Review: Sarah Mlynowski – I See London, I See France

This will be my first review written in English. Why am I not writing this one in Dutch? Well, because I’ve read the book in English. Whenever I saw that this book was going to be released in Dutch, I was not really eager to read it, let alone buy it. However, I found the English version when I randomly scrolled through Storytel. I decided to put this on my TBR on there and this week I’ve read it finally. Beforehand, my expectations were very low, but did the book succeed in surprising me?

Book details

Title: I See London, I See France
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publish date: 11 July 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062397072
Number of pages: 378

Book description

Nineteen-year old Sydney has planned the perfect summer. She and her childhood best friend Leela will be traveling through Europe for 4.5 weeks. What they did not plan for this trip: finding out Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend Matt is on the same flight as the girls, Sydney getting a major crush on Matt’s really hot friend Jackson, Sydney needing to monitor her mother’s worsening condition through iMessage and Facetime. Does she succeed in having fun and not to worry too much while traveling through England, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Italy?

Reading experience

As stated in the first paragraph, my expectations for this book were very low. At first, it was quite OK, although Leela annoyed me straight away. She is such a dramaqueen who acts so immature and dumb. Furthermore, the events happen to be really predictable from the start. Things that could go wrong whilst traveling all went wrong. That was the first bummer.

The London part was quite OK still, although I became bored and all the highlights they visited are typical tourist highlights. Why do people always have to travel to London whenever they travel to the UK? The UK has so many more lovely places to discover.

Second, they travel to Amsterdam. From there onwards, everything went downhill for me. Maybe it is because I am Dutch, maybe it is because there were so many stereotypes and clichés. There is so much more to see here than just Amsterdam. And when it comes to Amsterdam, it is definitely not just smoking pod or going to a sex show. It is bringing the image of the city and the country down. I was pleased to see that Sydney saw the Anne Frank house, but again, there is so much more. At that point I was already halfway through the book and all my hopes were vanished.

Did it get better? A bit. It was still predictable, dramatic and super boring, but at least they went to less common places after they left Paris. Leela still annoyed me, so did the storyline. In literally every single city, a boy appeared and hey hi, let’s make some drama. It was way too much and it’s so not what exploring Europe is all about. Finally they went sight seeing, but that was really rushed and definitely could not save the book for me anymore.

Do I want to travel after reading this book? Honestly no. I read this book at this point since I have a holiday planned very shortly and I was expecting this book to get me in the mood some more. Oh what a disappointment! I understand that this book will fit perfectly if you enjoy the feel good genre or whenever you want to take your mind off of things, but its a nope nope nope for me.

Conclusion

My expectations for I See London, I See France were very low and this book unfortunately met all of them. It was all stereotypes and clichés. Besides the characters, the part in Amsterdam made me want to throw the book through the room. If only that was possible. This book fits perfectly if you love boy drama and the feel good genre, but I was really disappointed. In fact, the image of traveling through Europe is damaged by this book. I am so relieved I did not buy this one! I understand that the Dutch readers still have to wait some more weeks to be able to read it in Dutch, but I wanted to write my honest opinion. I would not easily recommend this book and I rate it just 1 star.

Een gedachte over “Review: Sarah Mlynowski – I See London, I See France

  1. Lia zegt:

    Oh that makes me sad that they only used stereotypes for Amsterdam! I love Amsterdam and I hate that people only know it for the drugs and the Wallen, which gives such a skewed image of the city. Great review!

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