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The Paris Apartment By Lucy Foley Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

As I have mentioned before on the blog, my best friend and I trade books all the time. In September she texted me that she read The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. Her text also said 'it is a horribly written book' that was more funny than the advertised seriousness and that she 'needed me to read it so she could talk to someone about it'. She gave me her copy and I read it in a week. I had expectations going in that it was poorly written. I did not read the book description before starting and just let the writing and story speak for itself.

Content of the Book:

After leaving behind her terrible job and life in London, Jess goes to stay with her half-brother in his apartment in Paris. Ben, her brother is a journalist trying to make it in the city. Like any apartment building the residents are going to be a collection of interesting individuals. This apartment is no exception. There is a stylish and posh 50 year old named Sophie who is married to a wealthy older man. There is a 'in-between' 30 year old, Nick, who is Ben's friend from university. There is a drunk, concierge, and an unstable sheltered 19 year old. After arriving at Ben's apartment Jess discovers that he is missing and sets out to find him. The walls and the people among them hold secrets. 

What I Liked About This Book:

It was an easy read. As I will discuss in what I disliked, the writing is simple and easy to digest. The plot begins right away and only really drags a few times. I liked that this book made me laugh out loud. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud at something that I am reading or watching. In this case I was laughing because it was so ridiculous. I was laughing at the book and not with it. Some reader may want to be completely surprised when the pieces of the plot are finally put together. I like to come up with my own theory as I read and guess what I think is going to happen. I also love when I was right. In this case I was right about quite a few things. I was also completely caught off guard by some of the plot twists. I will say some were again ridiculous but still made the story what it is. Now lets discuss character development. In my opinion Jess was the most developed characters. As a narrator and observing her through the other characters the reader gets a full picture of what her life was like as a child, through adolescence, and into early adulthood. Read the next section to see what I think about the character development of the other characters. 

What I Disliked About This Book:

The writing is extremely juvenile. This can be said for the descriptions and inner narration by the different characters. The author's choice of vocabulary was also simple and juvenile. I will say if you are looking for a book that does not take much concentration or thinking than this fits with that. With the narrators ranging from age 50 to 19 I would have expected difference in vocabulary and tone. This was not the case. No matter which narrator was speaking it all read the same. Yes, there were cultural differences between the narrators but other than that you could not tell the difference between the narrators because there was no change in voice, tone or language from narrator to narrator. There was a side story about protesting and uprisings in Paris in the days that Jess is in Paris. At first I thought that this inclusion in the plot was intended to play a big part in the overall plot. After finishing the book and thinking over its involvement I am confused on why it was included as it had minimal if any actual involvement in the overall plot of the book. When discussing this with my best friend at coffee, she informed me that this book was written during the BLM protests in America in 2020 and that that might be why the author chose to also has this be a current event at the time but just in Paris. I understand wanting to connect the plot to current events as a way for the plot to be more relatable and realistic, but it felt out of place and there was no closing remarks on it at the end of the book. As mentioned about most of the characters were not fully development. What I mean by that is that the reader is not given a full picture of their life leading up to the point at which they are at now. This means seeing them learn from mistakes, understanding their actions and why they do what they do. Other than Jess, I would say that the other characters/narrators were partially developed. Some more than others. With most of them the reader learns little stories from their past that give some insight into why they are the way they are now and what might make them act the way they do. With that being said, as a author who has multiple narrators who are carrying the plot, you need to provide the reader with a fully idea on who they are. For example, the reader is only given current experiences or from the very recent past on Mimi. For someone who plays a big role in the plot, the reader only know her for one thing and is not given the chance to see her in any other light. To me this seems like the author was biased and also wanted the reader to be as well. The last thing I will say bad about this book is that some of the descriptions were so gross and unnecessary that they turned me off from the book even more than I already was.

Would I Recommend This Book?

Without a doubt no. I would not recommend this book to anyone. In the words of my best friend, 'it is horribly written'. I personally believe there are far better psychological thrillers/mysteries out there that are actually worth your time. 

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