Friday, January 03, 2014

Lost in London: Charming Premise, So-So Execution

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Jordan Jacoby, a 13-year-old girl from Wilmington, Delaware, has led an utterly un-extraordinary life.  Her parents don't let her do anything (no R-rated movies, no boy/girl activities, no riding her bike without a helmet, etc.); thus, she has done nothing, nothing at all.  So, when she hears about a school-sponsored student exchange program, offering a week of exploration and learning in London, she knows it's just the thing she needs to add a little (okay, a lot) of excitement to her life.  Jordan's parents aren't nearly as enthusiastic about the idea of letting their only child loose in a foreign city, but when a family friend offers to house and chaperone Jordan in England, they relent.  

Jordan could not be more thrilled with her hop across the pond.  She can't wait to soak up England's history and culture.  There's only one problem:  her hosts.  Mrs. Littleton's got better things to do than showing Jordan the sites and her stepdaughter, Caroline, is even less interested.  All she wants to do is shop and hang out with her friends.  Jordan doesn't mind kicking it with cool British kids—until things get a little crazy.  Suddenly, she's getting more excitement than she ever wanted.  Can Jordan get herself out of her English (mis)adventure without getting herself killed, landing herself in jail or failing her big school assignment?  That's starting to look very unlikely.  Very unlikely indeed.

As you can tell from its cover, Lost in London by Cindy Callaghan, is a fast, fun, adventure-filled read.  Although there's not a lot of depth to her character, it's easy to like Jordan.  I empathized with her feelings of discomfort among Caroline's wealthy, sophisticated friends, while smiling at all her zany escapades.  This easy, breezy tale lost serious charm points with me, though, because of several things:  passive prose, underdeveloped characters and totally far-fetched plot twists.  A sharper, more realistic framework would have made Lost in London a whole lot more satisfying.  As is, it just felt forgettable and, overall, kind of meh.     

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Lost in London from the generous folks at BookSparks PR.  Thank you!
   

1 comment:

  1. This does sound a bit silly but I could see this being a light read on some weekend afternoon.

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