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I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants. 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-boyfr I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants. 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.


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I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants. 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-boyfr I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants. 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.

30 review for I See London, I See France

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    This was a really cute summer contemporary! It was also definitely one of the better YA travel novels I've read. I felt like I was back on my own backpacking trip in Europe that I took earlier this year, so the nostalgia definitely helped me enjoy it more, especially since I've been to all but one of the places they went to! I do have quite a few thoughts to share so I will do a video review as soon as I'm caught up with them (I have a ton to do still) This was a really cute summer contemporary! It was also definitely one of the better YA travel novels I've read. I felt like I was back on my own backpacking trip in Europe that I took earlier this year, so the nostalgia definitely helped me enjoy it more, especially since I've been to all but one of the places they went to! I do have quite a few thoughts to share so I will do a video review as soon as I'm caught up with them (I have a ton to do still)

  2. 5 out of 5

    ♛ may

    DNF @ 35% i really,,,,wow this book was awful. and i couldnt even make it through amsterdam. IM REALLY SAD BECAUSE I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONNA BE CUTE WHY i could supply you with a list of reasons why this book didn't do it for me, but i dont have the energy for that. just know that resting on the top of that list is when the main character's best friend's ex CHEATED on her all it took was this explanation: "“It was just a stupid kiss. It didn’t mean anything. I was freaked out. We’re only nineteen DNF @ 35% i really,,,,wow this book was awful. and i couldnt even make it through amsterdam. IM REALLY SAD BECAUSE I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONNA BE CUTE WHY i could supply you with a list of reasons why this book didn't do it for me, but i dont have the energy for that. just know that resting on the top of that list is when the main character's best friend's ex CHEATED on her all it took was this explanation: "“It was just a stupid kiss. It didn’t mean anything. I was freaked out. We’re only nineteen, and you were practically picking out our wedding invitations!” TO GET HER TO FORGIVE HIM. bc wow !!! true love !! romance still exists !! granted i dont know if she leaves him at the end, but that'll be SOME character development and sadly, i wont be sticking around to see im out.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    1.5 stars? I don't know what to say about this book. I feel like what I read was not the same book from the synopsis. Sydney was a decent enough MC. I struggled with {okay, straight up hated} her BFF Leela. Their dynamic was toxic and though I could get over a bit of lingering resentment, I got tired of reading Leela do whatever she wanted and Sydney just taking it. The travel portion of the book was good. I did feel like I had actually gone on parts of this trip. It definitely didn't read like a 1.5 stars? I don't know what to say about this book. I feel like what I read was not the same book from the synopsis. Sydney was a decent enough MC. I struggled with {okay, straight up hated} her BFF Leela. Their dynamic was toxic and though I could get over a bit of lingering resentment, I got tired of reading Leela do whatever she wanted and Sydney just taking it. The travel portion of the book was good. I did feel like I had actually gone on parts of this trip. It definitely didn't read like a YA, more like NA lite. There was drug use and drinking and a sex show. Everything was about what boys they were going to hook up with. {For the record, I don't have an issue with any of those things. I just wasn't expecting them to be such a focal point.} The mental illness aspect felt like an afterthought most of the time. Like Sydney used her mom and sister as a reason to get away from Leela or things she didn't want to do. Overall, I liked the travel and the idea of this story, but I couldn't root for any of the characters and didn't care what happened to them. Perhaps I'm just not the demographic for this and that's why I didn't enjoy it. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    One of the best ways to travel, as a mother of three children, who cannot take a month off from life to backpack around Europe is to read books! I love picking up books set in Europe because it is one of my greatest dreams to travel the continent someday and soak in the rich history and beautiful sights. Unfortunately, in it not in the cards...or the budget during this phase of my life. When I saw I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski was published this summer, I was quick to add it to m One of the best ways to travel, as a mother of three children, who cannot take a month off from life to backpack around Europe is to read books! I love picking up books set in Europe because it is one of my greatest dreams to travel the continent someday and soak in the rich history and beautiful sights. Unfortunately, in it not in the cards...or the budget during this phase of my life. When I saw I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski was published this summer, I was quick to add it to my reading list. In this case, I loved my free trip around Europe, but I didn't quite enjoy my travel partners. Sarah Mlynowski did an excellent job of creating an experience of reading this novel. I felt as if I able to get a real tour of multiple European countries and learn a few bits of info that I hadn't previously known before, mainly about Amsterdam. As the characters traveled around, readers are introduced to each new place, more than just London and France, and many of the great tourist activities these places offer. I thoroughly enjoyed the detail in each activity and location, allowing me to feel as if I was experiencing it with the characters. My main issue with the novel, however, was the immaturity of the characters. Maybe I am showing my age in feeling an inability to connect with younger characters and the issues they face. Though, I doubt this is entirely the case because I have read some thoroughly enjoyable YA lately. Sydney's best friend, Leela, was incredibly infuriating for me to read about, as was Sydney's weakness in standing up to Leela's childish demands. The majority of the plot was spent with the characters either running from boys or running back to the same boys. Sydney and Leela never could stick to a plan for their trip, usually changing where they wanted to visit based on Leela's demands or feelings. While I'm all for spontaneity, I was ready for Sydney to drop her friend and travel the way she wanted to, uninhibited and free of Leela's silly whims. One of the biggest disappointments was Leela conveying that Sydney needed to make out with multiple guys to truly have a great vacation and European experience. This is not something I would want any young girl to feel pressured to do, and I can't help but think how reading this novel may negatively influence young women. Kissing multiple boys should not be the objective of vacation before college and make or break the experience. I was really disconcerted by this message, and wish the author would have left this aspect out of the story. In the end, I could only give this novel a middle-of-the-road rating of three stars. There were some things about the story I really enjoyed, but other things I wasn't quite fond of. I think I may have enjoyed this book more when I was younger, as the mom in me tends to picture my daughter in some of the situations the characters found themselves in, which makes me uncomfortable and frankly, sad to think about. Even so, many readers have loved this book and it may be just right for you, too. If you're looking for a quick read and free "vacation", I See London, I See France will certainly transport you!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Olivia (Stories For Coffee)

