Title : Maybe in Paris
Author : Rebecca Christiansen
Published : 20th of June 2017
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.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review :
Rating : 4/5 stars
First and foremost before I get into my review I want to give a trigger warning for attempted suicide within the book, just to warn you guys.
In hand with that I just really quickly want to bring up an aspect of the novel that really bothered me. And that is how mental illness is handles within the novel. A character with a mental illness within the novel was referred to as being broken and although I myself cannot speak on how that would convey to someone who does have a mental illness, I can say that I found this to be very disrespectful and upsetting.
The novel is also not an #own voices novel, I saw in a comment made by the author that her brother has a mental illness and that this novel is inspired by their relationship. Rebecca did do a blog post detailing the history and background of the novel which I will link if you want to go and find that out. Authors post.
That being said, this issue didn’t detract too much from my rating of the novel because I feel that that the metal illness aspect of the novel plays a minute role within the story line and I do not want to judge an entire story on on small part.
Putting that aside, I did really enjoy this novel for the most part. Even though I went into the novel expecting to be like the movie Monte Carlo – which I loved- but sadly that is not the case.
The protagonist within the novel, Keira, is a truly relatable character. I found myself sympathizing with her struggles as she was faced with various moral obstacles as well as her struggle to find herself within the novel and her never ending boy troubles, definitely relatable. Her growth within the novel is heart-warming and although I feel that it a subtle growth, it is also a more realistic growth than those I have seen in many contemporary novels.
Kiera also experiences some symptoms of anxiety within the novel, but they are fleeting and barely touched upon. On one hand I wish that aspect of her character was explored more but I am also wary of how it would have been handled.
The other characters within the novel were also really enjoyable each had their own individual quirks and stories and I can definitely appreciate how much each character is explored within the novel.
The family dynamic within the novel was also intriguing, because of the fact that is so realistic. Keira’s issues with her mom, Levi’s issues with accepting his stepdad and the generally familial arguments in this novel, do ,in my opinion, reflect many family’s. I also really enjoyed the importance that each of this issues are given in the novel, they remain a relevant factory in the story line throughout.
The historical tidbits within the book were also really interesting, I definitely finished the novel knowing more about Paris than I did in the beginning. That being said, I also enjoyed how we got to explore Paris within the novel, from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, it was really entertaining and fascinating to learn about each individual location.
Overall, the book was so much more than the typical romance than the synopsis suggests it is. It is a simple, heart warming and quirky coming of age novel.
Have you guys read this book? What did you think of it if you have? I would be interested to hear from you guys. I hope you have had an amazing week.
Tootles Gaby 🙂