All in all, it was an okay story Something to pass the time, I guess.
WAS GOING TO DO AN ABRIDGED VERSION OF WA BUT I M BUSY SO ENJOY THIS INSTEAD Bridget sees Westminster Abby A book about a girl studying abroad That sounds right up my alley Bad reviews Don t do it, Bridget This book is cheesy as f ck.
Bridget But girls traveling the world Bad reviews Trust us, it s not as exciting as it seems.
Bridget But London Bad reviews Look at that cover It screams Mid 2000s chick flick chick read cheese fest Bridget I ma read it anyway Oh, bloody hell What a cheese overload This was from 2005 and it really shows That s not necessarily a bad thing, but still.
So this book is about a high schooler named Abby who is forced to study abroad in London by her parents because they re overprotective and don t want her near a boy.
There you go.
That s the plot.
10 10 so genius But as someone who is obsessed with foreign cultures and traveling and all that, I was intrigued by this book anyway I wasn t expecting anything groundbreaking or innovative I just wanted to read about a girl learning and growing in London.
Who is this girl, though Throughout the book, Abby constantly describes herself as vanilla Honestly, I could totally see how she could describe herself as vanilla However, I don t see her as a scoop of vanilla ice cream or vanilla cookies No, she was as vanilla as those off brand artificially vanilla supermarket ice creams that you only really see at cheap parties In other words, she sSo.
Yep She s the main character, and she s boorrriiiinnnnngggggg.
Yay OTHER THINGS I DIDN T LIKE Love triangles are gross The romance was cheesy AF One of the minor characters in the friend group has the same name as someone I strongly dislike, so every time she was mentioned it took me out of a happy reading mood The story was typical and nothing exciting You only spend a five minute long chapter on Dublin Really Come on, Dublin is cool What looked like they were trying to have this book connect to the Italy one ends up going nowhere It s mentioned like once or twice and then never brought up again We re too focused on awkward boy drama to even care.
THINGS THAT I ACTUALLY DID LIKE I liked the descriptions of London At least I wasn t cheated out on what I came for in the first place I can t lie the ending was satisfying and kind of nice Ireland gets some attention I know this series has another book where a girl actually studies in Ireland, but I m not up to that yet The e mail parts didn t bother me though they were some extra cheddar The book was a quick read whenever I actually sat down to read it Shout out to smiley fries There s an anxious redhead in one part of the book and I related too much.
So in conclusion, this story had a bit too much Cheshire cheese for my liking However, I think I will still read the other books in this series because I m still interested.
Abby Has Always Considered Herself To Be A Little Vanilla Sweet,plain, But Not Very Exciting So When She Finds Herself Flying Across The Ocean To London, Trying To Forget Her Problems With Her Cheating Ex Boyfriend And Her Overprotective Parents, She Figures Her Semester Abroad Is Her Chance To Become One Big Hot Fudge Sundae And She Isn T Disappointed London Boasts A Plethora Of Funky Pubs And Shops, Drivers On The Wrong Side Of The Street, French Fries Called Chips, And A Very Charming Brit Named Ian As Abby Moves Closer To The Vision Of Her Wild Child Self, She Realizes That Sometimes Leaving What You Know Best Actually Brings You Closer To What You Best Know Yourself This SASS Students Across The Seven Seas Novel Is One Of The First Two In Our New Study Abroad Fiction Series Teen Girls Will Latch Onto These books As They Re Enmeshed In The Lives Of Characters Just Like Themselves, Who Are Experiencing New Cultures, New Friendships, And New Worlds Through Study Abroad This is my second book in the SASS series I wonder if all these books in this series are the same, if the girls have an ulterior motive for doing the study abroads It would be nice if someone actually wanted to go and do good.
It was annoying how she compared herself to food Like vanilla cookies, and wanting to be a hot fudge sundae Or a scoop of vanilla, with sprinkles.
I like that Abby was described as having inherent shyness Characters like that are always relatable to me.
It s an old trope where the girl is tired of being responsible and thinks she s boring, wants to change her whole personality I get wanting to change in certain ways, or come out of your shell, but who just wants to scrap their whole personality She tutors peer to peer, has a close group of friends, and maybe she wasn t captain of the cheerleading squad or anything like that, but she fit in and felt well liked Terminally boring This instantly irritated me You don t have to be on the cheerleading squad to be interesting some people don t even have that much If you re well liked and have friends, that should be enough.
