Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker
PUBLISHED BY ANGUS AND ROBERTSON
REVIEW BY KRISTY KYI
This is a delightful coming-of-age story centred on Happiness (Happy) Glass, who has recently moved with her mother from Sydney to Brisbane, leaving behind her father and his new girlfriend and (most devastatingly) her best friend and soulmate Rosie.
As Happy settles into a new city and a new life, she continues to pursue her love of all things French and dream of the life in Paris she and Rosie have planned once they finish Year 12. However, Rosie doesn’t seem as interested in Happy’s life or their plans as she once was.
Winning a French tourism board essay competition leads Happy to encounter the mysterious and aloof Frenchman Alex (Alex One) and the equally mysterious and quirky Alex (Alex Two). As Happy navigates her new relationships with both Alexes, she discovers a lot about herself and what she really values, and eventually comes to admit the truth about Rosie.
The story has typical elements of a coming-of-age such as romance and self-discovery, but also has a couple of fun twists with Happy and Alex Two joining forces to work together on a project to cure people of Paris Syndrome (an ailment affecting those who travel to Paris with idealistic views of the city), and Happy playing match-maker to her new boss, the hapless and culture-devoid Kevin.
Light-hearted and playful, but with a dose of tragedy injected into the narrative, this book is easy and enjoyable to read. It will appeal to a wide range of readers from teens to adults, in particular those who have an unwavering love for the City of Light.
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.