Seventeen-year-old Zoey needs an escape from some personal drama, like her mom’s depression and taking care of her four younger siblings. She finds the perfect distraction in a frenemies-with-benefits arrangement with irritatingly hot football captain, Matt, during their class trip to Paris. There’s no chance of falling for someone whose only ambition in life is to stay in their hick town and one day take over his parent’s tire store. But far from home and personal responsibilities, his cocky grin and easy attitude start to grow on her as they explore the seductive city of Paris together.
Once they’re back at home, Zoey finds herself texting him for a secret rendezvous whenever she needs an escape. Though she’s been explicitly clear she’s using him for one thing, whenever Matt picks her up, he acts more like it’s a date-date rather than a backseat playdate –making sure she has eaten, or stopping to color with her little sister before they go out. Despite her best efforts at keeping their arrangement physical only, Zoey begins to realize – with fear and disgust – that she’s falling for him. When things fall apart with her mom, letting Matt see her real life takes more courage than she has – but if she’s brave enough to let him, he might be just the one person who can help.
Zoe doesn’t lead a normal lifestyle. With a dad that works all the time, a depressed mother and four young siblings, she’s more of a mother to them than a sister as she does everything for them. At the end of the day, she is absolutely knackered and that’s why she can’t wait to go to Paris, to see how they cope without her at home.
Matt is the popular jock, the captain of the football team, he’s rich, had a popular girlfriend, whom he dumps and goes to all the parties. Thing is he’s faking being happy but feels like he has to keep up this cheery persona around everyone; at home and at school.
Zoey and Matt are both hiding behind a facade. They both have things happening in their life’s that they don’t want anyone to know about and that’s why Paris is an escape for them both.
They both get partnered up on the trip to Paris, to do an assignment together and Zoey isn’t happy about it at all. Zoey is a goth girl, more into keeping to herself and Matt is a popular jock, known by everyone. They have nothing in common. But in Paris they both get to know each other and they both feel at ease being together; they don’t have to act fake.
Sticking together throughout the trip, they form their own little bubble; just the two of them. They both feel something spending time together, hence the frenemies-with-benefits, but they know everything must return to how it was before Paris when they fly home.
Except things don’t change, minus Zoey trying to ignore Matt when they get back, he slowly worms his way into her life, no matter how much she tries to stop it. She doesn’t want to fall in love with someone who wants to stay in their town, when she wants to get far away.
So they make a deal. Secret meetups to hook up and when Zoey wants to stop it, Matt tells her they can have one phone call each then they can stop all contact. Can they really stay away from each other though?
I loved both the characters of Matt and Zoey. They seemed so different yet so in tune with one another. Matt suffers from migraines and Zoey turns into mother mode to help him out whereas Matt is so kind and lovely to her siblings, even going as far to help her mother out.
It was a breath of fresh air to see someone like Matt admitting he doesn’t want the popular status that he has to keep up, trying to be happy when he’s clearly not and it doesn’t feel like him at all.
Zoey doesn’t like anyone seeing the real her – someone who keeps the family running – so it takes courage for her to let Matt see that side of her, especially as he witnesses it firsthand. But she accepts his help even though she wants to be the strong one.
They both show their weak sides to one another, Matt with the migraines and telling Zoey about his brother’s death and Zoey with her family. It was really nice to read them help each other out and be tormented over their feelings for one another, finally succumbing to them later on.
The only problem was the ending. I felt that Eliza could have added a few more chapters to their journey but then maybe it was the perfect way to end it. Other than that, I did enjoy this book. It gave me a few laughs in places and a few gasps and squeals. All in all, a great read to pass the day.