Vidalia wins a scholarship to study art in Paris during the summer, and she couldn’t be more excited. A summer in Paris, how could she not be?? Even though leaving her mother, who’s clingy and seems in constant need of Vidalia’s help, makes her anxious to leave her small town home, and even though she knows the summer will be spent with her being pushed together with her ex-bff Heather, things seem to be going good upon her arrival in Paris. She meets a nice boy named Julian who works at a bookstore her mother visited in her youth, and her host family, though a little absent, seem like nice enough people.
Things only start going downhill when Vidalia meets her new French art teacher, Monsieur Benoit, le maitre, who seems overly harsh and uncaring to sensitive Vidalia. Class with Monsieur Benoit is anything but easy, but Vidalia has to make it work, and besides the fact that he’s been nothing but mean to her, she feels like she has a lot to learn here.
But then she meets Marco, a friend of her host family, and suddenly becomes very distracted, very quickly. He’s practically all she can think about, and every second she spends with him feels like magic, but then she finds out that Marco has some not so good habits, and secrets that, if she knew them, would turn their relationship upside down. Vidalia’s convinced that she’s falling in love with Marco, planning on going to Italy with him after her five weeks in Paris are up, and leaving poor Julian in the dust, but things are starting to unravel, and Vidalia’s not sure how much more drama she can take in one summer. Then, when Heather starts feeling depressed and ends up in the hospital, things get even more complicated, and Vidalia starts to doubt that she knows right from wrong anymore, and with whom she can place her trust.
Ok so being totally honest here, I really didn’t like this book very much at all. I was truly disappointed, as I love books where the main character goes on an adventure like this, and I just expected more. I think I was hoping for the perfect travel fiction. The kind of book that would show me the places visited without a drawn out description that was too hard to read through, as well as a romance that I thought would last well after the last page was turned.
By the end of Vidalia in Paris, I felt the ending coming without feeling much resolution. The ending left me feeling really unsatisfied, and in truth, I had to skim the last half of the book because I just couldn’t finish it fast enough. There were a few to many drag-ons, and then some parts where it sped straight through important parts! Plus, I didn’t like how Vidalia just fell all over Marco even though he was doing so many dishonest things.
Now I hate writing reviews for books I don’t care for, because I always feel like I’m being so mean, but I also feel like as a reviewer, it’s my responsibility to write a truthful review, as well as putting a bad review out there to warn people from spending their time on books that aren’t really worth it, when I know all our “to read” lists are so huge already.
So in ending, I must at least say, that I can appreciate, as a writer, the work that Mrs. Watson put into the novel, and I can only hope that one day I’ll read another one of her books and enjoy it more.
I give Vidalia in Paris 2 stars. =/
Just for comparisons sake, here's a nice review of the book by The Story Siren. :)
P.S. 2 more days to enter the Poseur contest!