I found Abby to be annoying, how her parents get onto her if she gets an A minus on a test, which she rarely does anyway I never related to that overachiever personality Grades weren t important to me growing up which they probably should have been, looking back but straight A, perfect students like that aren t relatable to me It s actually annoying.
Abby was such an idiot for using all her savings to buy James a plane ticket so he could visit her Of course she found out he d been cheating on her the entire time after buying the plane ticket Idk why she d pay for the entire thing, either You could have at least split the cost or something.
She had the typical wild best friend, Dani, who wanted her to lie to her parents so they could go to a college party Abby, being the MC, has to be weak willed, and go along with whatever anyone tells her to do They re drinking at the party It would be nice if not all YA characters wanted to drink and party.
Like in Getting the Boot, the person the MC befriends at the SASS school is a goth girl What are the chances of that They both befriended opposites of themselves, and I guess the opposite of a regular person is a gothic person Would be nice to switch it up, like with a prep, or you know, also a regular person No one has to be a caricature When MC s move somewhere or are on vacation, idl hearing too much about their home lives, like the scene meeting James, or talking to her best friend Dani or the other girl through e mail You re in a new country, let s get to the good stuff, not keep looking behind I found the e mails to be pretty unnecessary I didn t like Dani, and didn t care to hear from her Or whoever Mara was She mentioned her once as being a student of SASS in Florence, but she didn t even say how she knew her She wrote Mara two e mails, and got no response back The author couldn t even squeeze in a response or two, so what was the point Most of the e mails didn t include responses to them, so it makes it all thepointless to even include them.
Simon, the Scottish guy, was unnecessary We know she s gonna meet Ian, and she already has her ex bf James, so we don t need a third guy Especially because I thought Zoe liked him She winked at him when she first told Abby who he was To make it evenpointless, Simon ends up very quickly liking someone else, so there was no point to him liking Abby Why do three guys have to be interested in Abby Couldn t Simon and Zoe get together I didn t realize these books were as old as they were This was published in 2005 So expressions like foxiness and macking on you were dated.
It was weird how Zoe called Abby honey, dear and babe At first I thought she was pretending to act like a married couple, but then she did it a coupletimes.
The first three times she talks to Ian, he d suddenly appear, overhearing their conversation and jumping in It was repetitive I loved when Ian said he s from Manchester, and after he s had a fewpints she ll hear the accent creep out.
Two books in this series Getting the Boot and now this made fun of socially challenged people That is not ok She was shy but she wasn t socially challenged by any means This is highly insulting to people who aren t good at talking Even the term socially challenged is an insult.
It was weird when she said her parents treat her like she s 7, and Ian s like instead of the sophisticated sixteen year old that you are and Abby says right, I forgot, because you re so much older and wiser and he says and don t forget better looking It s weird to say he s better looking than a girl.
Talking of her parents and her ex bf right before they kissed was a mood killer.
She said she d kissed boys before James, of course, but had done little else The only person she knew with any kind of intimacy was James It turns out they d only been dating for four months, so idk how much intimacy you could have had Not to mention you re only 16 It was weird when she noticed similarities between Ian and his dad Ian s father was tall with the same broad chest that Abby adored I couldn t believe that as she went with Ian on a day trip to meet his family, James wasn t completely gone from her thoughts, right after she s hugging and kissing Ian That s not fair to him.
It was very predictable James would show up, even though they ve broken up and haven t talked in like two months.
Abby was seriously stupid for saying because he was with one girl that almost makes it worse If it had beenthan one girl lots of girls I could have just told myself that they didn t mean anything But you were having a relationship with someone the entire time that you were involved with me It was disgusting and in his words, twisted, how he never felt that way about anyone like he did her and he freaked, that s why he cheated For four months.
She managed a pretty good speech to James, and realizing she was falling in love with Ian, so I was really disappointed when she still felt affection for him and wanted to pull him in her arms, then said idk, I think it s too late Do all these girls have to be 16 You can be older in this program Once I got college age I just wanted characters closer to my age It seems the magic age is always 16 It s just so young, especially with the problems of overprotective parents, curfews, and all that Lying to the parents about James, and now Ian Abby was so stupid to even consider going to Ireland with James, hanging out with him.
