From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This delightful debut explores the excitement and insecurities of an unexpected first love. During the junior-year lit class trip to London, Julia, a rule-following, socially awkward swimmer/scholar, finds herself partnered with Jason, the obnoxious class clown. Her mission is to enjoy the historical sights while retracing her parents' honeymoon travels. He has plans to make the "Book Licker" break some rules and have fun. He drags her to a party, and after Julia has a few drinks, she exchanges numbers with a handsome British boy. Here is where the adventure begins. With a huge nod to Shakespeare, Jason agrees to help Julia compose love note texts and she agrees to write his cultural papers. The two form an alliance, and, although readers can see their feelings for each other grow, Julia believes her true "meant to be" love is her crush Mark, who happens to show up unexpectedly. Jealousy, some mixed messages, and a kiss that sends Julia spinning ensue. Even with the slightly contrived plotline, readers can't help but cheer for Jason as he opens up and wins Julia's heart. The good times they experience in London are a perfect balance to the painful secrets they reveal to each other, and girls will identify with Julia's angst when she believes she has been duped ("If I can go back to ignoring him, just like before this trip began, then I can forget"). A great choice for teens who enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Little, Brown, 2012), Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere (Farrar, 2005), or Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Knopf, 2010).-Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Romance combines with a tense mystery in Boston high-school junior Julia’s wry, present-tense narrative of her 10-day student trip to London. She is assigned clumsy Jason as her partner, but he is just not her type, and they have fuming arguments. She texts her best friend in Boston about her longtime crush on Mark (who now wants to spend time with her) and the alluring texts she is getting from “Chris”—who is he? She daydreams about Chris and about perfect Mark; if only Jason would go away. But who is stealing her phone and reading and sending text messages on it? She does have a great kiss, but it’s with Jason: was it a huge mistake? The traveling details are part of the fun: her friends are into shopping, not Shakespeare, and there are raucous puns about Big Ben. The contemporary scene with consumer name-dropping will grab readers, though, of course, the details will date. Still, the core drama is the romance, with all its turnarounds and timeless realism. Grades 7-12. --Hazel Rochman