Book 42 is an amazing book called I See London, I See France. I loved this book more for the traveling then for the character building but it was still an amazing book. I related so much to this book because it was kind of like me with my friends from college. When I was junior in college, I am an unique opportunity to study for a month in Italy. I was freaked out and so my amazing friend who I will refer to as D and I made a deal to go together. I met some of the most amazing friends on that study abroad and I recommend the opportunity to my students every chance that I get. Going to another country is amazing and it really lets you see who you are because you are out of your own comfort zone. You either adapt or you are miserable. You start to see your strengths and your weaknesses. And you make some of the best memories to tell the next generation, whether it is your kids or your nieces and nephews or your students. This book brought back all those memories for me and I loved it. If you have never traveled, this book will make you want to travel, that is for sure. But enough about the influence the book had on me and about the book itself.
Now the one thing that is cool about this book is you see two best friends from high school go on a trip for a month and you see how much one-year apart does to them individually as in growth. The author sneaks in little parts to the reader, to show that, though these two are besties from high school, the time apart means they grew up a little. Now I will admit that both them main character and her bestie did get a little on my nerves, more the bestie Leela than Sydney (Sydney is the main character). Leela was a little whine and back and forth about things. First she wants to change their whole trip to include her ex who happened to be on the first stop (London) with his friend. Then, after traveling together for a little while and shoving Sydney and ex’s friend Jackson together, she gets mad at her ex and wants to travel anywhere but where they are going (which sucks for Sydney because her and Jackson like each other a lot). So Sydney has to change the plans again. Then she wants to leave a place early because she doesn’t want to see her ex anymore when he happened to show up there (actually Jackson persuaded the ex to go there when he found out Sydney was there, that was super romantic in my opinion). So Leela was a little selfish and it annoyed me. At the end of story, she does a selfless act which was nice but the ending is a different story all together. Sydney annoyed me a little because she used her friend’s selfishness as a way to try and push Jackson away when she thought it wouldn’t work out. She says she needs to stay with her friend instead of doing something she wants but is scared to do.
Now the ending. It was rushed in my opinion. I didn’t like it. I wished there was at least an epilogue so I would know what would happen after everyone got on their planes back to the US. Sydney and Jackson want to make it work but they don’t out right and say they are going to try. An epilogue showing like a couple months down the road with either one of them getting off a plane to see the other because they are trying to make the long distance thing work would’ve been awesome and a great way to finish.
In the end, the author did leave a little note to hint that she is going to write a second book about characters only mentioned in this book. They were the ones left behind in America at a summer camp. I will say this, though, this book is not for young adults, or at least I would not suggest it to any student of mine unless they were a senior about to graduate high school. There is sex, drugs, and drinking all over this book. They visit the red light district in Amsterdam and go to a sex show! The pot wasn’t that big a deal since it is becoming more and more common here in America and is being legalized in states. None the less, this is the most liberal of young adult books I have read to date. I enjoyed it thoroughly but I don’t know if I had a teenage kid that I would let them read this. Granted I was reading romance novel in high school, so I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised or fazed by this. Anyways see you next book!
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.