The Paper Girls of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
Published by HarperTeen
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Read in: November 2022
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
I picked up The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor on a whim because it was the book that was at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks for $5 with a coffee order. I love a good WWII fiction book and I am enjoying reading from all perspectives of the war.
The Paper Girl of Paris was fantastic. I really enjoyed reading it. I am a sucker for dual-timeline. I am an even bigger sucker for time-preserved mystery apartments that haven’t been touched in decades. There were just a few things that got on my nerves that kept this book from being a five star read.
Alice’s grandmother leaves her an apartment in Paris that the family knew nothing about. From there it is a discovery of a part of Alice’s grandmother Chloe’s life that her family was unaware of. Alice had a great-aunt Adalyn. As Chloe never spoke of her sister, no one knew what had become of Adalyn or where she might be.
In the background of this story is the underlying effects of mental illness. Alice is a pretty smart kid and I find it difficult to believe that in today’s age an intelligent and in touch teenager wouldn’t recognize the signs of it in a family member. Normally this wouldn’t bother me except that it was talked about at length and Alice was unable to put the puzzle pieces together. It was mentioned so often that it was a little overused and I’d find myself getting annoyed with Alice.
One thing that really bothers me in life is learning about a small facet of someone’s life and then deciding to write that person off entirely without trying to even figure out the context of the situation. Sure most of the time it’s probably that the person is showing who they are but sometimes there is so much more below the surface appearance of a situation. Due to my frustration with Alice and some of her family’s reactions and thought processes I couldn’t give The Paper Girl of Paris a full five stars.
The story was hard. The more I learn about WWII and the people who lived through it, the more my heart hurts for them. The Paper Girl of Paris gave me a new perspective on the war for the citizens of France and taught me about a few of the events that happened there during that time.