Saying Goodbye to London


Saying goodbye to London – Julie Burtinshaw

This was an ARC downloaded from Netgalley and I selected it entirely on the cover art and the fact that I love London. I need to start reading the blurbs of these things more often! This was about an entirely different London, London in Canada and then London, the person. Am I explaining this properly? Give me a sec.

Francis Sloan is a shy fifteen-year-old boy. When he meets edgy sixteen-year-old Sawyer, sparks fly…and Sawyer becomes pregnant. Their relationship is still so fresh and new, they decide they will put the baby up for adoption. As the story unfolds over the nine months they wait for their baby, London, to be born, Francis and Sawyer grapple with the responsibility of becoming parents and the accelerated path to adulthood they now find themselves on. With the absence of their own fathers in their lives and the evergreen challenges of first love, will they even make it together to the point where they have to say goodbye to London?

So, this is the story of Francis, who is super shy and more into hanging out with his bud Kevin and playing computer games at home than he is anything else. Seeing as he is perhaps one of the worst people I’ve ever had the mispleasure to read about, maybe he should have stayed in his room and not inspired anyone to write about him. Anyway. Francis goes out one evening with Kevin, who is going through some stuff and deserves way better friends, despite the fact that he is super shy, he manages to talk to, impress, dance with and then make out with a cool older girl, Sawyer. Anyway, he and Sawyer despite not knowing each other all that well, living on opposite ends of the city, not having anything in common and having you know, school and friends and stuff, decide to spend all their time hanging out in Sawyer’s room having sex and then being surprised that they’ve ended up withchild, because apparently, contraception isn’t a thing that they’ve thought about all that much.

Now, I was intrigued by the initial premise of this story, the only other book I’ve read about teen pregnancy is Trouble by Non Pratt, which was a first person narrative from both the point of view of the mother to be and her friend who was pretending to be the father, so although I picked this thinking it was to do with saying goodbye to London, England, I was a bit excited to read someone else’s prospective on the teen pregnancy front. Sadly, there was something about this that I just couldn’t get into. I don’t know if it was the simplistic narration or just the fact that Francis is by far the most awful, immature person I have ever come across, but I just… I couldn’t. This is a boy who can’t even say the word condom without getting flustered. Firstly, you are fifteen, wtf is wrong with you? Secondly, all you seem to want to do with Sawyer requires the use of one. Freaking say the word! He came across so terribly, Kevin’s storyline was so interesting, he was dealing with the fact that his dad is dying and still managed to be there and support his friend and Francis literally couldn’t be even the slightest bit grateful.

The cover art for this is beautiful, the story is an interesting, its just a shame that I didn’t click with it better. If anyone else reads this, give me a shout and let me know what you thought! We could swap notes on how awful Francis is!

1 thought on “Saying Goodbye to London”

  1. Hi, thanks for taking the time to read my last book. It’s always a struggle for an author to write a character who is essentially dislikable, and it’s often argued that readers prefer characters with positive personality traits. I took a chance on creating Francis because there are people like him – naive, spoiled, self-centred and privileged – trust me it’s not easy to write a character whose values don’t align with my own. I feel by your review that I succeeded in doing this and I hope you saw him grow as you turned the pages and that the theme of the role fathers play in the life their children can never be underestimated, be it positive or negative. Thanks, Julie

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