    I’m not sure how to feel about this. While the premise was fun because I’m a sucker for a travel novel, this book was incredibly frustrating because the friendship between Sydney and Leela was so toxic and exhausting in the way they hardly communicated, the way Leela walked all over Sydney and manipulated her. Their friendship ruined the book for me, and I feel like the book could have been heavily edited down. Idk. Just a forgettable contemporary, for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie Lane

    1.5 STARS ✨ Listened to this on Audible & it was my first time listening to an audiobook! Kinda wish I'd picked a book I actually liked, but oh well 🤷🏼‍♀️ I didn't think the characters were likable or relatable, at least not to me. They were actually incredibly annoying & immature. I saw in one review that they thought the mental illness aspect of this book "felt like an afterthought", and I couldn't agree more. Even the traveling bits were subpar. Just not a good book, with ABSOLUTELY no plot ex 1.5 STARS ✨ Listened to this on Audible & it was my first time listening to an audiobook! Kinda wish I'd picked a book I actually liked, but oh well 🤷🏼‍♀️ I didn't think the characters were likable or relatable, at least not to me. They were actually incredibly annoying & immature. I saw in one review that they thought the mental illness aspect of this book "felt like an afterthought", and I couldn't agree more. Even the traveling bits were subpar. Just not a good book, with ABSOLUTELY no plot except for our MC desperately wanting to hook up with what's his face (already forgot his name and I finished the book less than 10 minutes ago). Very much a forgettable book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Avanti Mukhopadhaya

    Quick fun guilty pleasure read! :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Nielsen

    It's a rare book that makes me laugh out loud, and Sarah has definitely achieved that here. This was a delightful book and I'm so excited to see more are coming. It's a rare book that makes me laugh out loud, and Sarah has definitely achieved that here. This was a delightful book and I'm so excited to see more are coming.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    Meh. Too juvenile for me..but it did get a little teensy bit better at the end. I love all the food and sightseeing references.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5/5 stars I See London, I See France is the first book in a new series. I believe that the next book will have different narrators, but be set in the same world (there was a small sneak peek at the end of this story which leads me to believe this). The book is being touted as Young Adult. But I'm not completely sure what I think about that. The main characters are all 19 and have completed one year of university. There are sex and drugs in this story. However, these scenes are not graphic (which 3.5/5 stars I See London, I See France is the first book in a new series. I believe that the next book will have different narrators, but be set in the same world (there was a small sneak peek at the end of this story which leads me to believe this). The book is being touted as Young Adult. But I'm not completely sure what I think about that. The main characters are all 19 and have completed one year of university. There are sex and drugs in this story. However, these scenes are not graphic (which they usually are in New Adult books). This book is a contemporary romance (IMO somewhere in between upper YA and NA). The narrator is 19 year old Sydney. The book is basically Sydney and her best friend Leela travelling around Europe for a month. One of the most interesting things about this book is that Sydney's mom has severe agoraphobia. I really enjoyed everything to do with this aspect of the storyline. And actually wished that it played an even bigger part of the story. The book started off okay for me. Leela has just broken up with her boyfriend Matt. Unfortunately both of these characters were not that appealing to me. While I didn't love Leela and Matt I did love two other characters (Sydney's friend Kat and Matt's friend Jackson). Also there were some Aussies in the book that I thought really added to the story. At the beginning of each new city is a basic description of what that city is known for. I found this really cute. The story wasn't bad. I just wanted more to happen. It was basically just two girls travelling. There was some romance. And I really did enjoy Sydney's romance. But the story ended too abruptly. It was just getting interesting. Perhaps some of these characters will appear in the next book. Although from the brief description it seems like there will be different narrators. Overall, I wish that the author had not rushed through the end. Thanks to edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megha

