The Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Orchard Books (15th Jun 2017)
Sydney Aarons is leaving her Manhattan townhouse for a summer backpacking around Europe with her best friend, Leela. They’re visiting London, France, Italy, Switzerland and everywhere in between – it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime.
BUT… The trip gets off to a bad start when Leela’s ex-boyfriend shows up on their flight out of JFK. When they touch down in London, Leela Instagrams their every move in the hope Matt will come and find them… Which he does, along with the most gorgeous guy Sydney has ever seen.
Will Sydney’s summer fling last the distance? And what will happen when they all head home?
I’d like to thank Pansing Malaysia for sending me a copy of The Girl’s Guide to Summer for review.
In case you didn’t know, The Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski is published in the US as I See London, I See France and I definitely picked this one up because I thought it was something I could lose myself into for a few hours.
I was looking for something light and fun after having my feelings completely shattered by Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer, so I thought this one should do the trick!
The Girl’s Guide to Summer follows the story of first-year college student, Sydney who makes a last-minute decision to join her best friend, Leela, on a European trip. It’s basically a story of two girls who travel to different European cities and meet people and have fun.
I still don’t really know how I feel about this book though. Part of me liked it because I loved the travelling aspect of the book, especially when Sydney and Leela visited cities like London, Paris and Bruges. I thought it was quite entertaining, following the story of these characters as they enjoy the sights and sounds of these cities.
I liked Sydney. She was nice. But I would normally associate “nice” with mediocre tasting food and tepid tea. It’s the world’s most boring, basic adjective to describe something and I used it to describe the protagonist of the book who was also the narrator of the story. And her constant need to be the responsible one, especially when it comes to her agoraphobic mother back home, was quite tiresome to read about.
The relationship between Sydney and her love interest, Jackson, was quite cute. I liked their bantering and chemistry and you know, the whole thing about them connecting with each other. Yes, I liked it. +1 point, please.
And don’t get me started on the root of my “disenjoyment” of the book: Leela. Girl, she has issues and she seriously needs to be sit down and given a lecture on how to be a decent human being. There was a point where I really couldn’t take her anymore and I actually took some time off reading and watched Game of Thrones—I finished season one so no spoilers, please!
But damn, Daniel. I just wanted to give Leela a big ass high five. On her face. With a cymbal. Oh, yes. -2 points for Leela.
In terms of enjoyment, I did enjoy the book. I do like travelling and holidaying stories. Just not nasty ass characters like Leela. Come to think of it, I would have liked the book more if she weren’t so annoying and toxic and childish. Or maybe if she weren’t in it.
Another issue I had with The Girl’s Guide to Summer was probably the writing. Yes, it’s marketed as a YA novel, but girl, I don’t think 19-year-olds talk like they stepped out of a tween TV series. Girlllllllll. Not cute.
However, what I did like was that the book included sex! Yes, I am talking about bang-bang-into-the-room sex, fret not, the porking wasn’t described graphically. It represented sex as something that shouldn’t be a taboo topic and it’s fine to have sex as long as you know what a condom is.
All in all, The Girl’s Guide to Summer is a fun read (minus Leela) and it proves to be a fluffy romantic contemporary YA if you are looking for something fun to read. It had its moments and at the end of the book, there’s a hint that there will be a companion novel coming our way. Maybe I’ll pick it up if Leela doesn’t make a cameo appearance.