Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.
That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.
But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.
Title: The Distance from A to Z
Author: Natalie Blitt
Publication date: January 12, 2016
I received The Distance from A to Z from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not the first to make the comparison to Anna and the French Kiss and I won’t be the last. It’s all the spoken French and the trip to Montreal (not Paris, but…) and the summer college program and living in a dorm. It’s everything I loved about Anna and the French Kiss being a part of The Distance from A to Z.
Abby and Zeke are adorable and fun, but there’s a lot more to the book than just the romance. Her friendship with her roommate Alice is just as interesting and fun as her romance with Zeke. Alice isn’t just a sidekick either. She’s a full character with her own personality. I could see Alice getting her own book in the future. And since Alice is also from Chicago, Abby can show up in the book! The scenes with Abby and Alice (and Abby and Zeke) going to various stores and diners in their college town made me want to go to those places too.
There’s also baseball, which I love. Abby doesn’t like baseball, so it’s not like she and Zeke are going to games all the time or anything, but it’s definitely part of the story. I was a little put-off at first because Abby is so anti-baseball, but she has her reasons. I feel like this could have been explored a little more, rather than just mentioned. It would have made a good in-depth conversation with Alice.
Zeke has some secrets that he’s reluctant to reveal to Abby, and I was dying to know what they were and why he was so different when he and Abby weren’t working on French class conversations and projects. In hindsight, I should have guessed, but I wasn’t trying too hard because I was too busy reading about the two of them falling in love. My favorite part of the book is the class trip to Montreal near the end of the summer program. I loved reading about them exploring the city, even when they’re just walking around speaking French. French is something that Abby and Zeke share, something she doesn’t share with anyone else in her life.
The Distance from A to Z was one of my Top Ten 2016 Debut Novels I’m Looking Forward To. If all of them are this good, 2016 is going to be a very, very good year.
Natalie Blitt has posted a deleted scene from The Distance from A to Z on her website and will post an epilogue as soon as the book reaches 100 reviews on Amazon.