    Yeah this book is not what I imagined it to be. I was hoping for a cute, fluffy story but what I got was a teenager who can’t stand up for herself and a best friend who is hella annoying. Sydney is the girl who handles everything. She takes care of her mom back mom, which I really liked. But she still worries every 2 seconds while she’s on vacation. I get it its her mom but she had to trust her sister to take care of her while Sydney is away. She also can’t stand up for herself. She practically pl Yeah this book is not what I imagined it to be. I was hoping for a cute, fluffy story but what I got was a teenager who can’t stand up for herself and a best friend who is hella annoying. Sydney is the girl who handles everything. She takes care of her mom back mom, which I really liked. But she still worries every 2 seconds while she’s on vacation. I get it its her mom but she had to trust her sister to take care of her while Sydney is away. She also can’t stand up for herself. She practically plans the whole trip, and when Leela changes it abruptly we can see that it hurts Sydney but she doesn’t say anything. Why? Oh cause Leela is sad and she has to be happy! Like girl no grow a backbone and stand up for what you want to do. Leela is just a two-faced b****. I cannot stand her. She kept going back to her ex-boyfriend and when Sydney wants to be with Jackson she would give her a hard time. And Sydney would just be like yeah I value my friendship more blah blah blah. I get it they are best friends but Leela wants everything her way and that just can’t be possible. Their friendship just frustrated the crap out of me. It only consists of Leela complaining about everything and Sydney trying to fulfill Leela’s every demand. There were some great parts too. I really liked the whole travelling scenario. I would be totally fun to have a trip like that. I also liked what was going back home to Sydney’s mom. It was great to see her coping. And I liked the Jackson part. I gotta say their relationship was cute. I was totally rooting for them. Honestly, I am a bit disappointed. I feel like there was so much potential for this to be an amazing story but it just wasn’t for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiff at Mostly YA Lit

    Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit: Review: I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski Yikes. I would have DNFd this book at 30% had it not been for a mutual silent agreement with my pal Michele of Just a Lil Lost that we were going to power through together. I really, really hoped that it would get better, that the mental health representation would go deeper and be a little stronger, or that I would like the characters and the premise more. But nope. Sydney has just finished her first Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit: Review: I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski Yikes. I would have DNFd this book at 30% had it not been for a mutual silent agreement with my pal Michele of Just a Lil Lost that we were going to power through together. I really, really hoped that it would get better, that the mental health representation would go deeper and be a little stronger, or that I would like the characters and the premise more. But nope. Sydney has just finished her first year of university in Maryland. Her best friend, Leela, has spent the year in Montreal at McGill University. The best friends have always dreamed of going to Europe together, but Syd's mom suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia. Sydney herself lives at home and spends most of her time taking care of her mom. But when Leela's boyfriend Matt cheats on her, Leela's plans to go to Europe are dashed unless Sydney steps in. Of course, they don't count on Matt showing up on the same flight, along with his hot friend Jackson. So, there's a lot going on in this book - maybe too much because honestly, I got to the end of it and felt like not a single thing was delved into deeply enough. First, the characters. Sydney and Leela are supposed to be 19, but I felt like they read incredibly young in both action and voice. There were a lot of moments where I wondered if I was reading a middle grade novel. And then they would talk about hooking up and sex - but not in those terms - and I'd just be confused again. Neither one of the main characters is particularly funny, smart or interesting. I felt like I barely knew them other than what they did in the book. Moreover, Leela spends most of the book moping, bitching and complaining about everything and Sydney is a doormat who tries to please her. Their friendship is so crappy and obviously toxic. Add to that that they were the opposite of introspective, spending most of their time complaining about boys and the weather, and seeming to be frustrated whenever anything wasn't at all like it was in America. The latter thing is hard to talk about, because I know my perspective is one of someone who is older and has travelled a lot, but HOLY HELL. For girls who supposedly have been dreaming of Europe their whole lives, they seem to know nothing about the places they want to see. They're in London and it's raining. "Why does it rain so much?!" They decide to go get fish and chips. "These taste nothing like the frozen fish sticks from home - oh and chips are fries! Omg!" First of all, I'm pretty sure you can get fish and chips in any ocean/seaside town in America. Second of all, does anyone not know that the "chips" in fish and chips are fries? If that was the only instance of that kind of "helpful tip" in the book, I would have just ignored it. But the narrative of the book is sprinkled with "snippets" from a fake guidebook that includes tips like these. Obvious ones. Ones that literally made me wonder whether this book was some kind of satire for the stereotypical American tourist. I kid you not, I legit wondered that because the characters are so unlikeable and so shocked that things aren't the way they are at home that I felt like I might be imposing some kind of Canadian snobbery or something. Those issues last through the entire book and just made my reading experience really painful. And they were exacerbated by Sydney's enabling of her mom, who is being cared for by her 16-year old sister. Sydney has been taking care of her mom for 7 years, and she's essentially allowed her mom to dictate her own treatment to the point where it's gotten impossible to go outside and Sydney has no life. I wont go into spoilers on how this all gets dealt with, but let's just say that it feels way too easy. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I just really felt like it was too light a take on this issue. Finally, the romance. Because I wasn't invested in the characters, I wasn't at all invested in their relationships or love interests. I will say that towards the middle of the book, we meet a couple characters I liked better. But for the most part, the romance was light and fluffy and frankly not that interesting. Overall, I'm hugely disappointed in this book. It needed a really good edit. At 380 pages, it really should have had some substance or at least some decent travel writing. But I never felt like I was in any of the places with the characters because their experiences were so limited to just touristy spots and dealing with their own drama. I don't think I've sighed in frustration more over a book than this one. I actually can't believe there's a sequel. You can bet I won't be reading it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alafiya

