When a summer scholarship frees her from her Grey Gardens- like house and the burden of tending to her severely anxious, agoraphobic mother, high school student Vidalia is thrilled to be studying painting in Paris. First-novelist Watson throws Vidalia some easy pitches: the cute young (and good-hearted) Frenchman at Shakespeare & Co. immediately makes an overture, and when the art teacher trains his Gallic scorn on her, another student helps her shrug it off. But instead of embarking on a flowers-and-baguette romance, Vidalia chooses darker territory: a seductive bad boy pushes her limits, beginning with ditching a restaurant bill on their first date and escalating to art heists. The story lines support each other gracefully. For example, Vidalia repeatedly sketches a single painting all summer, unable to get the girl's face right, which mirrors her own search for self. And even though the crime element never entirely convinces, it energetically drives the plot and forces readers to understand Vidalia's need for escape. Plus, the ripe scenes of dinner on a Paris rooftop, beaches in Cannes and quiet interiors of out-of-the-way museums provide readers with an escape of their own. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vidalia in Parisby Sasha Watson
When Vidalia wins a scholarship to study art abroad for the summer, she can’t believe her good fortune. Paris is filled with surprises, including Julien, the nice bookstore clerk Vidalia should like as more than a friend, and Marco, the mysterious art dealer she can’t stay away from. By the time she finds out the truth about the paintings Marco sells, she’s fallen for him too hard to really care. But when his crimes threaten to involve her directly, Vidalia has to separate reason from passion.
Gr 9 Up
It's the summer before her senior year, and Vidalia Sloane has the opportunity of her young lifetime. She has won a scholarship to study art in Paris. Immediately upon her arrival she immerses herself in the experience, visiting museums and meeting new friends and potential lovers, including the mysterious and charming Marco, a 19-year-old aspiring art dealer. With him she forgets that she has no money for weekend trips with the other American students. He eases her panic when her agoraphobic mother calls. He fills the time so that Vidalia is away from her inattentive host family. He is also a genius when it comes to bending the rules, believing that it is acceptable to take from those who have more than enough. Swept up in the excitement of the relationship, Vidalia goes along with him, but just how far can she bend the rules before they break? Watson does a wonderful job of describing Vidalia's emotions throughout the book. However, it is hard to figure out how she goes from typical high school student to art thief. There are also some other oddities to the plot, such as the on-again-off-again relationship between Vidalia and Heather, another program participant from her hometown. Despite these foibles, readers will enjoy this story, getting caught up in the romance and Parisian ambiance.-Melyssa Malinowski, Kenwood High School, Baltimore, MD
Watson's supple, low-key first novel distills beautifully the feelings of excitement that a young art student experiences when in Paris for the first time. On an art scholarship in Paris with her East Hampton, N.Y., high school for the summer, Vidalia Sloane is delighted to meet two potential boyfriends almost instantly. Julien is a clerk at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore, truly kind and a good listener; Marco is the charismatic friend of her chilly host family, whose involvement in the art world is on the shady side. Uneducated but daring, Marco thinks of himself as a kind of Robin Hood and persuades the smitten young woman to steal art with him. However, as a developing artist herself, Vidalia begins to suffer pangs of guilt. She works to sort out her conflicting feelings for Marco even as she struggles to prove her independence from her rather neurotic, agoraphobic mother and to navigate art classes and messy friendships back home. Watson portrays Paris with a doting accuracy and delineates all the torments of first love. (Fiction. 12 & up)
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 285 KB
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Meet the Author
Sasha Watson lives in Los Angeles, California. This is her debut novel.
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Vidalia finds herself traveling to Paris on an art scholarship for six weeks during the summer. She's happy to be away from the struggles of her home life.
She loves art, but her first art class is a disaster. Her specialty art, rabbit houses, is completely different than the art produced by the other artists in her class.
Her host family seems too busy to hang out with her. She's on her own for most of her vacation - which is fine with her; she's there to focus on her art.
Then she meets Marcus. At first, she doesn't like him, but then he seeks her out and she can't help feeling flattered. He has different ideas about the rich, ideas that get her in over her head.
Can she put aside her concerns and love with wild abandon?
The descriptive quality of this book was sensational; when Vidalia walked down the streets of Paris, it felt like you were walking right beside her.
This breezy romantic tale forces Vidalia to make tough decisions based on her struggling conscience.