highly recommended for those who enjoy references to Paris and want an easy to read book with delightful characters.
PS Look out for my interview with Lisa Walker on the blog next week!
ONE OF THOSE REMARKABLE BOOKS THAT SNEAK UP ON YOU. SURPRISING AND BEAUTIFUL.’
– Eliza Henry Jones, author of In the Quiet, Ache and P is for Pearl
Can romance only be found in Paris, the city of love?
Happiness (Happy) Glass has been a loner since moving to Brisbane and yet still dreams about living in Paris with her best friend Rosie after they finish Year Twelve. But Rosie hasn’t been terribly reliable lately.
When Happy wins a French essay competition, her social life starts looking up. She meets the eccentric Professor Tanaka and her girl-gardener Alex who recruit Happy in their fight against Paris Syndrome – an ailment that afflicts some visitors to Paris. Their quest for a cure gives Happy an excellent excuse to pursue a good-looking French tourism intern, also called Alex. To save confusion she names the boy Alex One and the girl Alex Two.
As Happy pursues her love of all things French, Alex Two introduces Happy to her xylophone-playing chickens whose languishing Facebook page Happy sponsors.
But then sex messes things up when, confusingly, Happy ends up kissing both of the Alex’s. Soon neither of them is speaking to her and she has gone from two Alex’s to none …
For fans of John Green, this funny and poignant coming-of-age story is about that crazy thing called love. And how it can be found anywhere.
Find out more about Lisa Walker’s Paris Syndrome.