    Wow, this was a lovely read. Refreshing. Also, I love travel-themed books but not all of them are uber-cool. This one was. 💖💖💖

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yusra ✨

    what's funny is that if england won the semi-final... this book would have predicted the world cup final???? what's funny is that if england won the semi-final... this book would have predicted the world cup final????

  15. 5 out of 5

    Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)

    I'll keep this short like my attention towards this book. What's Good? *Little, though shallow and saccharine, tidbits about each city they visited (I've visited several and, to tell the truth, it's the reason why I finished this book). *Short chapters. What's Bad? *Bland characters. I forgot Sydney's (the protagonist) name throughout the book because she bored me to no end (Her family drama, sadly, added nothing). Leela was a manipulative snot to the point of being an antagonist. Kat was o I'll keep this short like my attention towards this book. What's Good? *Little, though shallow and saccharine, tidbits about each city they visited (I've visited several and, to tell the truth, it's the reason why I finished this book). *Short chapters. What's Bad? *Bland characters. I forgot Sydney's (the protagonist) name throughout the book because she bored me to no end (Her family drama, sadly, added nothing). Leela was a manipulative snot to the point of being an antagonist. Kat was okay, but not a character that added as much as Mlynowski believed. She was more of a middle man to balance the imbalance of the other girls. *Instant love. Hookups do not need to be lasting love. *No clear plot. They travel place to place (It's not that easy to just pick up and go to another city. Some train rides cost more when you buy their tickets the day of your desired traveling) chasing or not chasing (whatever) guys. After a while, you want to get off the train and finish the trip on your own, leaving these girls behind. YA? NA Lite? Doesn't matter? If you want a light summer read, sure, read this one. Do not seek depth. 1.5/5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline WARNING! THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR HIGH SCHOOL!!! NONONONONONONO! I love this author, I love books about traveling around Europe, but Sydney and her friend Leela travel around, smoke pot and see a sex show in Amsterdam, get drunk, and have sex. It made ME wildly uncomfortable. This isn't even for high school students, in my opinion. Definitely that New Adult category. Although not as much cursing. While I wish my own travels around Europe had included hot guy, t E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline WARNING! THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR HIGH SCHOOL!!! NONONONONONONO! I love this author, I love books about traveling around Europe, but Sydney and her friend Leela travel around, smoke pot and see a sex show in Amsterdam, get drunk, and have sex. It made ME wildly uncomfortable. This isn't even for high school students, in my opinion. Definitely that New Adult category. Although not as much cursing. While I wish my own travels around Europe had included hot guy, this was WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION! I think I need to go read some Anne of Green Gables now. Or Little Women. I'm done with Montgomery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anatea Oroz

    If you're like me and all you want to do is travel the world and you have this epic dose of Wanderlust, this book will be a perfect read for you! Backpacking Europe is on a to-do list of - I'm pretty sure - 99% of the people. I mean who doesn't want to spend a summer in Europe?! I am lucky enough to live in Europe so I travel all around, all the time (See my Instagram), but Sydney and Leela only have one summer to do it. To spend a month traveling around Europe, where they visit some of the mos If you're like me and all you want to do is travel the world and you have this epic dose of Wanderlust, this book will be a perfect read for you! Backpacking Europe is on a to-do list of - I'm pretty sure - 99% of the people. I mean who doesn't want to spend a summer in Europe?! I am lucky enough to live in Europe so I travel all around, all the time (See my Instagram), but Sydney and Leela only have one summer to do it. To spend a month traveling around Europe, where they visit some of the most amazing cities, meet amazing people and have lots of fun. This book describes backpacking so well. I really enjoyed following Sydney's adventures. Maybe this way of traveling won't be appealing for some, but this is how it really is. You will meet the most random people from all around the world. You will meet the hot guys you'll want to hook up with. You will make the most spontaneous plans and will probably go with the flow. You will be disappointed in some places and you'll be in love with other. I definitely recommend this book for all the travel-loving people! Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amélie Boucher

