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The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt | An Alright Contemporary

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: The Distance from A to Z
     Author: Natalie Blitt
     Genre: Contemporary 
     Publisher: HarperCollins
     Publishing Date: January 12th, 2016

          - Alice as a character - I WANT ONE OF HER FOR ME
          - The plot suitably entertained me 

    Things that could have been better:

         - Instalove
         - Alice's believability
         - Abby's immature character
         - Easy to read
         - Incorrect facts

Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

French, the language of looooove? Anna and the French Kiss? Promises of a Stephanie Perkins-esque novel? HELL YEAH SIGN ME UP!

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


Abby's Mixed Signals and Insta-Love

Let's deal with the main character, Abby first. I really didn't like Abby. She wants to learn French and get away from baseball right? To me, the way she's written makes it seem like she's there to hook up, not learn French, what with her thinking about Drew, Colin and Zeke, three different guys, in the span of what, two weeks? 

The insta-love between her and Zeke though...that was problematic for me as well. I couldn't really get on-board with their romance, because of how quickly it progressed for me. 

“So what did you think of class?” he asks, a thin line of chocolate on his top lip. A thin line I can’t stop staring at."

Abby's Immature Character

The immaturity of the main character, Abby, also made The Distance from A-Z a bit difficult to read. For one, she kinda shames other girls as well, for being around Zeke...which I kinda found a bit dodgy, being a feminist and all for girl support. I get that Blitt wanted to portray jealousy on Abby's part, but I dunno, slut shaming the other female characters wasn't the best way to do it. 
Abby also consistently said "effing". Blitt explained why Abby did that at the end, but I still found it really problematic at the start, mainly because it made Abby sound so immature and childish. 
Finally, and this particularly applies with the last half of the book - Abby makes mountains out of molehills. All the issues that come up between her and Zeke seemed like small things to me, and I just couldn't get on board with it. 

Alice's Unbelievability 

The best friend in the book, Alice, was really unbelievable. From the moment Alice and Abby meet, they are instantly best friends - which I find unrealistic. I have trouble making friends that quickly - but maybe that's because I'm introverted? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS IF MAKING FRIENDS IS EASY FOR YOU! 

Alice Was My Favourite Character By The End

For all the unrealistic traits that Alice had though, she was still my favourite chatacter by far~ She cemented her place as my favourite character in this book when she becomes an awesome wingwoman. Listen to this - to get Zeke jealous, she does this: 

“Abby!” she shouts. “I’m not going to hang out in the common room and wait for you guys to finish making out. I want to go to sleep, and I’d rather be able to do it without listening to you guys suck face all night.” 


The plot was pretty interesting - there was a LOT of drama, which kept me reading! Plus, some scenes were just to die for - especially the baseball trivia scene (those of you who have read the book WILL KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT!!), which was the first moment when I SHIPPED. The plot twist towards the end of the book was also pretty ingeniously done - it was something that I should have expected and yet didn't expect at the same time! The only fault that I have with the plot is that it focuses so much on Abby getting together with Zeke, and how focused on the romance it was. 

Writing Style

Natalie Blitt wrote in a really conversational, really easy-to-read fashion. It made getting through the book so easy! Despite this though, I had major problems with facts in the novel. So I can't really check the French used in the novel, but being a sciency student, I HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE FOLLOWING QUOTE
"It’s apparently messing with my brain’s ability to fire synapses properly"
If anything, I think Natalie Blitt meant neurotransmitter. Or maybe Blitt wanted to just show how messed up Abby's brain's ability to fire neurotransmitters was. I dunno. I just know that the science nerd inside of me screamed at the inaccuracy. 

Entertainment Value

This book kept me occupied for about half a day - I read it all in one sitting! I guess that means its pretty entertaining? I shipped Abby and Zeke for sure, because Blitt prett much made it clear that they were endgame, but I couldn't help but think that their relationship wouldn't last long. 


Final Thoughts

The Distance from A to Z was a cute read for me, It was short, sweet and straight to the point. My faults really lie with characters and inaccuracies. Otherwise, in terms of plot - it was really well crafted! It earns a 3 stars from me.

What did you think? Have you read the Distance from A to Z? Will you be reading this book? Do you get irritated when facts are incorrect in books? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep reading and loving books!

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