We came across this series on Instagram and knew we had to read it. It literally screamed YA Netflix show and gave us Gossip Girl vibes…but British. We love the series’ Instagram. It’s got killer promotional pics and we love seeing the actors in their characters. It helped us visualize the characters and made us love them even more. Now, onto the review!
London Prep 1: The Exchange
Mallory James is beyond pissed at her parents when they drop a bombshell on her: she’s being sent to London for a three week exchange during her junior year. Mallory’s been to London already– it’s stuffy, rainy, and boring. What more is there to see? Her parents don’t seem to grasp what an utter nightmare this will be for Mallory’s perfect New York lifestyle. When her parents refuse to budge, she decides that if she’s going to be stuck across the Pond for three weeks, she may as well have fun and let loose.
If only she knew what’s in store for her when she lands.
Her first day in London she meets the dashing Harry, who sweeps Mallory off her feet with his dreamy accent, charm, and amazing snogging abilities. Suddenly, Mallory starts to think London may not be such a bad city after all. But then she meets Noah, who is broody, sensitive, and charming in the pain-in-your-ass type of way. Mallory would love nothing more than to avoid Noah during her stay, but unfortunately he’s the son of her host family, the Williams’. Not only do they share a bathroom, but their beds share a wall…and they also share an insane connection that takes Mallory by surprise.
On her first day of school, she meets the ever-charming Mohammad, who takes her under his wing and informs her that she has his best mates spinning on their heads. She has no clue what he’s talking about, but comes to find out that his best mates are Harry and Noah, and together they form the most popular trio at Kensington Prep. Soon, Mallory is sucked into Kensington’s social scene, including love triangles, drama, and extravagant parties– and this is only her first week!
What we love about the London Prep series is that every book takes place during a week of Mallory’s exchange, so the books are always fast-paced and packed with juicy drama and swoon-worthy romance. This first installment did not disappoint! We absolutely loved getting to know Mallory, Mohammad, Harry and Noah. Though, we will admit up front, there is a love triangle…and it is frustrating at times because it’s pretty obvious who she should (and probably will) choose based on how YA books operate. But both men, Harry and Noah, have their appeals. Harry is witty and has the typical self-destructive bad-boy persona. Noah, on the other hand, is sweet and kind on the inside but has a hard cookie crumble exterior that requires some extra love and attention. We absolutely loved Mallory’s connection with Noah, and he is definitely our favorite. Their connection was amazing right off the bat, and we think he is the best fit for her. But we shall see how this love triangle turns out! Also, this review would not be complete without commenting on Mohammad, our absolute favorite character in this series. He is the perfect balance and comic relief to this trio, and we love how he always includes Mallory and calls her Miss America.
There is the typical high school drama in London Prep: The Exchange that sucks you in. Olivia, Harry’s ex-girlfriend, is out to get Mallory at all costs, and Mallory is trying to navigate the intense social circles at Kensington. We loved seeing Mallory join The Boys Club and their shenanigans screamed unsupervised teens, but we loved it. We also enjoyed seeing London from a non-touristy perspective, since Mallory had already been. We got to view the city through the eyes of people that lived there and knew the inside scoop.
London Prep 2: The Boys’ Club
It’s week two of Mallory’s exchange and she’s finally dating Harry…for real. After their fight in book one, Harry smoothed things over and swept Mallory off her feet. She thinks she’s made the right decision and now she has to break the news to Noah, who is not going to be happy. But matters of the heart are never simple!
Just as Mallory is starting to feel settled in her relationship with Harry, things with Noah get more complicated than ever. He’s hot and then cold (a la Katy Perry), and the two share some intense moments, including him declaring that Mallory wants him– Harry be damned. So when Noah finds out Mallory has made it official with his best mate, he takes it…interestingly. He remains neutral, but the connection between him and Mallory is silently buzzing. One of Mohammad’s crazy Friday night parties forces the tension and drama in this group to come to a head.
London Prep 2: The Boys’ Club was equally as good as the first installment– no sophomore slump here, ladies and gents! We loved reuniting with the gang and seeing characters from the first book, like Olivia and Naomi, getting bigger roles London Prep 2. We were especially glad that Mallory got some girl time and started forming female friendships with Oliva instead of being pitted against her like in book one.
Mallory’s second week of exchange was eventful. We enjoyed seeing Harry open up to Mallory despite his complicated family life, though we are still Team Noah! Noah is SWOON WORTHYYYYYY (yes, that did need all caps and multiple Y’s. We feel strongly about this fact.) We just want him to be a real human so that we can date him! He is charming and witty, but also a total nerd with a soft interior. His connection with Mallory is insane, we wish Mallory would wise up. We do feel bad, though, because Harry is a good guy. We just don’t see them together long-term. We commend Noah for never acting on his feelings out of his respect for Harry. The boys are like brothers and we appreciated that Dodd took this route instead of forcing the ever-popular “cheating with your best friend’s girlfriend” plot line.
As usual, Mohammad was the comedic relief we all needed in this book. We can’t wait to see what The Boys Club is up to in installment three!
London Prep 3: The Kiss
Well, the time has come. Week three of Mallory’s exchange is upon them, and any clarity Mallory was hoping to get in her relationships with Harry and Noah is not happening.
When Harry gets shocking news about his ongoing family drama, he turns inward and shuts Mallory out. After the drama that unfolded at Mohammad’s great bash in book two, Noah is more infuriating than ever with his mixed signals and hot-and-cold attitude. Mallory knows he doesn’t want to hurt Harry, but what about her? The back and forth is killing her, and she leaves in a week.
With her departure on Saturday looming, the group decides to live out Mallory’s last week in style. Shopping, brunch, high tea, museum trips, and another grand party to close out the week. It was meant to be perfect…until it wasn’t. Mallory is starting to panic about her future. Will the boys remember her? Will they stay in touch, or will they move on with their lives while she returns to New York heartbroken and torn between two incredible boys?
Okay, this was hands down our favorite book in the series. This book started and ended with a bang! We’re just going to start with addressing the ending because…wow! THAT CLIFFHANGER. WE NEED MORE. NOW. WE DO NOT WANT TO WAIT UNTIL FEBRUARY 2021 FOR London Prep 4. Please, Jillian Dodd, don’t do this to us! We need to know what happens. Those three words at the end….mind blown!
The connection between Noah and Mallory reached peak adorableness in this book and at this point we’ve decided that if Mallory does not end up with him, then we will riot. Our fangirl hearts simply would not be able to take it. Harry royally messed up their relationship in this book, in our opinion, so we don’t know how they can come back from that. But this is a dramatic AF teen series, so anything is possible.
We won’t lie, dear readers, we were slightly tearing up with Mallory thinking about her departure. We couldn’t imagine leaving our beloved friend Mohammad behind, either. He was a gem in this book, as always, and we so want him to end up with Naiomi. They are perfection.
We are eagerly anticipating how the shocking ending to book three plays out because, unlike the first two books, this newest book does not follow the week-by-week timeline/format. It kind of abruptly ends during week three. We won’t spoil the cliffhanger, but we do have a spoiler-free hunch about the ending to the series. If you’ve read these books, let us know if you agree with us in the comments! This is our hunch: Mallory’s parents let her stay and she permanently moves to London. Because logically, we’d never be able to leave behind Mohammad, Harry, and Noah.