Can romance only be found in Paris, the city of love? Happiness (Happy) Glass has been a loner since moving to Brisbane and yet still dreams about living in Paris with her best friend Rosie after they finish Year Twelve. But Rosie hasn't been terribly reliable lately. When Happy wins a French essay competition, her social life starts looking up.
She meets the eccentric Professor Tanaka and her girl-gardener Alex who recruit Happy in their fight against Paris Syndrome - an ailment that afflicts some visitors to Paris. Their quest for a cure gives Happy an excellent excuse to pursue a good-looking French tourism intern, also called Alex. To save confusion she names the boy Alex One and the girl Alex Two. As Happy pursues her love of all things French, Alex Two introduces Happy to her xylophone-playing chickens whose languishing Facebook page Happy sponsors. But then sex messes things up when, confusingly, Happy ends up kissing both of the Alex's.
Soon neither of them is speaking to her and she has gone from two Alex's to none… For fans of John Green, this funny and poignant coming-of-age story is about that crazy thing called love. And how it can be found anywhere.
Paris Syndrome is the first YA novel by Australian author Lisa Walker. Veronica Happiness Glass (Happy) has recently moved with her Mum to Brisbane after an amicable divorce in Sydney. Happy has always loved everything Parisian and together with her best friend Rosie, dreamed of visiting the ‘City of Love’.
When Happy wins a French tourism board competition, she is introduced to gorgeous young French intern Alex One and meets Professor Tanaka, who, herself suffered from Paris Syndrome and wants to save others from this fate. She then meets Professor Tanaka’s female gardener, Alex Two.
As her relationship with both the Alex’s develops, Happy starts to question her own sexuality. Which raises questions of her past relationship with Rosie...
Being somewhat of a sufferer of Paris Syndrome myself, I was intrigued by the concept, but this book is much deeper than that, dealing with relationships and discovering your own sexuality brilliantly in a time when this subject is so topical in Australia.
It is a tremendous read that will most appeal to 14+ female readers, particularly those who may suffer from Paris Syndrome!
Reviewed by Rob