Paris for One is part of the Quick Reads collection by Penguin to try and encourage those who don’t have time to read. This title certainly serves its purpose well as it is only 95 pages long, but Moyes has packed in a full-blown adventure into this short story. It’s the sort of story that you can pick up and put down again as you go about your business, no harm done. The story is lighthearted without any complications and it’s not the sort of read that you need to dedicate a chunk of your time to. It’s the story of Nell, who isn’t particularly adventurous and has never been to Paris. She makes a spur of the moment decision to book two Eurostar tickets for herself and her boyfriend but things start to fall apart when he doesn’t meet her at the train station in London. Ploughing ahead, Nell goes to Paris by herself, assuming that her boyfriend will meet her in Paris, but everything changes when she gets there.
This story is a piece of classic chick-lit, i.e. a highly predictable, romantic, but somewhat unrealistic, tale. I am a big fan of Jojo Moyes but I have to say I was actually a little disappointed in this short story. Whilst I appreciate that it is difficult to fit a decent story into such a small number of pages, I couldn’t help but feel that some pages were a little floosy and meaningless. There are others, however, which are examples of really good story-telling – much more Jojo Moyes style – and I really enjoyed these. I read this book over several days, only reading a few pages at a time, and I found my interest waning during some passages but peaking during others. This story was quite hit and miss with me with some parts just being a little too silly for my liking.That said, the character development is quite good and somehow you really get to know Nell and exactly what sort of girl she is from 95 short pages. You get a feel for who her friends her and what sort of life she’s lived, which is amazing given how short this story is. As a reader, you start to root for Nell to go forth and be adventurous for once in her life (though it is glaringly obvious what the outcome of this story will be).
All in all, this a nice, short read, great for taking on holiday with you or reading on the train. It’s not too deep but you still get to know the characters quite well and can see Nell’s character development throughout which is heartwarming. There was some bits that were too ‘chick-lit’ for me, if that makes sense, but on the whole it was a decent story. It’s got nothing on any full novels that Moyes has written though, so if this is your first taste of Jojo Moyes I highly recommend that you pick up some of her other titles!