The Distance from A to Z

The Distance from A to Z

by Natalie Blitt

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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 wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

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 who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062433336
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/12/2016
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 316
Sales rank: 170,171
File size: 716 KB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Originally from Canada, Natalie Blitt now lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three sons, where she dreams up young adult novels. Natalie currently works at an education think tank. She knows a lot about baseball. She has no choice.

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The Distance from A to Z 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
TaliaFM More than 1 year ago
"The Distance from A to Z" has been my first plunge into YA after a very long dry spell. And am I not happy of this dive back in the old sea! It's been such a great discovery. This author captivated me since the first sentences and though at first I labeled Abby to be quite judgemental, all my doubts were shoved away by the fine craft of the style and the very well built characters. Needless to say, I'm now officially both in love with French and a certain Zeke Martin. Zeke's character is what really drew me in, even though I loved Abby all the same. I liked how she was aware of being mean sometimes, how human she was. The Distance from A to Z is a short, sweet read about being who you truly are, accepting your shortcomings and being a better version of your true self. It's about forgiveness and fear, of overcoming them and being braver, stronger than you were the day before. All laced in witty banter and realistic dynamics between soon-to-be adults dealing with futures hanging in front of them and bittersweet pasts like we all have. The only flaw was the high predictability of the final plot-twist and the anticlimatic ending, which led to a flimsy Happy For Now rather than the usual HEA we've all come to expect. Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend everyone to read it and I will now make sure to check out other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not one I would recommend. Sorry that I feel that way, but it was very hard to read. Disjointed & as other reviewer states distracting. 200 pages that took 4 days to read. Why all the french???? If someone doesn't understand french it makes it almost worthless to read. I plan to delete it from my nook. GJRA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute story, the added french text was distracting
HSMeloche More than 1 year ago
Natalie Blitt is clearly fluent not only in the ins and outs of the French language but also all things baseball, and she brings all this together in a story where main character Abby is enrolled in an intermediate French course for the summer at a New Hampshire college, despite only being a high school student. Abby is a well-constructed character -- quirky, strong-willed, and doing anything she can to get away from her baseball-obsessed family. When cute baseball hat-wearing Zeke becomes her class partner, Abby dismisses him right away as the jock, sports-loving type she's trying to get away from. However, she realizes over the course of several weeks that sweet, considerate Zeke is not just helping her become proficient in French but teaching her to see the world -- and him -- in a whole different way. I love how the very different worlds of the French language and baseball collide in this touching, well-written, coming-of-age romance.
SAlexander More than 1 year ago
Warm, funny and totally swoony! THE DISTANCE FROM A to Z had me fall in love over and over again – with the characters, with language, and with the writing! BLITT has totally nailed falling in love – the good and the bad. But this novel is about more than romantic love. The family relationships are real and play a huge part in Abby’s attitudes and ambitions. Even though, the family isn’t present, I felt like I knew them. The friendship with Alice is beautiful and moving, with the issue of anxiety and medication handled brilliantly. My favourite aspect of this novel was the relationship with French – it perfectly captured the anxieties, and triumphs, of learning a language, and the power of the language itself. I highly recommend this book! I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
SMParker More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I'd give it all the stars for being too adorable!!
