YA City Guide: Paris, France

One thing we miss right now is travel. We’re both travel addicts and can’t wait to explore the world. Do you want to travel right now but can’t? We can help with book recommendations. The YA City Guide is a new feature on our blog to recommend books set in a certain city. First up is Paris, France! Paris is Christy’s favorite city in the world. It has everything: history, culture, shopping and the best food! If you’re dreaming of Paris, read these awesome books and daydream of your next adventure. Claire studied abroad there and followed Christy’s Paris guide. Though her heart will always lie with London, she may need to reevaluate her list and make it a tie 😉 

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Amazon.com: Anna and the French Kiss (9780142419403): Perkins ...

Anna Oliphant doesn’t want to spend her senior year in Paris. She’ll miss her mom, little brother, best friend and totally cute crush. But now that her dad has some money, it’s off to boarding school. The School of America in Paris (SOAP) is small and tucked away in the Latin Quarter. 

While in Paris, Anna falls in love with the city, the film scene and the witty and charming Étienne St. Clair. Follow Anna as she learns a lot about the city of lights and has adventures along the way. This is one of the best and cutest YA romances. Perkins will have you swoon nonstop and be dying to explore this fantastic city.

The main sight talked about is Point Zero, which is right in front of Notre Dame cathedral. It is the center of Paris! If you step on it and make a wish, it’ll come true. Other sites that Anna visits are the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon, Pere Lachaise cemetery and St. Étienne church. 

2. The Conspiracy of Us series by Maggie Hall 

LIST: if you like the shadow and bone trilogy / magical reads

While Avery West gets to see the world, Paris is her home base for most of the series. The Conspiracy of Us trilogy follows Avery West’s adventures as she goes from an average American teenager to the pawn of a powerful secret society called the Circle of Twelve.  At prom, she is ambushed by Jack and Stellan, two teenagers who work for the Circle of Twelve. Note: Jack is British and Stellan is Russian. Talk about book boyfriend goals! 

Avery is whisked off to Paris, where she soon realizes that these people are more dangerous than she thought. She then finds out she’s a part of their prophecy and is determined to piece it together before anyone she loves is hurt. Follow the clues of an ancient puzzle that goes back to the time of Alexander the Great. 

Her first stop in this amazing YA thriller series is the Louvre. She also visits Notre Dame, the Arc De Triomphe and attends a gala on the Eiffel Tower! Not only is this book about sightseeing, Hall gives us a history lesson on Napoleon and how these places are significant to him. In fact, you get to explore some of the Louvre exhibits. Also, Avery spends some time living in Montmartre, where Sacre Coeur watches over the city from the top of the hill. 

3. Paris, Modigliani and Me by Jacqueline Kolosov 

Paris, Modigliani & Me: Kolosov, Jacqueline: 9781941311912: Amazon ...

After not getting into her top choice college, Julie Hankla reevaluates her plans for the future, while experiencing the Parisian art scene. Julie moves to Paris for the summer to be an au pair for her mother’s best friend’s daughter,  Genevieve. Genevieve, a fashionable and spunky 10 year old, helps Julie move forward and discover the beauty of a new city. While exploring, she comes across two different guys she cannot help having feelings for. Clay, the American who travels the city with Julie and Genevieve, and Luc, the bad boy artist who everyone tells her to stay away from. 

Julie’s description of Paris will have you on a flight ready to check out the city’s eclectic art scene. Follow her to important spots, such as the Louvre, Shakespeare and Co., as well as small local galleries and antique shops. We also suggest you take Genevieve’s fashion advice and go to Bon Marche and Galerie Lafayette. Paris, Modigliani and Me is the book for fashion and art lovers!

4. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank 

One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

Sophie starts out as this shy and naive girl, afraid of being in a foreign country and not willing to experience the culture.  All she wants to do is practice the piano. Once Sophie starts spending time with Mathieu, a hot French guy, her confidence grows and she finds herself loving Paris more than she ever thought possible. He takes her all over the city and introduces her to Parisian cuisine! 

This book is great to hear about places in Paris that aren’t the Eiffel Tower. This book takes you to locations such as Jardin du Luxembourg, Musee D’Orsay, Musee Rodin, Sainte Chapelle, the Opera and other amazing sites. One Paris Summer will have you searching the winding cobblestone streets for a Parisian guy like Mathieu to show you the city and teach you French. Sophie will take you all over the city, so make sure you write down all the places you have to see! This is the perfect book for those who haven’t been to Paris yet. 

5. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Amazon.com: Isla and the Happily Ever After (9780142426272 ...

Perkins brings us back to SOAP, where minor characters from Anna and the French Kiss get their own love stories. Isla has had a crush on introverted Josh for years. During the summer they had a random encounter in Manhattan, which gives Isla hope as they return to Paris for their senior year. Isla and Josh form a close friendship and eventually begin dating. Readers follow them on their romance as they visit iconic Parisian sites. 

Isla’s experiences in Paris are quite different from Anna’s. Isla’s mother is from Paris, so you see the city through the eyes of someone very familiar with it. She shares her favorite landmarks, restaurants, and hidden gems of Paris. A bonus of this story is Isla and Josh’s impromptu excursion to Barcelona for a romantic getaway. Take the train from Paris to Barcelona and fall in love with the scenery. If artistic introverts are more your type, go to Paris to find your Josh (not Étienne). Also, if you’ve traveled to Paris before, read about Isla! She’s the perfect guide for seasoned travelers. 

