Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

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The Distance from A to Z
     by: Natalie Blitt

Publication Date: Jan. 12, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Contemporary Romance
Age Group:
Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 316 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating:
3.5/5 stars

This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

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.

Who can resist a contemporary romance that is in the same vein as Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally? I knew I couldn't! Everyone has been raving about this book, so I was quite excited to pick it up. While I enjoyed it, I found I didn't quite LOVE it as much as others did. Abby and Zeke took some warming up to and they both made decisions that drove me a bit nuts. I understand it's typical teenage behavior, but it was still hard to get on board with them at times.

Abby is done with all things baseball. With her family's obsession with the Cubs, I can't really blame her. She feels like that takes precedence over her and her life, which is why she was so driven to learn French. It was her own and it was special to her. No one could take it from her and she really thrived on the language. Having graduated with degrees in Spanish and Italian myself, I completely get the passion Abby has for all things French. However, she was a bit abrasive and that really irritated me with her. She completely judges Zeke before she gets to know him and I hate how she treated him just because he was wearing a baseball shirt. When she is paired up with him in French, she is put off by how he treats her at times and I wanted to shake her because she was the one who started the animosity, so who is she to be angry? Zeke DID have this hot and cold routine going on though. One minute he'd be this happy guy with her and the next he'd either be flirting with other girls or shutting down because of a phone call he'd received. I didn't actually start to like Zeke's character until halfway through the book. He has sweet moments dispersed throughout the first half, but he didn't win me over until later.

I knew that Zeke was keeping a secret from Abby, so even after they get together, you're just waiting for it to all implode and I don't always like that in books. I hate seeing so much build up and then when they're finally together, something has to go wrong. I can't blame Abby for being upset and I can't say I blame Zeke either for keeping that from her, knowing how she'd react. While I like how everything worked out, I am really dying for that epilogue Blitt has promised us.

I adored Abby and Alice's friendship though. These two are kindred spirits and I loved how well they meshed together. They were there to support one another through some difficult times and I loved how we see such a positive friendship with no petty drama. I also enjoyed Colin's character and wish we had a bit more face time with him as well.

Obviously, I loved the summer program romance and how they were in a French intensive course together. When they were all about French, it was just so sweet to see. While I might not have liked the 'two' Zekes, I can't deny that when it was just them in their own world, they were beyond wonderful. Once Abby finally admits her feelings to Zeke, their romance really started working for me.

While I had a few issues with this one, I did still enjoy it. It is a cute contemporary and the setting, the French and the kissing, all ended up coming together to make a delightful read.

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  1. I'm sorry you had some issues with this one, Jess, but I completely get where you're coming from. I thought she was very harsh in judging Zeke for wearing a baseball hat in the beginning too, but I let it go eventually because I thought she grew up. The friendship between Alice and Abby was my favorite too, so I'm really glad you enjoyed it so much. :)
    Lovely review!

    1. Thanks Nick. I was a little disappointed but I think the hype monster got me. LOL. I am glad she finally put her prejudices aside and saw Zeke for the French loving guy he was. It definitely made it better.

  2. I am definitely curious about this one. I think I would have similar feelings. I don't always like when one character has a secret, and we are just waiting for that secret to come out. Even though you didn't love this as much as so many other people, I am glad that you did enjoy it.

    1. Thanks Quinn. I know I'm in the minority on my thoughts with this one, so I definitely suggest giving it a shot, but there are just some things that I couldn't get past as much as I would have liked.

  3. This book has been EVERYWHERE! I really want to pick it up because it just sounds cute. Great review!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Grace! It's definitely got some really cute moments!

  4. I think I have really moved on from contemp YA (with the exception of a few authors) so I dont think this is one for me, especially since you had some issues with it, but I am glad to hear you overally enjoyed this one. =]

    1. Thanks Teresa. I hate to say it, but I'd say skip it, especially since you've been getting away from contemporary.

  5. I'm sorry you had some issues with this one. I've seen some pretty mixed reviews, so I'm curious! I will probably give this one a read myself.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I hope you end up being on the enjoy spectrum Krystianna! It really has a lot of cute moments for sure!

  6. Sometimes, hyped-up books can't be anything but a bit disappointing. I think when books are built up to be for fans of X and Y, too, we expect something very specific, and that may just be impossible to achieve.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Abby and Zeke overall, even if you had some issues both with them, and with the story as a whole.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  7. Glad you mostly enjoyed this one! I agree - Zeke's hot and cold attitude was really confusing, and I thought at one point Abby should have stuck up for herself just a little bit more and demanded more from him. But overall I just loved the way it was written and definitely fell hard for the two of them together. I need that epilogue!!

  8. Great review! I can understand why you had issues. Zeke sounds...interesting. Now I'm curious as to what he is hiding.

  9. I'm bummed you didn't love this one, but I get it. Zeke was a confusing character. Abby was a bit judgy and immature. But I really did love them together and I appreciated how much they grew. Now I just need that epilogue! Haha!

  10. That's too bad you didn't love it like some! I'm definitely intrigued (and I own it) so I'm interested to see what I think!


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