Title: The Paper Girl of Paris
Author: Jordyn Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.
Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II. With the help of Paul, a charming Parisian student, she sets out to uncover the truth. However, the more time she spends digging through the mysteries of the past, the more she realizes there are secrets in the present that her family is still refusing to talk about.
Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn’t recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back. But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired socialite while working to undermine the Nazis is more complicated than she could have imagined. As the war goes on, Adalyn finds herself having to make more and more compromises—to her safety, to her reputation, and to her relationships with the people she loves the most.
Alice and her parents take a trip to Paris to visit the apartment that her grandmother left her in her will. The apartment was a surprise, because they didn’t know her grandmother had an apartment in Paris. They discover that the apartment has been preserved in the same state since the 1940s, and that her grandmother had an older sister named Adalyn. Alice is curious about her grandmother’s mysterious sister so she starts to translate her diary. However, when she finds a photo of Adalyn at a dinner with Nazis, she wonders if she wants to keep exploring this family history.
I loved this story! I’ve read stories that are similar to this one for adult readers, where a contemporary woman travels around the world to discover her family’s secrets from an important time in history. I’m so glad this one was for a young adult audience, because it will teach young people about things that happened in World War II.
The story followed two narratives, Alice’s point of view in 2020 and Adalyn in the 1940s. Though they were both sixteen, they had very different lives. Alice’s life was relatively safe, with her going around the city, researching Adalyn’s life. However, Adalyn was involved in dangerous relationships and espionage. It’s amazing to see how different their lives were between the different decades, though they were the same age and in the same place.
This story was fast paced, with romance and suspense. I couldn’t put this story down. Many chapters ended with a cliffhanger, and I had to keep reading. I was surprised at the ending. It didn’t end the way I thought it would, but I liked it.
This is a great historical fiction novel!
Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Have you read The Paper Girl of Paris? What did you think of it?