The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Summary: 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.
I pretty much mainlined this book in two days because I could. not. put. it. down. If you are a fan of the sweet and swoony, but sometimes steamy, teen romance, if you love the Anna/Lola/Isla books of Stephanie Perkins, then drop everything else immediately and get your hands on this book. It was absolutely made for you.
Abby grew up in a family of baseball fanatics, and she used to enjoy baseball herself – until she started to feel like a changeling child for daring to think that something else might be more interesting. For her, that’s French – she loves everything French, and wants nothing more than to immerse herself in the French language so that she can spend her last semester of high school in Paris and attend university there. To that end, she enrolls in an 8-week intensive summer program at a quaint New Hampshire college, where she meets kindred spirit/roommate Alice (theirs is one of my favorite YA friendships ever) and handsome athlete Zeke. Abby’s had her share of bad experiences dating athletes, so she puts off his flirting from day one – but he is in the same intensive French course she is, and, as the only two high school students, they are forced to pair up. What follows might have been predictable, fluffy rom-com fare in less competent hands, but Blitt builds up a believable and tense push-and-pull between Abby and Zeke as both try to balance their own fears and secrets with the undeniable passion growing between them. Their romance blossoms in French, finally translates to English, and will take root in your heart.
THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z is out now.