    Update 24/05/2020: I filmed a video in which I reread this book and read 4 other YA travel novels just like this one if you'd like to check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnzrX5dHnvA ------------------------------------------------------ FIRST READ: DECEMBER 2017 This book gave me such a bad case of wanderlust! I've just returned from my semester abroad in Europe, and now I REALLY want to go back so I can explore it some more! I loved how "real" this story felt. I felt like this story cou Update 24/05/2020: I filmed a video in which I reread this book and read 4 other YA travel novels just like this one if you'd like to check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnzrX5dHnvA ------------------------------------------------------ FIRST READ: DECEMBER 2017 This book gave me such a bad case of wanderlust! I've just returned from my semester abroad in Europe, and now I REALLY want to go back so I can explore it some more! I loved how "real" this story felt. I felt like this story could happen to anyone (it might actually have happened to some people!), and I like how realistic and relatable the characters were. I was not a big fan of Leela (I think she was kind of a bitch and a bad friend), but I did like Kat, Jackson, and Sydney. But my favorite thing about this book was the setting. I like how the chapters were divided into the cities Sydney visited, and all the cities were so vividly described, I felt like I was there too! The only one I've actually set foot in that is described in this book was London, and I think the author did such a great job of describing it! As I mentioned, this book gave me a major case of wanderlust, and it made me want to book my own trip across Europe over the summer (who knows, maybe that will actually happen?). The only thing that pissed me off (but don't worry, it's nothing major) is the misuse of French. There were SUCH silly mistakes that could have easily been fixed if someone had done their research properly or had someone who actually speaks French revise their work. (I mean heures spelled h-e-u-r-s? Seriously?)

  19. 5 out of 5

    shannon✨

    This was such a great story about backpacking, and I definitely liked the plot. It was fun to read about travelling through Europe when you live in Europe yourself. The things that I didn't really like were the clichés, and Leela's behaviour. Leela was so egocentric sometimes, it was just so annoying at some points. This was such a great story about backpacking, and I definitely liked the plot. It was fun to read about travelling through Europe when you live in Europe yourself. The things that I didn't really like were the clichés, and Leela's behaviour. Leela was so egocentric sometimes, it was just so annoying at some points.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Review to come!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    Yesssss. I am loving all the summery travel stories that 2017 has thrown at us. I went from accepting that I'll never get to go on holiday to constantly thinking about my next trip, even taking my first solo holiday this year. In The Girl's Guide to Summer (titled I See London, I See France in the US), 19-year-old best friends Sydney and Leela are off on a once-in-a-lifetime European adventure, visiting England, France, Italy, Switzerland, just to name a few. I live in Europe, but I've never been Yesssss. I am loving all the summery travel stories that 2017 has thrown at us. I went from accepting that I'll never get to go on holiday to constantly thinking about my next trip, even taking my first solo holiday this year. In The Girl's Guide to Summer (titled I See London, I See France in the US), 19-year-old best friends Sydney and Leela are off on a once-in-a-lifetime European adventure, visiting England, France, Italy, Switzerland, just to name a few. I live in Europe, but I've never been on an interrailing adventure. I've never even considered it. In The Girl's Guide... the two friends have it all planned out... until spontaneity takes hold and the girls jump from train to train, heading to another country when the moment takes them. (Come to think of it, it seems like the perfect road trip for someone who gets car sick...). I particularly loved experiencing London through Sydney and Leela's eyes (and may have shouted at them a few times when they forgot to get travel money and didn't check when they could check into a hostel. *headdesk*). I also enjoyed reading about the places I've never been to. With such freedom – and only a few weeks – comes exhaustion and drama. I constantly feared for Leena and Sydney's friendship! Ex-boyfriends, new boyfriends, tense friendships... The Girl's Guide to Summer has it all. I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Im freeee!!! I did it i finished this book i really was gnna give up lol but i did it! There was so much about this book i didnt like. First of hated Leela so whinny and wanted to babyed and wanted everything to change just cause she said so. Hated Matt the douchiest of exs. Annoyed as hell by Sydney i did not feel at all bad for her like seriously. The only one I actually found tolerable and didnt wanna rip out my hair was Kat. Also the romance with Sydney and Jackson was not even insta love it Im freeee!!! I did it i finished this book i really was gnna give up lol but i did it! There was so much about this book i didnt like. First of hated Leela so whinny and wanted to babyed and wanted everything to change just cause she said so. Hated Matt the douchiest of exs. Annoyed as hell by Sydney i did not feel at all bad for her like seriously. The only one I actually found tolerable and didnt wanna rip out my hair was Kat. Also the romance with Sydney and Jackson was not even insta love it was more like insta lust i guess but like juvenille not adulty. Idk if that made sense but seriously this doesnt happen in real life you dont see an attractive person and be like omg hes so hott i must have sex with him like um no its called actually developing their relationship either as friends first or at least letting them get to know each other first like damn. Also just telling one fact about your life doesnt mean it you automatically know the person and is okay to jump their bones -_-. Anyway this is the second disappointing book ive read this year...le sigh so glad i didnt pay for this book cause i would have been pissed lol

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)

    If you like a book with a definitive happily ever after, this is not the book for you. Most of the time, I'm okay with that, but considering Sydney's trip and the implications of her summer romance, I need some sort of closure. More than a few words in a text, at any rate. Beyond that, this book was fun. I've always wanted to backpack across Europe, and though I could have used way more description, it kind of felt like I was on said trip. And some of Syd's travel tips just might come in handy i If you like a book with a definitive happily ever after, this is not the book for you. Most of the time, I'm okay with that, but considering Sydney's trip and the implications of her summer romance, I need some sort of closure. More than a few words in a text, at any rate. Beyond that, this book was fun. I've always wanted to backpack across Europe, and though I could have used way more description, it kind of felt like I was on said trip. And some of Syd's travel tips just might come in handy if I ever do get to make this trip one day.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Catfairy Books