I hated that she kissed him.
Zoe asks if James is sure he wanted to be dealt a hand of cards, I didn t like when he said oh, I m sure, sweetie She kept telling Ian she didn t ask James to come, she couldn t ask him to leave That wasn t even the issue The issue is that she kissed him and was hanging out with him, all while leaving Ian hanging there That s the problem.
Her and James visited Dublin, saw some tap dancing, saying that most of the step dancing was geared towards tourists and wasn t entirely authentic.
She joined the dancing in the pub, and didn t wanna look like a wet blanket, wallflower, and realized she d lookfoolish sulking in the corner than dancing That s a big revelation for a shy person, something I ve realized over the years.
Her parents were really annoying, in a way I can t stand parents to be Overprotective, overbearing Calling every Sunday Talking to Reuben about her time at the school, her grades Knowing when the midterms are, and that they e mail her her grades, and to forward the email to her parents She forgot about the midterms and says she s never left studying for the last minute before and was this also part of the new and improved Abby Capshaw How would that be improved if you ve gotten worse.
I really hope this series isn t always about the girls slacking off in school.
She told James Ian was her boyfriend, yet they were kissing and appeared to be getting back together She called Ian her boyfriend to her parents, yet hasn t even made a decision about James Also, you ve been hanging out with him, but he isn t your boyfriend.
I was glad she finally emailed her parents and stood up for herself somewhat It was very annoying when her mom made her promise she d get 4 A s Even though the courses are pass fail and don t even count on her transcript.
I loved all the info on London A sunny day was a rare occurrence in England Even in summer, most people carried long sleeve layers with them.
It was funny how at the airport it suggested a cuppa whilst you wait for your flight The city of Westminster, now a borough of London, has been the seat of British power for over a thousand years William the conqueror was crowned in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066, and his successors built the Palace of Westminster that would one day house Parliament West End is the theater and restaurant district, and is touristy, so things aren t as authentic there.
Covent Garden is an extension of West End British say pants or knickers to mean underwear.
Smart dress means sharp dress, but not necessarily trendy, just pulled together.
The style for guys was usually close fitting jeans, sneakers, t shirts, halfway between trendy and casual.
London style is somewhere between casual and trendy Ian wore various pairs of Pumas and lots of layered t shirts Pomade in the hair, messenger bags.
There s a large Indian and southeast Asian culture in London British culture is heavily influenced by it s Indian population, like their movies.
The British were dying to keep up with American media I loved the mention of William at Eton That must have been exciting back then to maybe run into them there, even though when this was written, he prob wasn t going there.
In England, private schools were called public schools You can pay a fee to tour the chapel, school yard, cloisters and museum of student life I ve heard that unlike us Americans, in England, you have to choose a major early on, instead of being able to wait a couple years and take your basic courses before deciding a major.
I like the British sayings, like mucking around with the lads and git, meaning like an idiot.
Knackered means tired.
Single pounds were coins rather than bills England is a pub culture, but the point is to relax with friends and socialize, not to get drunk.
Coffee bars were hard to find, because the norm in England was to chat over tea.
The UK DJ scene is supposed to be superior.
Most British buildings referred to the first floor as the ground floor, so Ian s apartment on the third floor was actually the fourth floor.
Speakers Corner was where anyone could get up and and preach about anything they wanted There s the Whispering Gallery at St Paul s Cathedral, where if you lean and whisper against the wall, the sound will travel along it to the other side.
I love all the sites the Tower Bridge, the Crown Jewels, the Globe Theatre, Big Ben, and all the other places they went to.
English call living rooms parlors.
Stately homes were where royalty stayed when they were in town England s known for Sunday roasts They re the pinnacle of traditional English cuisine Pudding is actually a generic term for dessert.
They did play the most popular American shows, but they re usually at least one season behind.
It was cool a pub was called Nag s Head, because that s a town in my state.
I didn t like all the time her and Ian were apart And when she sees him at the end, I couldn t believe it when she said she wasn t sure she wanted things to go back to the way they were with him before, that it was appealing being on her own That she might still love him but didn t have to make any decisions She said maybe Ian wasn t the love of her life, especially since she was going home soon But you never knew, and he was part of the most exciting time Abby had known The door was open for them.
It becameof a book on empowerment, finding yourself, and being able to live on your own I really don t like when the heroine doesn t choose either guy, and instead chooses herself.
