REVIEW: The Girl's Guide to Summer

by Sarah Mlynowski

Pages: 352
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: June 15th 2017
Received From: Orchard Books

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?

The Girls Guide To Summer is the story of Sydney, a college student who has always put her family first and herself second. However, this summer that is all about to change when her best friend Leela insists Sydney join her on the European adventure they have always dreamed of. For the first time in a long time Sydney isn't thinking about her family, she's off backpacking around Europe and nothing will get in her way... well other than Leela's ex boyfriend Matt that is. Throughout the course of the book the two best friends are pushed too their limits as they try to juggle romance, loyalties and eight new countries. It will be a summer they'll never forget, but will it be for the right reasons? Only one way to find out!

Okay so confession time. When I received this book from the lovely people at Orchard Books I was more than a little sceptical because I have read a book by Sarah Mlynowski before and if i'm honest it was not my cup of tea. HOWEVER, the story line for The Girl's Guide to Summer did sound interesting so I thought I would give it a go and I have to say I was not disappointed! Okay, it still had the same niggling annoyance of the other book, which was certain characters *cough* Leela *cough* do come across as annoyingly self-centered at times. However, the overall story had me hooked and I fell in love with this book almost instantly.

As a character Sydney is so easy to connect with as she has strong family morals, girl code ethics and just a really endearing personality. She is one of those characters that you want to have as your best friend and I don't think anyone who has read the book can disagree with me on that. The story is sweet and honest and probably one of the most captivating summer romances I've read in a long time... after all who doesn't love a bad boy gone good? The plot tests Sydney's strength as she learns to take control of her own life and live for herself and no one else. However, with twists and turns around every corner The Girl Guide to Summer will leave you begging for more.

Overall this book was completely my cup of tea - despite previous reservations. It is a story that will have you mentally packing your backpacks and dreaming of European cities long after the last word has been read. It is a testament to the author at just how fast I fell for Sydney's story as Sarah Mlynowski found a way to combine the magic of Europe with the realities of teenage relationships. It is challenging, heartwarming, honest, endearing and engaging from the very first page and if you haven't read this book yet then I hope you do soon! The perfect book to keep summer alive as we enter into the autumn months.

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