    Catfairy’s First Thoughts Sarah Mlynowski is an author I have heard about through the Whatever After children’s series and when I found out she was writing a book about two best friends that go on an insane European adventure I just had to pick it up! One of the first things I love about this book is the title of the book and the cover! The overall representation of the book just sucked me into my own little book vortex and I just had to gobble it up asap! The writing of this book is light and flu Catfairy’s First Thoughts Sarah Mlynowski is an author I have heard about through the Whatever After children’s series and when I found out she was writing a book about two best friends that go on an insane European adventure I just had to pick it up! One of the first things I love about this book is the title of the book and the cover! The overall representation of the book just sucked me into my own little book vortex and I just had to gobble it up asap! The writing of this book is light and fluffy without a lot of descriptions. “Coffee shops in Amsterdam do NOT sell coffee. They sell pot. So. Much. Pot.” -Sarah Mlynowski Mlynowski’s book was chock full of many crazy moments that I enjoyed with their visits to the “coffee shops” in Amsterdam, sex shows, (Yes sex shows.), the crazy run in’s with Leela’s ex-boyfriend, and running around topless in the South of France! Now you might think that this book is a bit risqué based on the sex show and the running around topless part but it couldn’t be further from the truth! The way that Mlynowski describes all the shenanigans that Sydney and Leela get into is all in good fun that will just make you laugh out loud! When I picked up this book I was excited about it because of the traveling around Europe part and anybody that knows me know that I am obsessed with all things Europe! Even though I love the European trip aspect, the characters didn’t grab my attention in the story. I left not caring so much about the characters once I was done reading the story. Usually, when I finish reading a story that I love, I usually get attached to the characters and I just want to have them be a part of my world! But Sydney and Leela just left a bland taste in my mouth in the end. Catnopsis The book starts with Sydney who goes to college and takes care of her mom who suffers from acrophobia and she lives with her younger sister who has a stuttering problem. Her best friend Leela originally planned a trip around Europe with Sydney who is her best friend but Sydney feels guilty leaving her mom who suffers from the mental illness agoraphobia. Instead, Leela decided to go with her (asshole) boyfriend Matt. When Leela and Matt break up, she convinces Sydney to jump on this once in a lifetime opportunity and they go on a whirlwind trip all around Europe. They go to London… “Chips are French fries, by the way. And please, for the love of Prince Harry, don’t be a tourist and ask for ketchup.” -Sydney They go to Florence and Venice… “Do you think there are water Ubers?” -Leela They literally go almost everywhere around Europe from Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris, Switzerland, Juan-Les-Pins, Monaco, and Greece! I was so jelly and I would have gladly kicked off Leela and gladly taken her place on this amazing adventure! (More about Leela in a min!) Meet Sydney played by Maia Mitchell Sydney is a 19-year old girl that is just trying to do right by her family by taking care of her divorced mother who suffers from agoraphobia. She is described as a goody two shoes kind of girl who has a passion for reading in the beginning but throughout the story, you see that she has a bit of a wild side especially when she falls for Leela’s ex-boyfriend friend Jackson. Sydney is a natural caretaker and a nurturer because of her mom and because of this she is always there to take to pick up the pieces for her best friend Leela. Although her nurturing side gets used and abused by Leela and there were many times where Sydney was made out to be a pushover. Throughout the story, I didn’t particularly care for Sydney until she finally stood up for herself and she told off Leela! Meet Leela played by Alia Bhatt Leela is described as Indian which is bonus points for diversity in Mlynowski’s novel and she is described as someone who always wants everything to be done for her. Leela is also an extremely needy person and can’t seem to get over her asshole of an ex Matt who cheated on her twice right in front of her! Leela was the character that infuriated me the most because she kept taking advantage of Sydney’s good nature based on her mood and emotions. When Leela decides to get back with her ex-boyfriend Matt she basically ditched Sydney and when she has to break up with Matt a second time she wants Sydney to be miserable along with her when they are in FREAKING EUROPE! NO WAY JOSE! I felt that Leela is a manipulative and selfish person who only cares about herself and Sydney should have dumped her butt somewhere in Europe a long time ago! Meet Kat played by Serena van der Woodson Even though Kat was a minor character in the story she was one of my favorite characters in the book! She made everything light and fun and she always made Sydney smile when Leela was being LEELA! Kat also became good friends with Sydney and this made Leela crazy jealous and possessive like a typical Blair and Serena relationship… Kat is described as a New Yorker that comes from money and is always partying it up whenever she has the opportunity! If that isn’t your classic Gossip Girl Serena van der Woodson, I don’t know what is! Catfairy’s Final Thoughts Sarah Mlynowski has a way of telling a great story and I was along for the ride! She made a fun and accessible read overall. Also, I enjoyed the parts where she added the tips that Sydney learned from each country that she traveled. Mlynowski also had Sydney be the narrator in the story but it felt like it was written as a voiceover and it reminded of something out of the Wonder Years… When Mlynowski had Sydney play the narrator the writing of it felt out of place and awkward at times… Even though I loved the story I felt that there needed to be more character development and in the end, the characters fell very flat for me. I felt that there were so many things lacking with the characters and I just wanted more from them. I See London, I See France will teach you to let go, have fun, grab your best friend, and have a crazy adventure before it’s too late! This story gets three stinky slices of cheese in Europe out of five for me! Please read this book review on my blog www.livinginayadream.com! There you can see my gifs, pictures, and my special playlist on Spotify for I See London, I See France! There is a giveaway on my blog right now! Read my blog post to find out the details! www.livinginayadream.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Princessofbookaholics

