May 6, 2020

Friends with ARCs: Four Days of You and Me + The Paper Girl of Paris

Four Days of You and Me is all about Lulu and Alex, highlighting the ups and downs and ins and outs of their relationships and life circumstances with their annual class trips as the backdrop. There were a number of elements that I really enjoyed! There is the narrative framework of the class trips, as it was so much fun to tag along with these characters and see some of their experiences on these different adventures (and it also made me really nostalgic for my own class trips). Also, the book had a great concept, and it was able to capture the way that relationships and opinions change over the course of a year. Where this story fell a little short for me was the characters. The secondary cast felt a little underdeveloped, though I'm not too bothered by this since they were meant to be background to the main story. It stood out more to me how much I wished we'd been privy to Alex's perspective. He was likable, but it would have been nice to emotionally connect with him and understand him better instead of relying on impressions or information we were told. As for Lulu, I liked her and found her relatable overall. But she and Alex both made incredibly frustrating choices that really grated on my patience, and unfortunately, that affected my feelings overall. So, overall, Four Days of You and Me is an enjoyable and quick read, but by no means is it a new favorite.

What's your most memorable class trip? The class trip I remember best is when my entire high school batch went to Cebu (another big city in the Philippines) together. It was fun to be able to bunk with my best friends, and to get to explore all these different sites and shops we'd never been to before. 

Four Days of You and Me was released May 5, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire.
I received an ARC from the author for review. All opinions stated here are my own.

I honestly went into The Paper Girl of Paris without any knowledge of what the actual plot was, and was pleasantly surprised! The tale begins in the present, where readers follow Alice as she spends the summer in Paris uncovering her grandmother's secret history, starting with the abandoned apartment that's been left to her. But as the plot unfolds, readers are treated to chapters set in the past,  following Adalyn, who lives in a Nazi-occupied Paris and gets involved in the dangerous work that comes with being part of a resistance group. I'll leave off further details, but I will say that this is a really compelling story! While the presence of two timelines doesn't always work in books, it suited this particular narrative (though it would get frustrating when one timeline ended on a pivotal moment and we'd skip back to the other). I really loved being immersed in the two different versions of Paris, and also really liked the fact that it felt like I was learning more about a piece of history in a way that felt extremely personal to these characters. While I didn't necessarily feel a strong personal connection to either of our main gals (though I will say I enjoyed Adalyn more than Alice), I did feel moved by what they both went through. I definitely enjoyed getting swept up in this story!

What do you miss most about Paris? I miss going to different cafes and just indulging in delicious coffee and pastries. You can 100% bet that the next time I'm in Paris, I will be revisiting some of my favorite spots (and hopefully finding new ones to love too)!

The Paper Girl of Paris will be released on May 26, 2020 by HarperTeen.
I received an e-galley from the publisher via Edelweiss. All opinions here are my own.


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