I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski | I See London, I See France #1
Publication Date | July 11th, 2017
ARC from Edelweiss
| Book Review |
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!
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