Publisher: HarperTeen | Pages: 378
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Travel
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)
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 a 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.
Contemporary romance reads with travel elements are usually some of my favourite young adult books to read. One of my favourites, as most of my readers know, is Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (read my review here). So needless to say, heading into this book I had really high hopes that I was going to love it.
Overall, I did enjoy this book – but it fell flat to me. I wanted to love it and I only ended up enjoying it. It definitely was a cute, adventurous contemporary that was filled with travel that ultimately gave me some wanderlust. I think that Mlynowski was very well versed in her travel knowledge and the amount of detail she put into each place that the characters visited was really great. I did feel at times that I was immersed in each of these places along with the characters.
I think the biggest reason as to why I didn’t love this book was that I just wasn’t overly invested in the characters. I wanted so badly to love them, but to me they were just okay. Sydney did grow on me. I wasn’t a huge fan of hers to start with, but as the book continued I started to understand her more and I did start to enjoy her wittiness and humour. In that sense, Sydney’s character was redeemed for me. Leela, on the other hand, I was not a big fan of. I found her relationships with Sydney to be annoying at times and I think in general, I was just bothered by her. Jackson was enjoyable at times and I did like seeing how his relationship with Sydney progressed, however, I found major milestones in their relationship to not be detailed enough for my liking and ultimately they felt overlooked.
The other thing that fell flat to me in this book was the ending. It felt super rushed to me and it was like the ending was done in three pages rather than a natural move towards an ending.
While this book wasn’t what I had hoped it would be when I picked it up, I did enjoy it overall. It was a cute contemporary read with lots of travel in it and I would recommend it to anybody looking for some wanderlust in their life. In the end, it was a good read, but I just wish there was more I could have gotten out of it.
That being said, I’ll be interested to see how the storyline continues … since it was left in a way that gives me an indication it will continue. Plus, I believe there has been some talks of a sequel. If there, is, I definitely will be reading it to see if there can be some redemption for me.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)
Favourite Quote: “I’m like Edward sniffing out Bella. I’m a vampire. I can smell him in any room.”
About the Author:
Sarah was born in Montreal, Canada. After graduating with an honors degree in English literature from McGill University, she moved to Toronto to work for Harlequin Enterprises. While she never met Fabio, she used her romance publishing experiences to fuel her first novel Milkrun.
Sarah’s books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and optioned to Hollywood. She now lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.