Liralen's Reviews > Pardon My French

Pardon My French by Catherine Hapka
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Aug 01, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: z-2014, fiction, travel, ya, reviewed

How do you say doormat in French?

I ran across this series on Goodreads and am now determined to Read It All, but it's probably just as well that this was not the first one I picked up.

Nicole, poor thing, has been banished to Paris for a semester by her heartless, unloving parents. The horror! I mean, what teenager would possibly want to spend a semester in Paris? Nicole just can't bear the thought of rude Parisians and culture and gross foods like gelato and Nutella crêpes, whatever they are.

Nicole should really meet up with Becca. I think they'd get along.

The real problem, of course, is that Nicole's douchebro of a boyfriend is back in the States, and she just can't bear to be separated from him. After all, he's just so far above her socially that she can't ever let him go, and if she lets down her guard even a little bit, oh god, he might lose interest...and anyway, they're Meant to Be. They're seniors in high school, and their college plans aren't even a matter of them planning to apply to the same places -- their college plans are that Nate will decide where he wants to apply, and then Nicole will apply to all the same schools.

What. No.

Siiigh.

Anyway, Nicole's in Paris, so you'd think that once she stops whining about not knowing the language (although that's the one thing I have some sympathy about -- if she takes Spanish in school, why didn't her parents suggest, say, Spain?) and starts making friends, albeit very flimsily fleshed-out friends, we'd get a bit of a break from her constant Nate obsession. But no. Nicole does end up seeing things in Paris, and meeting people (very few of whom, oddly enough, are actually French)...but never before she moans about Nate, and how she'd rather be sitting at home thinking about Nate than touring Versailles(!), and Nate would say this if he were here...and Nate would hate that...and Nate...and Nate...

Now, because Nate is a douchebro, obviously the relationship does not survive the semester. (I will give the book props, by the way, for not giving Nicole a (view spoiler).) But because it takes Nicole so long to figure out that she can do better than him, there's no space left in which for her to develop a discernible personality, or interests, of her own. We leave her on her way home, thinking excitedly that maybe she'll take a gap year to travel, but when she did that growth from I don't wannnnnna have cultural experiences!, I have no idea.


More general look at the series here.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 1, 2014 – Shelved
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: z-2014
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: fiction
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: travel
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: ya
August 1, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed

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