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Can I just say this was seriously ridiculously adorable?! I was hoping this would be as cute as it sounded by the synopsis... but I was seriously blown away! I adored it! Abby is a very intelligent, determined high school student looking for the life she's always dreamed of. She wants to walk the streets of Paris and be engulfed in their culture. She decides to attend a summer program where she will master the French language and further her dream of living there some day. This will also help her escape her baseball-obsessed family who spends every waking minute at a baseball game, watching a game on TV, or talking about a game in one way or another. Baseball is the bane of her existence, and she's so eager to escape it completely, at least for this short period of time. What she doesn't realize is that she's going to be teamed up with a boy in this program where she's required to spend many, many hours together... and this boy is exactly what she was hoping to escape by going to this summer program. Merde! One of my very favorite romance tropes is a friends-to-lovers or even enemies-to-lovers story. This story doesn't quite fit into those categories 100%, but Abby and Zeke are the farthest from similar personalities. Though they aren't friends right now, and they're not enemies, they two are a very unlikely pair that have preconceived notions on who the other is. Abby swears Zeke is a player jock who seriously needs to stop wearing so many baseball jerseys and sports t-shirts, but what she doesn't plan for is that when they are in French mode, speaking French and doing their school work together, he's a complete different person. English Zeke and French Zeke are quite different, and are causing Abby to have very conflicting feelings. The romance between these two was so adorable, I just can't EVEN! The swoons, the silliness, the sweet moments, the French... it was perfection!! I adored how Natalie Blitt was able to tie in the French language so perfectly, with the English translations always following. It was really unique they way this story was told, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The friendships were also quite perfect. Alice is a new favorite secondary character of mine. Can we PLEASE have more Alice?!? PLEASE?!?!? She was so sweet, so honest, and so REAL. I loved how she wasn't perfect, but accepted her faults and was so strong, trying her hardest to always work through them. She was a true friend to Abby, despite having just met her. And Abby's support for Alice through her difficulties was also amazing. I always love a strong friendship in a book, and this is one of the strongest I've seen in quite some time. Especially for brand new friends that are just learning about each other. Loved it! I could go on and on rambling about this super-sweet story, but I'll tie it up now. I'm always a bit hesitant going into a book that I was really looking forward to, especially when it's one that so many of my friends have really loved. This story turned out to be even more than I had hoped for. It was filled to the brim with swoon, romance moments, and adorableness that I love so hard in my books. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, this is a book I will be recommending to my reader friends for sure! (Thanks to Epic Reads Impulse for the review copy!)
6191975AS More than 1 year ago
The Distance from A to Z is an amazing debut story about a girl trying to escape her baseball obsessed family by attending a summer French class. Abby meets Zeke on her first day and automatically puts him into the not the kind of guy she wants category when she sees him wearing a baseball T-Shirt. But, Abby cannot avoid Zeke, as the only high school students in their French class they are thrown together as partners and Abby soon realizes that French Zeke is totally different from non-French Zeke, and it may be harder to stop her feelings than she thought. I absolutely loved the relationship between Abby and Zeke, and that no matter how hard Abby tried to fight it, Zeke got under her skin. I liked that even though time was an issue, as it was a summer program; their relationship did not feel rushed. Sure there were feelings immediately, but they were not really acted on. We got to see Zeke and Abby have a friendship brought on by them being French partners, and then watch as it turns into something more. Their path was not easy as Abby had a feeling that Zeke was hiding something from her, and the fallout was pretty much what I expected, but it was still a great love story between two people who had more in common than they thought. I also loved the relationship between Abby and Alice. The fact that these two girls who are so opposite of each other could form an instant friendship made them seem as if they had really been friends forever. Alice was a great “side” character, but I felt she was important for Abby to have someone that maybe needed her in a way that her family did not. I will say that there were times I was a little upset with Zeke, and I think that it had to do with how different English Zeke and French Zeke were around Abby and other people. However, the further I got into the book and realized a few things about Zeke, the more his actions made more sense, especially given Abby’s feelings on certain topics. I thought the setting of this story worked really well. Having the characters attending a summer program at a college was a great place to show them feeling a little independent and giving them a feeling of it being like having gone off to summer camp, with classes and structure thrown in. I also think it was a brilliant way to bring Abby and Zeke together by making them the only high schoolers in the French class, thus giving the professor a reason to put them together. I am the type of person that wants the Happily Ever After for pretty much every book that I read. I also tend to have a problem with books that to me just end, and while this book had a good ending, I was more upset than anything that it did end. I wanted more. I wanted to see what happens with Abby and Zeke as they both go back to their respective lives and finish High School. I wanted to see if Abby goes to France for college, what does Zeke end up doing, and even what happens with Alice. Basically I just wanted more, and deep down I’m silently praying for a sequel. LOL All and all Ms. Blitt did an amazing job telling us Abby and Zeke’s beginning, yep still holding out hope for more, and I’m super happy that I did not miss this amazing book. I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone.
