Andrea is a sheltered, pious and WAY over-parented 26 year old living in Los Angeles. Just as she’s offered a dream job—touring England while photographing major historical sites for a new book, her boyfriend Brandon throws her a relationship curveball. Guided by her chaperones, Rob and Harry, Andrea uses her time in England to think things over, relationship-wise, and at the same time, she finally begins to grow up.
I initially had some difficulty connecting with the main character, Andrea. Maybe it was the schmaltzy artwork on the front cover, or that I am not remotely what you might call “sheltered,” but I just could not buy what the author was trying to sell me. I understand that Andrea is conservative and kept on a tight leash by her parents—but the character grew up in L.A. and is THAT naive? She’s also really, really paranoid and it drove me nuts!
On her first day in London, Andrea is described as walking around with her hand on the pepper spray, ready to pounce on every man in London wearing an overcoat because she is sure they are all going to “flash their junk” at her…the absurdity of it had me rolling my eyes. To be fair, her fears about everything drove the other characters in the book nuts, so maybe the extremeness of it all was just highlight the changes that needed to be made by Andrea as she matured.
I also found it ridiculous that Andrea’s parents would go to the level that they did, like following your child to the store by creeping along hiding in bushes? They have bushes in L.A.? Again, maybe the author was just trying to foreshadow the personal growth to come, but it bordered on ridiculous. Case in point—the language that comes out of the mouths of both Andrea and her parents (in my house, we called them “colorful metaphors”, and yes, we were Trekkies) is a little hard to believe given the fact that they are portrayed so uptight and moral.
I realize that this review sounds like the book did not have any redeemable qualities and that is not the case. I firmly believe that every book has its reader, but that this just was not my book. Like any book, the main character gets redeemed by the end of the story because of the trials and tribulations she encounters during her trip to England. The dialogue is largely well-written, the scenic descriptions make it easy for the reader to imagine where Andrea is standing and the characters (once they stopped annoying me) became likable. This is an easy beach reach for your upcoming vacation.