    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH This review is also on my blog https://princessofbookaholics.wordpre... About: Sydney is spending the summer traveling around Europe with her best friend Leela. They have everything planned out but their plans detour a little as they meet Leela’s ex and his friend and all goes haywire. The places they see and the things they do are all described in this book. Characters: The book is told by Sydney’s POV. I love Leela though she’s a bit disregardful of Sydney sometimes. Syd I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH This review is also on my blog https://princessofbookaholics.wordpre... About: Sydney is spending the summer traveling around Europe with her best friend Leela. They have everything planned out but their plans detour a little as they meet Leela’s ex and his friend and all goes haywire. The places they see and the things they do are all described in this book. Characters: The book is told by Sydney’s POV. I love Leela though she’s a bit disregardful of Sydney sometimes. Sydney is a total sucker for planning and travelling and she plans everything for the two of them. They go on and meet a few Australians whom they befriend and they too seem like fun people. All in all the characters in this book were perfectly described and I had a lot of fun travelling with them. (Uh-huh yes it felt just as if I was travelling with them which made the book all the more fun to read.) Feelings: I felt the need to travel to Europe! It is so beautifully described and anyway Paris has always been my dream destination so I’m definitely going there one day! Recommendation: YES EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! Not only the travelers, but even non-travelers are going to enjoy this book. It is so awesome and I loved everything about it. Favourite Quote: “I’m seriously, no joke, actually doing this. I am traveling around Europe with my best friend for four and a half weeks. Holy crap.” I only chose this quote because I really, really want to say that about myself one day! Rating: 5/5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    If Anna and the French Kiss and Just One Day had a baby, it would look a lot like this book. But with less angst and more laughs. Sydney is nineteen, has just finished her first year of college, and is traveling through Europe on a last-minute trip with her childhood BFF Leela. She struggles to balance her need for a break from life and worrying about her mother and sister back home. Leela is no walk in the park either. Seriously, girlfriend is a Drama Queen with a capital D. Even fictional me w If Anna and the French Kiss and Just One Day had a baby, it would look a lot like this book. But with less angst and more laughs. Sydney is nineteen, has just finished her first year of college, and is traveling through Europe on a last-minute trip with her childhood BFF Leela. She struggles to balance her need for a break from life and worrying about her mother and sister back home. Leela is no walk in the park either. Seriously, girlfriend is a Drama Queen with a capital D. Even fictional me wanted to lose her (accidentally on purpose) several times along the way. I enjoyed seeing Sydney's growth from beginning to end, and even if I didn't agree with some of the choices she made, I understood why she was making them. I do wish we'd gotten a glimpse about what happens after the summer is over though. (For Jackson reasons.) Sarah's books never disappoint me and I'm looking forward to what comes next!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yusra (aka liz)

    DNF 60% Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Okay my heart hurts on how much I dislike this book I tried to stick it out but I just can’t. I want to start with a major issue that I found and work my way down. I really wanted to like this, since I’ve read and loved maybe fifteen books from this author. So the major issue I had with this book was that it made around three seperate terrorist jokes (keep in mind this was published in 2017) one example: *they are in Paris this girl is interning from NYC* “Your not nervous?” DNF 60% Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Okay my heart hurts on how much I dislike this book I tried to stick it out but I just can’t. I want to start with a major issue that I found and work my way down. I really wanted to like this, since I’ve read and loved maybe fifteen books from this author. So the major issue I had with this book was that it made around three seperate terrorist jokes (keep in mind this was published in 2017) one example: *they are in Paris this girl is interning from NYC* “Your not nervous?” Leila asks “About”- she lowers her voice -“terrorists?” “I’m from NYC I feel just as safe here as I do there,” Kat says “So not safe at all,” Yep real convo in the book and it was just plain racist. Do I make you feel unsafe? Other than that this book had such intense girl hate, b***h was used frequently, they didn’t want to ask girls for help etc etc. Another weird thing is girls were described very preciously and men were just called hot? Like I don’t know the love interests hair colour but know what a lipstick shade every girl in the room is wearing. ANOTHER complaint this was targeted as YA this book is NOT appropriate for 12 year old, sex and drugs are more than common themes but plot points. The writing was terrible and juvenile but not in a cute way but in a weird way. This was a travel novel and it just seemed like she knew basic knowledge about each country, like she did a quick search looked at the images and said yep. In conclusion if I could unread any book it would be this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sail ♛ A Wicked Reader