JL-D More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed my time in this book, in fact every bit as much as I enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss. It's an absolutely delightful, honest, and at times very funny, teen romance. The voices are pitch perfect and the characters are really relatable. I read the first kiss scene between the main characters twice because it was so fresh. Okay, also because it was pretty titillating. Highly recommend to fans of YA contemporary.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
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. FAVORITE QUOTES: “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.
Madison-s_Library More than 1 year ago
When The Distance Between A To Z was compared to Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally I have to admit to being skeptical. But I was wrong, totally wrong to doubt because the comparison works so well. Yes, this book is about a girl and a boy falling in love and about little things like baseball, and summer courses and the French language, but it manages to make these things into so much more than the sum of its parts. It's a light, easy young adult romance that leaves you with a sense of great importance. Abby's family are crazy about baseball. And I mean actually crazy, team paraphernalia, bumper stickers, car window flags crazy and all. And Abby is sick of it. So sick she's moving several states over for a summer away from everything baseball to take a French language course. Part of her summer course requirement is talking with her class partner Zeke in French. Cute baseball loving, complicated, hiding something Zeke. They are as different as A and Z, but there is a connection between them to which Abby is inexplicably drawn. This feels like a new adult crossed with a young adult novel. The setting is at a college, but Abby and Zeke are high school students at a summer program. The tone of the book retains its youth while also gaining some sophistication from being removed from a cliquey high school environment. I really liked the relationship between Zeke and Abby. It's the perfect mix of a cute, simple, young love story and a deep connecting friendship. It's a lot of fun to read. As well as this romance there is also a great friendship between Abby and her roommate and all the complications of family and their impact on the characters' lives. As Abby spends most of her time reading, learning and speaking French, there is no shortage of it in the book. This is really well done, with enough French to feel authentic, but also a good balance between translations repeated before or after the French and just the words in English, with "he said in French" to make this book readable. There's no need to be fluent in French yourself and you just might pick up a few phrases along the way. Overall, a fun book in which to lose yourself. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kathy MacMillan More than 1 year ago
I pretty much mainlined this book in two days because I could. not. put. it. down. If you are a fan of the sweet and swoony, but sometimes steamy, teen romance, if you love the Anna/Lola/Isla books of Stephanie Perkins, then drop everything else immediately and get your hands on this book. It was absolutely made for you. Abby grew up in a family of baseball fanatics, and she used to enjoy baseball herself - until she started to feel like a changeling child for daring to think that something else might be more interesting. For her, that's French - she loves everything French, and wants nothing more than to immerse herself in the French language so that she can spend her last semester of high school in Paris and attend university there. To that end, she enrolls in an 8-week intensive summer program at a quaint New Hampshire college, where she meets kindred spirit/roommate Alice (theirs is one of my favorite YA friendships ever) and handsome athlete Zeke. Abby's had her share of bad experiences dating athletes, so she puts off his flirting from day one - but he is in the same intensive French course she is, and, as the only two high school students, they are forced to pair up. What follows might have been predictable, fluffy rom-com fare in less competent hands, but Blitt builds up a believable and tense push-and-pull between Abby and Zeke as both try to balance their own fears and secrets with the undeniable passion growing between them. Their romance blossoms in French, finally translates to English, and will take root in your heart.