Sydney cannot wait to embark on her first European adventure with her best friend, Leela. Leela was supposed to go with her boyfriend, but they broke up right before the end of their freshman year of college.
Desperate to still go on an adventure, Leela asks Sydney to use her savings so they can backpack through Europe together. This doesn’t happen without complication though, because Sydney is anxious to leave her younger sister with her anxiety ridden mother for over a month. However, after a stressful first year of college, Sydney is in desperate need of some fun.
The first stop on the trip is London, where the girls run into Leela’s ex, Matt. Matt also decided to do the trip, but with his best friend Jackson. Suddenly, Leela and Matt reconcile and Sydney is forced to spend time with Jackson, who she maybe likes, but he has the reputation of being a player.
The four of them go across Europe to countries like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland. The beautiful places they visit are definitely the highlight of the book, because who doesn’t love Europe? We imagined ourselves taking a similar trip and got excited about the idea of spending an entire month traveling. But, the travel aspect was the only thing good about I See London, I See France.
Sadly, we hated (and we mean hated) this book.
First of all, the characters were terrible people. Most of this book was uncomfortable to read because you can’t cheer for them to get their happy ending. Leela was whiny and manipulative; Matt came across as a total jerk; Sydney’s character felt conceited and self-righteous; and Jackson acted like your typical YA bad boy but never quite became the sweet, swoonworthy love interest we all know and love. He has nothing on the #Bookboyfriendbattle YA guys. The only interesting and redeemable character was Kat, a friend of Sydney’s who only makes a few short appearances.
The romance in I See London I See France wasn’t even cute. Jackson and Sydney had very little chemistry and unlike other YA romances, this book did not give us any feels. Basically, it was two unlikable people debate if they should date or not because one goes to The University of Maryland and the other attends McGill in Montreal, Canada.
If you’re looking for a YA book with travels in Europe, there are plenty of better options. Do yourself a favor and don’t pick this one up. We were surprised how much we disliked this book, considering Mlynowski’s book Ten Things We Did We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) was adorable, funny and provided an all around enjoyable reading experience.
Don’t expect us to review Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe, the companion book to I See London, I See France, which takes place at a summer camp. It’s basically a book all about cheating.
Rating: ⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (the second star is only for the European setting)
5 thoughts on “Review: I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski”
This is very accurate account of the book. Plus, a book involving is supposed to heighten imagination and capture the hearts of those with wanderlust. Another amazing review!
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