The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Epic Reads Impulse
Format: eARC, 316 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
It’s been a long time since I read a young adult contemporary book that made me swoon as hard as The Distance from A to Z did. Seriously, books like this are why I continue to read YA contemporary. It was sweet and swoony, funny and had a whole lot of heart.
After seeing the rave reviews for The Distance from A to Z from several of my fellow bloggers, I was super excited to dive into this book. I was a little concerned that it might not live up to the dreaded hype monster but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I got lost in the words and the characters right from the very start and didn’t want to sit it down for anything. (But, you know, I gotta sleep sometime…)
The characters drove this book. Abby was sweet and easy to relate to right from the beginning. Her passion for French made me want to learn the language and love it myself. I was intrigued by Zeke, but I, much like Abby, feared he was too much of a player. When he was with her, he was present. The world they built based around the language of love was wonderful. I can see why she would crush on French Zeke HARD. I did, too. It was when the other Zeke sneaked in that he lost a little of his luster for me. It was obvious he was keeping secrets, but I didn’t figure out right away what they were. Of course, I’m not going to give it away here, so you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out, but I can tell you he really is a good guy. A seriously swoony good guy.
Natalie’s writing was refreshing. I loved how she worked French into the book. It made the whole experience more magical. It was easy to believe I was part of Abby and Zeke’s world. I went into The Distance from A to Z expecting a light, fluffy romance. It was more than that though. Far from shallow, it made me feel and love and, quite frankly, I just couldn’t get enough of this pair. Add to that Abby’s AMAZING roommate Alice and I was completely, utterly wrapped up in this story. This book was just flat out delightful. I’ll definitely be looking forward to more from Natalie in the future.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Here’s my thing: I’m a nut about French,” I confess. “I love the language, the sound of the letters, the way they feel in my head. The fact that in French you don’t say I miss you. You say tu me manques: literally, you are missing from me. Because when you miss someone, it’s more than just the active feeling of missing, it’s like they have actually taken a piece of you with them when they left, the piece of you that was theirs. But more than that, I love French because it’s all mine. And you don’t know me yet; you don’t know my crazy family who are fabulous in eighty-five million ways but who really and truly eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. But I don’t care about baseball, and I needed something to keep me company in all that loneliness.”
I’m not sure how it’s possible to miss someone you only just met. Or the person you thought they were.
Apparently words are not my friend. I need to put a verb next but I don’t know which to use because no verb is strong enough for this. No verb aptly describes the feeling that your skin is alive, that your heart won’t stop racing, that you long to roll around in your bed and remember what it felt like. That you feel real and powerful and out of control and maybe like you want to cry a little. Okay, a lot.
Have you read The Distance from A to Z? Plan to? What’d you think?
Did you see the author is agreeing to share Abby and Zeke extras based on the number of reviews she gets on Amazon!? YAY!
30 reviews (done!!) – A deleted scene on her website.
50 reviews – A short scene that takes place within six months of the last scene of A to Z.
100 reviews – A real epilogue that… doesn’t take place in the United States.
So read it and write a review because, trust me, once you’ve finished you’ll want more Abby and Zeke time!