The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor is set in Paris during World War II and follows both a member of a resistance group and a girl in the present day who discovers her diary. The historical elements of the book are very well done, and I learned a lot about women in the resistance. However, I didn’t think that the modern storyline was as necessary, and I found the main character’s drama takes away from the emotions of the narration in the past.Title: The Paper Girl of Paris
Author: Jordyn Taylor
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
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.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: The Paper Girl of Paris
This book tells the story of a girl who stays in Paris after inheriting an apartment from her grandmother. The apartment is in perfect condition despite being abandoned decades ago, and Alice discovers her great aunt’s diary which leads her on a path to discovering what happened in the past. I loved how she is interested in learning more about her family history, and I enjoyed learning about the resistance in occupied France. This book is a historical novel, but I think it is very accessible to those who don’t typically read this genre.
❀ Adalyn’s Character is Interesting
I especially enjoyed Adalyn’s perspective since it takes place during the war and follows her activity in the resistance. I find it interesting reading about women in the war, and this book contains strong female characters who play crucial roles in the resistance. Adalyn spies on Germans while pretending to socialize with them at parties, but she has to make sacrifices to do so. Her story has so much tension, and the stakes are high. I learned a lot through Adalyn, including information about the Zazous, which is a movement I was unfamiliar with.
The multi-generational aspect of the book is intriguing, but to me, it doesn’t really work out. I didn’t think Alice’s story in the modern day was as significant since her role is to figure out what happened in the past. At the same time as she is piecing together the events of the war, the reader is already watching them happen. To me, all Alice’s drama takes away from the wright of the book, and I found her voice to be childish. I also don’t think the portrayal of mental health in her timeline was as strong as it could have been. Adalyn’s story was much more powerful than Alice’s, and I feel like the book would have been better without the interruptions.
❀ A Powerful Story
The Paper Girl of Paris is a powerful story about family history and the resistance of occupied France. I loved reading about the work Adalyn does to fight back, but Alice’s perspective in the modern day was not as impactful. However, if you are a fan of books across multiple timelines, this one may still appeal to you.