6. Enchanteé by Gita Trelease

Amazon.com: All That Glitters (Enchantée (1)) (9781250295521 ...

Are you a history buff? Then this is the Paris book for you! Enchantée tells the story of Camille Durbonne, an orphan living in Paris during the lead up to the French Revolution. In Trelease’s reimagining of the year 1789, la magie (magic) is real but outlawed by society’s aristocracy. When Camille and her sister, Sophie, lose their money and are on the verge of eviction, she turns to magic to infiltrate the court of King Louis XIV, where she encounters France’s elite. 

Along the way, the reader gets a glimpse into Paris circa the French Revolution, one of the most important events in French history. Walk down the old streets of Paris with Camille and join her and her new aristocratic friends at Château de Versailles, the home of the Sun King. We could tell Trelease did her history homework because the book gave an accurate depiction of the city. This fact alone pleases two history nerds. We enjoyed following Camille and Sophie through Paris and Versailles. Camille’s antics at court will leave you dying to witness Versailles’ famous Hall of Mirrors and beautiful gardens in person! 

7. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

cassandra-clare-the-bane-chronicles-1-11

If you’re looking for a mix of fantasy and Parisian history, follow Magnus Bane as he takes on 18th century France. In the second Chronicle, The Runaway Queen, Magnus unexpectedly finds himself involved in the French Revolution, when he tries to rescue the royal family from the French mobs. You’ll love this magical story about an attractive count, a royal escape, and invisible air balloons! 

If you prefer historical fiction instead of contemporary, revisit a magical Paris during the start of the French Revolution. Sorry, the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe don’t exist yet. But many other favorites do, plus you’ll get to learn about Magnus’s past before he started hanging out with shadowhunters. 

8. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

Amazon.com: The Red Scrolls of Magic (1) (The Eldest Curses ...

Another book about Magnus Bane, except it’s set in 2008 and he’s here with his boyfriend, Alec Lightwood. Alec had never been to Paris so Magnus planned a romantic vacation…but then the demons show up. Naturally, when they arrive in Paris, an old acquaintance informs them about a demon-worshipping cult, the Crimson Hand, that is wreaking havoc around the world. So much for a romantic getaway. Alec and Magnus race across the world to stop the Crimson Hand while navigating their relationships. 

Part 1 of the book takes place in Paris before Magnus and Alec get on the Orient Express. But seriously, read this book if you want a mix of action and adventure with your historical sites. Magnus loves Paris and wants to share it with Alec, yet the two see the city while running on rooftops and fighting bad guys. 

9. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson 

Amazon.com: 13 Little Blue Envelopes (9780062439109): Johnson ...

One day, Ginny receives a little blue envelope with $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket. Envelope 2 leaves her instructions to a London flat, and envelope 3 instructs Ginny to find a starving artist. Soon enough, Ginny finds herself traipsing around Europe, trying to figure out why she has been sent on this journey by her late Aunt Peg. 

One of the cities Ginny visits is Paris, because no trip to Europe is complete without it! Ginny spends time getting lost in the Louvre and trying to find her way out. If you’ve ever been to the Louvre, this is so true! It’s so easy to get lost here. While Ginny goes to other locations as well, Paris is an important part of Ginny’s journey. 

10. In Paris With You by Clémentine Beauvais

Amazon.com: In Paris with You: A Novel (9781250299161): Beauvais ...

Written by a French author, In Paris With You is a bestseller in France. The story follows Eugene and Tatiana, who fell in love one summer ten years ago. Circumstances prevented them from getting together, but now they have a second shot at love. When the two run into each other on the Paris metro, they reconnect and have to explore their complicated past. This book will give you the perspective of Paris from young, twenty-somethings. We’ve yet to read this book, but we are drawn in by the premise of a love story in the most romantic city in the world! It’s on our TBR and we’ve heard great things about this love story!

42 thoughts on “YA City Guide: Paris, France

  1. This is such a unique post – I love books that explore different cities and Paris is one of my favourite cities to read about! Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After are the only books I’ve read from this list, so I’ll have to check out some of the others!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great idea! I’ve never really thought of using the cities in books as a way to ‘travel’ when we can’t at the moment. Paris is beautiful and although I only visited briefly and didn’t get to visit the Eiffel Tower etc, I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping I can go back soon and see it properly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a cool idea! I love Enchantée and it’s so great that there’s a sequel out next year. France is at the top of my list once it’s safe to travel again, and I really enjoy reading books that are set there because they give me so much travel inspiration! Hope you decide to make this a series, would love to see more lists like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great list! I am like you and totally missing travel right now! Someday we’ll be able to travel again, until then we have books! Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a perfect way to virtually visit Paris! While I have read a few of the books recommended, there are plenty more for me to explore France in more detail. What popped out at me was One Paris Summer – my next read. Thank you so much for this list – can’t wait to see what’s up next!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This summer I planned to visit Paris for the first time in my life, but the situation with COVID-19 changed a lot! So, unfortunately, my trip to Paris is postponed to ”whoever knows when” but meanwhile idea about reading this kind of books, sounds very good!

    Liked by 1 person

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