She didn t even let James know her decision If she wasn t going to get back together she shouldn t have given him hope and kissed him She might as well have sent him home from the get go She basically strung them both along at the end.
I was expecting 192 pages, but it was really 168, so the ending was so sudden It could have at least covered the entire summer Of course, the preview at the end was for the one book I ve already read, Getting the Boot, so I didn t get to preview one I haven t read.
The love was a lot better in here than Getting the Boot, but I think the whole series is going to be like this I just wantthan this from books Not so juvenile of a love story, and with a conclusive and happy ending I think I would have liked these in high school, but they re too juvenile for me now.
The author used from big words in here I ve never even heard of, so I hardly doubt teens will know what they mean.
The books I ve read in the SASS series have a surprising amount of cuss words, and mention things like nipple rings, and drinking and smoking, yet they re pretty juvenile overall No descriptions on kissing scenes, which I can t stand This isn t middle grade books, so you can bedescriptive on that stuff.
After this, just realizing how juvenile and lacking two books in the series was, and that the romance isn t the main factor, I just don t know if I can continue with the series.
5 I really enjoyed this book however not one of my favorites YA novel about Abby, a 16 year old girl from New York whose parents don t allow her to date until she is seventeen When she sneaks around and dates a college boy, said parents decide she should spend the summer as an exchange student at a college in Londonwhere she gets involved with another college boy and lies to the folks someThe 16 year old and her age mates in the study abroad program spend a lot of time roaming London and hitting the pubs Abby even jets off for a week end in Dublin with one of the boys.
Travel tidbits were interesting, but the story was really TOTALLY unrealistic Well, I picked this one up for obvious reasons my complete obsession with any and all things British The story sounded cute but I pretty much knew ahead of time that the book would lack any real good storytelling or writing, which it did I WAS pleased with the incredibly detailed account of Abby in London, which was like revisiting all of the touristy spots all over again But the shallow plot girl gets in trouble with parents for going behind their backs to see her boyfriend, she finds out he s been cheating on her, breaks up with him Parents then suggest she study abroad in London for 10 weeks to get her thinking less about boys andabout.
I don t know, schoolwork Falls for a Brit named Ian, ex boyfriend James comes to visit, blah blah blah Yawn But the description of St Paul s cathedral was pretty goodI would recommend this series only to people who enjoy guidebooks and have obsessive tendencies with particular countries other than this one.
Westminster Abby is the first book in the S.
S Series It follows a girl, Abby, who is struggling to find her independence In search for it she travels to London as part of her school s foreign exchange program I enjoyed the fact that this book mostly took place in England however the author didn t describe the settings as well as I would have hoped The contemporary plot wasn t necessarily a new idea, but the story progressed smoothly and the ending was surprisingly unpredictable Previously I have read Girl Overboard by Aimee Ferris, which is another book in the S.
S Series Comparing the two, Girl Overboard wowed me while Westminster Abby was pleasurable Overall 3 5 stars I would pickof the S.
Westminster Abby tells a relatively predictable story about a teenage girl with overprotective parents who longs to break free and become her own person She leaves the confines of her home in New York City to explore the wondrous world of London and its environs There, she befriends a girl who s the complete opposite of her With the help of her new friend, Abby starts to break out of her shell and become the not so vanilla girl she always wanted to be.
Micol Ostow does a nice job in describing the various locales in which her narrative takes place This novel could serve as somewhat of a guide book for those traveling to London for the first time, as it gives realistic opinions of a first time visitor s impression of Britain, except that it s intertwined in the story of a young girl who some teens will probably be able to identify with a cheating ex boyfriend, parents who expect perfect grades.
Although I raced through the pages to see what adventures Abby would have next, there are no really exciting events in the book, or characters that really stand out although Abby is likeable enough But it s a fun read for the beach or a plane ride My major disappointment in the book is that the ending left me dissatisfied I m sure the author purposely ended the book where she did because she didn t think it was necessary to write muchabout Abby after she turned into the new and improved Abby, but it still would ve been nice to see how everything pans out for her after her transformation.
Boy oh boy this was the cheesiest book in the history of cheesy books I think I can see the appeal of it for a younger audience, but this book definitely wasn t for me I read it for a book challenge I m completing and I must say I don t think I ll be picking up any in the series.