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt Publisher: HarperCollins Publication Date: January 12, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: Oh my goodness, this book! That isn't usually how I start my reviews, but this book deserves every reaction I had while reading and upon finishing - joy, heartbreak, mirth, embarrassment, glee, and the warm and fuzzies. I am not usually a YA contemporary fan - I rarely like the tough-issue ones especially - but I adored this book! Abby comes from a family that is obsessed with baseball, especially the Chicago Cubs. She wants to get away from baseball, and so she's doing an eight-week class in French over the summer, in New Hampshire. As it would turn out, the only other high school student taking the French class is Zeke Martin, a huge baseball fan. They're paired as partners in the class for the eight weeks, which means speaking, writing, watching movies in French with Zeke. Zeke may love baseball, but he has a passion for French and speak the language beautifully. Even though she swears he's not for her, she falls for him. But there is something about him that doesn't add up, and Abby doesn't know if she wants to take the risk and open herself to heartbreak. I feel like one of the biggest reasons why I love this book is because it mirrors my love life in the past - to a point. Abby is a smart, hard-working girl who wants (needs) to do well in this summer course so that she'll be able to apply to the Paris School. Zeke is an athlete, charming and handsome too, with an almost exotic air to him, with his love for French, his cultured mind, and his athletic jock-ness - it confuses Abby that he is all of these things. They are partners in the class, and must meet up outside of class to do the work. This story isn't new to me; replace baseball with soccer and French with Spanish and you have me and my gilipollas boy. I didn't get a nice ending though. *shrugs* Anyway. Abby And Zeke don't get a good start, because Abby sees Zeke's baseball shirts and his athleticism and doesn't want anything to do with him - she's done with baseball, and athletes. But his love for French surprises her, and slowly, she falls for Zeke. She sees him with different girls but she still falls for him. (Girl. I know this struggle.) Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I want to thank Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. I absolutely adored this story. I am a big fan of the usual tropes: friends to lovers, love that is forbidden, and especially "enemies" to lovers. And this book covers that last one. Ok, so the main characters aren't "enemies", perse, but they are two pretty different people. At least that's what it seems like on the surface. But what you see is not always what you get! Abby has a plan and she's sticking to it: immerse herself in French, get a recommendation from her professor and go abroad to France for her last semester of school. She's in love with anything French. And she will let nothing stand in her way. So when she enrolls in a course to help this dream along, she's happy to be distanced from her sports loving family and not have anything to do with them. What's she's not expecting is Zeke. He's definitely a jock, into the baseball she's trying so hard to escape. But she's stuck with him as a partner. And Zeke turns out to be nothing like she expected. I really like Abby. She's determined with goals. She's extremely smart and is willing to work hard for what she wants. I love that she pushes herself. I also love that, even though she's against being anything more than partners with Zeke, she doesn't actually let his jock status completely cloud her ability to become friends with him. Yes, he's what she's been avoiding, but she allows herself to see other sides of him. Of course she's not expecting to have any feelings for him, or be attracted to him in any way. She's outright determined to keep things simple and make sure her life goes as planned. I love how the wrenches that are thrown her way make her think and act in ways she was not expecting. And I love how much she enjoys learning. Definitely a girl after my own heart. Zeke is not what I expected at all. He's a jock, but he's soft underneath. Full of culture and language and things I wasn't expecting. Talk about stereotyping, I didn't expect this baseball loving guy to so charming with such a love of culture. And Abby wasn't expecting it either. I love that it takes her by surprise. But Zeke keeps secrets. Abby doesn't feel she has a right to ask him about them, but that doesn't stop her from being curious. He opens up to her a bit, but he's tight lipped for the most part. And he should be. His secret will scare Abby away, and he doesn't want that because he's definitely falling for this girl. The plot of this story is perfect. I will say, I had a feeling about where it would go with Zeke's secret, but it didn't stop me from wanting to get to the meat of the matter. I loved watching him and Abby grow and change and experience all things French together. It definitely had that Anna and the French Kiss vibe going on with it, and I really enjoyed that book. Opposites attracting is always a fun scenario. I loved watching each character discover that they had more in common than they could have possibly thought. The romance was really well done in this book. The characters took their time getting to know one another. No insta-love at all. I was glad for this. I like to watch the growth and feel the tension mounting before things burst. For me, this makes a good romance worth the wait. And I love the supporting characters, mostly Alice. She's just perfect for Abby and their friendship mimics what I've seen be
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! This was SO good! And the summary doesn't do this book justice. Seriously, it goes much deeper than baseball, romance, French class, and kissing. I LOVED Abbey and Zeke and hated to see it end! Now I want Alice's story. Fans of Stephanie Perkins, Miranda Kenneally and Kasie West will enjoy this! Read it.