Title: I See London, I See France (I See London, I See France #1)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Published: 11 July 2017 | Harper Teen
Date Read: 26 June 2017
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.
*ARC Kindly provided by HarperTeen thru Edelweiss for review*
This book is meant for more mature audiences. I’m expecting for this to include a bit of kisses here and there because it was tagged as YA but I was surprised that there’s a LOT more than that. There are quite some wild activities – smoking pot and watching live sex in Amsterdam – so definitely, this is for more mature audiences.
Now that I had that disclaimer out, let’s go on to what I really thought about the whole story. I’ve always been a fan of books that involves travelling – road trips, crossing countries, etc – whatever type of travelling a book involves, I’m up to it. That’s why it was no surprise that I put I See London, I See France on my anticipated reads this July, because it involves travelling specifically in the European Region.
“I could practically taste the fresh air. The fresh air, gelato, macarons and stinky cheese”
Sydney and Leela are off to a month of travelling in Europe visiting some of the most amazing cities – London, Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, Pisa, Florence, Venice. Aside from going to these places, there are new people to meet, new foods to try and some people from their current lives they cross paths with.
The thing I enjoyed most while reading this is how the author described each places Sydney and Leela visited. I get the feel that the author did not simply researched about these places but have experienced the very same adventure that Sydney and Leela has been too. I love how each city were described – their culture, the people and the food!
The set of characters that this book has couldn’t get more unique and different from one another. Reading them altogether was fun even though there’s two characters that annoyed me and one I can’t seem to know what to think about.
Sydney is an okay character. She’s very caring to the people around her – family and friends. She’s so open to every adventure that comes to her way even though she did seem shy and aloof on the first few pages of the book.
Leela on the other hand, quite annoyed me for most part of the book. I hate how self-absorbed and childish she may seem for some time. But I did appreciate the change in her on the last pages of the book.
“A friendship can’t survive on childhood memories alone. We have to create new experiences, or the friendship will shrivel up.”
Sydney and Leela has been separated for a year because of college and this trip is their one and only time again to be with one another. They are off to a very rocky start on the trip. Add in unexpected people travelling with them and everything comes way way more crazy. They had their misunderstandings along but they did manage to work things out. I believe these two will go back home with a stronger friendship bond.
Aside from the travelling and friendship aspects of the story, I really appreciate how the author managed to squeeze in and handle what Sydney’s mom is going thru. Sydney’s mother is dealing with Agrophobia. I know what Agrophobia means but this book has let me look at it from a very different context that It’s not just fear of going to public places but being afraid of being out in public and losing control.
In all, it has been a wild and fun reading adventure. Though the ending feels a bit abrupt, I still loved it. Though, I would’ve appreciate it more if we were given a few more pages to save that happy ending. *wink*