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I See London, I See France Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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“This endlessly fun and hugely entertaining romp through Europe had me laughing out loud and reaching for my passport.” (Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Windfall)
“Witty with a serious edge, this book encapsulates the wonder, joy, and anxieties that accompany any journey.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Must read YA...If you’re in the mood for fun, sass and adorable romance, pick up this fun-filled book.” (USA Today)
“A poolside read for the ages.... This lovably screwball YA novel will have readers checking whether their passports are still valid.” (Shelf Awareness)
About the Author
Sarah Mlynowski is the bestselling author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have); I See London, I See France; Don’t Even Think About It; Think Twice; Milkrun; Fishbowl; Bras & Broomsticks; the Whatever After series; and more. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and optioned to Hollywood. Sarah was born in Montreal but now lives and writes in New York City. Visit her at www.sarahm.com and find her everywhere @sarahmlynowski.
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Leela, Sydney's best friend, was every bit the obnoxious, and annoying ex-girlfriend and best friend that she was meant to portray. She showed her irresponsibility and her overbearing attitude to the T throughout the whole book. At times she dragged Sydney down and held her from who she wanted to be, but I think that created a lot of character development in Sydney who needed to find her own way and figure out what she wanted out of her life.
I thought the connection with Sydney and Jackson was very much believable and held the maturity of a college relationship comparable to Matt and Leela which still held the essence of a high school relationship. Sydney stayed loyal to her friend at first, and attempted to stay away from Jackson, but eventually her feelings won over and she allowed herself to fall for him. Unfortunately, this happened at the moment where Leela and Matt break up the second time, and Sydney once again chooses her friendship and old loyalties over being with Jackson. Watching their relationship unfold, and how the jealousy warped he,r after Matt and Jackson, and Leela and Sydney parted ways showed a lot of independence in Sydney and opened her eyes more to Leela's unfair treatment and abuse of their relationship.
Overall this story was well written and fulfilled everything it needed to do. I think Sydney grew a back bone and her independence from her family, as well as recognized that she would have to make sacrifices in order to have a relationship with Jackson.
I See London, I See France was a story about a young woman who is finally breaking from her family to go on a European trip with her best friend from high school. While this was a light read in some parts, the book also dealt with some serious issues like Sydney’s mother’s agoraphobia, finding yourself as a teen, and two worlds colliding when Sydney’s best friend from college meets up with Sydney’s best friend from high school.
First and foremost this book was so much fun. Sydney and Leela cracked me up; they were silly and constantly doing off the wall things. (YOU GUYS…the topless beach scene was hilarious!) I wish I could have been so fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants at that age! The story opens with Sydney and Leela racing to make their flight, and much to their surprise, Leela’s ex-boyfriend (who she was originally going to trek through Europe with,) was also on the flight. As you can imagine, that leads to some explosive moments on the trip. But as Leela and her ex-boyfriend, Matt, hash things out, Sydney can’t help but be drawn to Matt’s friend, Jackson. (Who Leela is not a fan of.) I loved the time Sydney and Jackson spent getting to know each other and the lengths they went to to meet without their friends being in the know. I thought it was interesting how easy it was for Sydney to be herself with Jackson; there were no expectations between them, and she didn’t feel like she had to shield him from parts of herself she wasn’t so keen on.
Again, this story dealt with some heavy things, and one of them was Sydney worrying that the panic attacks she’d begun having were turning her into her mother. This storyline flowed well, and I think it was approached in a realistic manner. As having been the one taking care of her mother for all of these years, of course she’d wonder if her own situation would escalate. I also liked how when they made it to Paris, Sydney’s college world collided with her high school world when her best friends from the different periods of her life meet. It’s interesting how the people in our lives bring out different facets of ourselves, and Sydney wasn’t quite as ready as she thought she was to merge her two worlds. Seeing her navigate her friend’s personalities (and who she was around them,) was so realistic and reminded me of that time in my own life.
The one buzzkill in this book was Leela, but I won’t lower my rating for that, because it’s clear she was meant to be. Leela could be very dramatic, and Sydney, used to catering to the people around her, was much more tolerant of that than I would have been. But when Sydney did finally put her foot down, Leela (in her dramatic fashion,) needed time for it to sink in, but she came around.
Not only did Sydney and Leela get to have tons of unique experiences, but they made a lot of new friends in Europe, and it was so much fun to read about. I loved the cast of secondary characters in this story.
I think it’s obvious how much I loved I See London, I See France. This book is about having fun and finding yourself, and I think it’s the perfect read for summer! That ending, though… Man. Not a cliffhanger, but definitely not something I saw coming and I should have. It’s the perfect setup for the next book in the series, and it’s safe to say I’ll be reading it!
This review was originally posted on Books & Beauty Are My Bag.