Sunday, December 3

Book Review: Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen

Author: Rebecca Christiansen

Title: Maybe in Paris
Genre: YA, Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: June 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)

Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

Now I really, really want to go to France. I mean...that has always been a dream destination for me, but now I'm twitching because of how bad I want to go. 


The story follows Keira is an American girl who is addicted to anything French. She loves the language, the food, the culture, the history, the art, and Marie Antoinette. She is a girl of my own heart in a lot of ways. She reminded me a lot of High School Carole. Well, Keira has had a plan to go to France with the hot French foreign exchange student once she can get him to love her. She has some hope when she invites him to the prom and he says yes. spoiler alert since it is on page one, it does not go well at all. 

After the debacle called "prom", Keira is brokenhearted, but things get worse. During the night, for some reason, her brother decides to kill himself. They save him and send him to the hospital for help. After some tests and whatnot, the doctors diagnose him with a form of Autism, bipolar disorder, and depression.  Poor kid! How did no one realize there was something seriously wrong with him this whole time?? Bad parenting I would say. 

Things happen and the doctors say it might be good for the brother and Keira to go on a France trip. What could go wrong with a selfish teenager and a teenager with Autism being alone in Paris? Again...bad parenting. 

At first, things go okay. Levi does well with very few issues. Sure he says some inappropriate things when they have to wait in line or for some of the weird food Keira makes him eat while he just wants McieDs, but the first few days go fine. Then they go to Versailles and that is where things start to go wrong. 

Levi says some hurtful things about Keira's love of the palace of and of her favorite queen. However, I did enjoy their conversation about historical figures they would save if they could time travel. Keira lists a huge list of some tragic figures like Marie Antoinette. Levi says he would save Hitler. Keira and I were all WTF dude? But then he explains that he wouldn't save his life when he tries to kill himself. He says that he would save Hitler from himself. He would go back far enough before he took power. Maybe help him get into Art school or not get into the army. He would save him by finding him a nice life as an artist or some such career. I was really awed by this. And it made me sad because I really felt it spoke a lot about Levi calling out for help in a way. It was a lovely scene for sure. 

After that scene, things did get sour. Sure, Keira met a hot Scottish boy who is there in Paris with his band. They hit it off of course. You can't blame a girl, but then she started neglecting her brother. I won't spoil anything, but honestly Keira! You idiot you. You have a brother who needs to be watched...>_> Again, the parents AND the doctors should've said no. It should've been a family trip or something not just the two of them. 

I liked the characters even though I felt the mom was a foolish woman who wins worse Mother of the Year. Josh, the stepdad, was the better parent but even he was an idiot. Yes, everyone did something dumb and bad...however...Levi and Keira are teenagers...they shouldn't be expected to know right from wrong in ALL scenarios. Levi needed help YEARS before any of this happened. Sighs. 

This was a really good book. I could hardly put this down. Sure the parents were idiots, but what do you expect from a YA? I enjoyed the journey everyone had to go on. The ending was good and I liked it. It fit. I hope they all learned and grew from the experience. They seemed to!

Yes, this was very YA, but I feel like the author did a good job not making it TOO YA or TOO adult. It was a nice mix. I honestly felt like I was reading Keira's diary. It worked well. 

My only complaint, besides for the terrible parenting styles, was the format. There were parts were Keira would read a text or read a note and there would be no indications whatsoever. The text was italicized or quoted or anything. It just blended in with the rest of the paragraph. I had no idea when the note or text was over. Very frustrating. 

In the end, this was a good read for sure. I was hooked from page one! A couple issues, but easy to look over because I enjoyed the journey of the characters. I especially enjoyed following Keira while she explores Paris. It made me hungry and want to travel there right now! I'll give this 4 stars. 


vvb32 reads said...

I'm always taken with Paris scenes in novels. It is definitely a city that inspires. Glad this was a good one for you. And hope you get to visit there soon.

Blodeuedd said...

I do like the sound of it, even if it is very YA ;)

Carole Rae said...

vvb32, someday! :)

B, very YA but not bad.

Anachronist said...

while in Paris do visit the catacombs :D.

Carole Rae said...

Of course. I know BF would wanna see it.