The recent chick-lit craze has produced some fine novels — novels about women finding themselves, finding love and finding the courage to live the lives they have always wanted to live. It’s also introduced some fine characters -- characters who live and breathe and make a huge impression on the reader. Unfortunately, Weekend in Paris is not one of those books. Weekend in Paris is the type of book that gives chick-lit a bad name with its shallow, juvenile characters, fluffy plot and lack of any real substance.
Weekend in Paris is the story of Molly Clearwater, a 21-year-old assistant for a pharmaceutical company who has just been told by her boss, Malcolm, that she will be attending a conference with him in Paris. Since Molly has never been outside England, she’s incredibly excited — until she overhears that Malcolm is planning on trying to get her into bed once they get to France. Molly is humiliated and stages a walk-out in protest. However, as she gets on the train to go back to her flat, she realizes that this may be her only chance to do something wild, so she travels to Paris by herself.
Molly’s first night in Paris is marked by new friends, a wild club and a man who will take her breath away. She spends nearly the entire weekend with Fabrice and convinces herself she is falling in love, even though the pretty-boy Frenchman is clearly not as good as he seems. Throw into the mix a crazy new friend, a chance meeting with an important person from her past and an unexpected visit from her flighty mother, and you’ve got the makings of an interesting book. Unfortunately, Sisman fails in creating any characters that the reader really cares about, especially Molly. She’s shallow, juvenile and a little pathetic. As she struggles to learn the lessons that most of us learned before we were out of high school, we lose patience with her and with the book in general.
Add to this a few subplots that go absolutely nowhere and a fairy tale-like ending that comes off as forced and unbelievable, and you’ve got a chick-lit book that has nearly nothing going for it. The character of Molly and the premise would be better suited for a young adult novel. As for this adult reader, I found little to like in Weekend in Paris.