REVIEW: Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell


Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris...Idaho!

Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.

Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, who's been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.

Title: Summer in Paris
Author: Michele Ashman Bell
Format: eBook
Genre: young adult, coming of age
Source: review copy
Published: March 2010 by Valor Publishing Group
Buy the book:
The Book Depository | Amazon
Find the author online:
website | blog | twitter | facebook

Why I Read this Book: I read the blurb and it sounded like it would be a light, fun read, which it was. And I enjoy reading coming of age novels.

What I Liked: Overall, Kenzie is a likable character and she definitely grew on me. Even though she’s a spoiled girl, she has morals and a conscience which made her likeable. Kenzie stands up for what she believes in and she doesn’t give in to peer pressure. She really grew up and matured in the short time she was living with her aunt and uncle in Paris, Idaho. It was a learning process for her and I think she really got the lesson.

This author knows how to tell a story; the writing flowed and it was an interesting read. I wanted to know how things were going to pan out with Kenzie. Summer in Paris is a very clean read, making it suitable for even a MG audience. The small town setting was nice and refreshing. Paris, Idaho is a hole in the wall town which made Kenzie feel completely out of her element; it’s definitely not the world she had grown accustomed to. The author was very generous with her description of this small town and made me want to visit the place to experience it for myself.

I really liked Kenzie’s aunt Frankie; she was my favorite character. Frankie’s a great role model. She’s a pretty mellow person and very comfortable in her setting. 

What I Didn’t Like: The cover. In this case, don’t judge a book by its cover; the story inside is much more appealing than the cover illustrates. This cover reminds me of the lackluster covers from back in the day when I was a tween/teen.

The book had its secrets and suspense but nothing really blew me away. I didn’t feel the connection between Kenzie and Adam, the town’s outcast. Kenzie was a bit too eager to be with him, well before the reader even has a chance to get to know him.

Overall Impression: Summer in Paris is a cute, light and fun coming of age read with a splash of mystery. It’s a sweet story about a girl finding herself and figuring out what really matters in life. More suited for a younger audience but enjoyable for fans of YA.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Thanks so much for the review. I appreciated your comments and for you taking the time to read Summer in Paris. Love your site and appreciate all you do!

  2. I would probably like this since it's geared on the young side - and it's a mystery.

  3. You got an award:

  4. This one sounds sweet. Middle grade is not really my thing but it is a nice change of pace.


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