    Contemporaries usually aren't my cup of tea but I decided to pick this one up because the plot sounded too fun to pass up. And the plot was probably my favorite thing about the entire novel. Basically it boils down to this: Sydney has been best friends with Leela her whole life, but now they're in colleges in two different countries and never see each other anymore. So for the summer they decide to go on a backpacking trip through Europe in order to rekindle their friendship. Unfortunately for L Contemporaries usually aren't my cup of tea but I decided to pick this one up because the plot sounded too fun to pass up. And the plot was probably my favorite thing about the entire novel. Basically it boils down to this: Sydney has been best friends with Leela her whole life, but now they're in colleges in two different countries and never see each other anymore. So for the summer they decide to go on a backpacking trip through Europe in order to rekindle their friendship. Unfortunately for Leela, her ex-boyfriend and his friend happen to be on the same trip as them. Fortunately for Sydney, the friend is extremely attractive. But Sydney struggles to have fun while worrying about leaving her mom to deal with her agoraphobia and anxiety alone. I especially loved how big of a part the setting played in the story. It actually went into detail about places, attractions, and things to do in each city that they visited. So that appeared to be very well researched by the author and I appreciated it. And as someone who has anxiety and panic attacks myself, I loved the mental health representation as well. I might not have liked how it was dealt with, but I still enjoyed it. And I liked how the characters were in college instead of high school because I'm sick of reading about high school students lol. However, there were quite a bit of things that I found extremely lacking, and the characters themselves fall into this category. They just all seemed very immature any annoying. Sydney was a pushover. Leela was a big selfish baby. The only one that I even somewhat liked was Kat, and she was only a side character. But another thing that annoyed me was that this is listed as young adult but it seemed more like new adult content to me. I just wasn't expecting the characters in a young adult novel to go see a sex show..so yeah. Characters - 12/20 Plot line - 15/16 Originality - 12/16 Writing Style - 12/16 Pace - 14/16 Ending - 9/16 74/100 3/5 stars I'd recommend this to contemporary fans looking for something a little different.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    Ok. So it's that time of my life where I kind of realized that I'm tired of making myself finish books that simply don't deserve it. I stuck it through until they came to Amsterdam, okay? page 137. i really tried. first of all, let's start with the fact that this is one of THE whitest shit i have read lately. she goes to london, and like, a man talks to them, and he has a british accent, and our brilliant main character goes "oh my god, i wonder if he knows mary poppins"?? what? what does that me Ok. So it's that time of my life where I kind of realized that I'm tired of making myself finish books that simply don't deserve it. I stuck it through until they came to Amsterdam, okay? page 137. i really tried. first of all, let's start with the fact that this is one of THE whitest shit i have read lately. she goes to london, and like, a man talks to them, and he has a british accent, and our brilliant main character goes "oh my god, i wonder if he knows mary poppins"?? what? what does that mean? are you ok? this is a love story with travelling on the side, which sucks because i wanted travelling with love on the side. tell me more about the things you're seeing - you're literally on a different continent!! don't tell me abt boys and how hot they are and just urghh. it's like, 1 paragraph of things they do and then more context about her family and her bestfriend. i JUST- they were in LONDON! IN LONDON!! AND SHE DOESN'T WANT TO TALK MORE ABOUT THAT?? they're in amsterdam rn and she's focussed on getting high and hooking up with a guy and im so tired like yall have time to hookup in your own town. i could read about high school relationship drama literally anywhere, but yall spent thousands of dollars going abroad and focus on posting instagram pictures so ur ex bf comes and u can hook up ? ? ?? no. sorry. bye

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    College-age Leela was hoping to spend the summer in Europe with her boyfriend, but plans change when her boyfriend cheats on her. Leela then asks Sydney, her best friend, to go and before they know it, they have planned an incredible summer. They are going to Europe for over a month and visiting all the places they have dreamt about. But things don't always go smoothly. For starters, Leela's ex-boyfriend is on their flight to London leaving them wondering why he is still going to Europe? Sydney College-age Leela was hoping to spend the summer in Europe with her boyfriend, but plans change when her boyfriend cheats on her. Leela then asks Sydney, her best friend, to go and before they know it, they have planned an incredible summer. They are going to Europe for over a month and visiting all the places they have dreamt about. But things don't always go smoothly. For starters, Leela's ex-boyfriend is on their flight to London leaving them wondering why he is still going to Europe? Sydney can't help but feel a spark for Leela's ex-boyfriend's friend, which obviously makes things complicated. Sarah Mlynowski's I See London, I See France is armchair traveling at its best. Mlynowski gets that traveling with someone, even if it's with your best friend, can be a challenge at times, but in the end traveling is an experience that won't easily be forgotten. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

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