I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
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I see London, I see France
I see Sydney’s underpants.
Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug-of-war.
In this hilarious and unforgettable adventure, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera… wearing only her polka dot underpants.
I See London, I See France follows college student Sydney as she travels Europe for a few weeks of the summer with a longtime friend and all the shenanigans that ensues.
Sydney and her childhood friend, Leela, were always huge readers. Many of their favorites had Europe as the setting so they had dreams to travel together someday and visit the very places they always longed to be. But when Leela takes off to Canada for college and Sydney decides to stay local so she can help take care of her agoraphobic mother, their friendship takes a bit of a hit. What better way to reconnect than to take that trip they always dreamed of! Of course right from the get-go (the plane, in fact) their plans start to go off track when Leela’s ex-boyfriend is spotted on board…
I have never traveled to Europe (I’m terrified of large bodies of water so flying over one is a no go for me) but I feel like these girls hit a lot of places that would be on my list. London, France, Venice, Switzerland, Greece, Amsterdam – they were basically all over in their few short weeks abroad. I’ll never get to personally experience such a trip but it was lovely to travel with these characters and experience it through the pages. They had so many crazy adventures and met so many interesting people. Sydney and Leela were on and off traveling by themselves and with others along the way. Meeting up with Leela’s ex and his traveling friend brought a little summer romance to the pages for Sydney in the form of Jackson, but also a lot of issues for Leela with her ex. Some stops led to hilarious consequences – Amsterdam was a huge standout in this department – and some lead to a little tension and heartbreak. All made for one unforgettable trip!
I really admired Sydney for all she did for her family. She is the type of character who puts her needs and desires aside for those she cares about. On the flip side, Leela was a little hard to handle through parts of the book. She was incredibly childish and selfish, and really not the greatest of friends but there is a little growth there at the end. Sydney of course has her own growth as well. I felt the beginning to be a little on the slow side but it really picked up as I got into their adventures but I can’t deny I wanted just a touch more at the end, especially in regards to the romance.
Overall this was a very cute, lighthearted, and fun read with glimpses of more serious issues throughout. This was my first book by the author and I’d definitely check her work out in the future!
**For anyone concerned about the ages of the characters and it being listed as YA – to me it did read like YA, but on the upper side (16+ perhaps). Sure there is alcohol consumption and a little pot smoking, legally I might add, but that’s not new to teens. The sex is fade to black and the most racy bits include a sex show the characters check out in Amsterdam and it was all written very comically.