Book Review: Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell

During my flight to the LDStorymakers Writers conference, I was able to finish reading Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell. I've been a long time fan of Michele's LDS Christian Romance novels. I have several of her books that have been very well loved on my bookshelf here at home. I was excited to learn she started writing good clean books for the teen national market! Before I go on with my review, let's read the jacket blurb:

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, whose 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.

My Review:

Summer in Paris was a fun read! As an adult, I did wish for more about Kenzie and her friends, to delve in deeper - but as it is now, it's a book my daughter will absolutely love, with just the right amount of character development. I got a kick out of Kenzie's attitude when she went from "easy life" in NYC to working on her aunt and uncle's farm. There's one scene where Kenzie says she can't do farm work because she doesn't have the right clothes to wear. The aunt leaves the room - Kenzie thinks she's won the debate . . . until her aunt reappears with jeans and plaid shirts and tells Kenzie to get her tush in gear, it's time to get movin'. There were lots of funny moments - I especially loved the chickens in the coop. I have had many similar moments searching for eggs on my great aunt's farm, too.  =) 

What I really liked was how Michele weaved the importance of family relationships and sharing good activities into the plot. Tweens and teens will like the mystery, relate to the silly/stupid things Kenzie and the other teens do, learn from the choices they make and the consequences that follow. There's even a touch of romance that made my heart pitter patter.

All in all, I think Summer in Paris is a really fun, enjoyable read with a good (subtle) message about the importance of family, good friends, and making good choices. This is definitely a book I'm putting on my daughter's summer reading list!

You can learn more about Michele Ashman Bell on her blog. You can purchase Summer in Paris at 

Would you like to comment?

Unknown said...

That sounds like a great book...I need to get a copy for my girls. Thanks for the review.

Michele Ashman Bell said...


Thanks for the lovely review. I appreciated your comments and your insights into the story.