Katie Reads: I See London, I See France

I See London, I See France - Sarah Mlynowski

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.

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.

Disclaimer: I am sick. If this review is slightly incoherent, blame the brain addled fog of illness.

I’ve been such a sucker for books with girls traveling lately – must be trying to quell my feelings of wanderlust. When I found I See London, I See France it easily fit the bill. I was a little hesitant to buy a hardback, but then I realized it was by Sarah Mlynowski who wrote the Bras and Broomsticks series I loved. That was enough to convince me to bite the bullet.

This book felt a lot like the Bras and Broomsticks series in its sense of humor and writing style. Which was fine by me since I really like Mlynowski’s style. It was significantly more mature however, definitely more of an upper teen/ college age read. There were even a few moments racy enough to make me a little uncomfortable (the Amsterdam section in particular).

That said, I loved the crazy adventures we saw Sydney and her friend Leela get into. I’m not much of a risk taker, so it was fun to live vicariously through them as they explored Europe. I didn’t always agree with Sydney’s decisions, but they were at least always interesting. Leela, on the other hand, was a very selfish character, to the point of being obnoxious. She kept basing her decisions on her ex-boyfriend (who was clearly a jerk), and derailing the plans she and Sydney had made. Every time, Sydney was flexible with Leela and accommodated her. It was frustrating to see Leela not do the same.

Despite its length, there were areas that felt rushed – the ending in particular, but maybe that’s just me wanting to spend longer in Europe. I See London, I See France was a really fun, summery read, perfect for trying to escape a cold winter day.

Katie and Cat