cover image Westminster Abby

Westminster Abby

Micol Ostow. Speak, $6.99 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-14-240413-3

The Students Across the Seven Seas (or \x93S.A.S.S.\x94) series makes its maiden voyage to London, where 16-year-old Abby is enrolled in a summer session, studying at a local college. Having \x93discovered that she was a little vanilla,\x94 Abby hopes to add some flavor to her life and taste \x93that hot-fudge sundae lifestyle she so craved.\x94 She\x92s also looking forward to some time away from her overprotective parents, who signed her up for the London program to put distance between her and James, a college student she has been dating against their wishes. Alas, before leaving for London, Abby learned that James was cheating on her\x97but made this discovery after she\x92d bought him a plane ticket so he could visit her abroad. In London, she bonds with Zoe, a spunky and punky, green-haired classmate; and falls in love with Ian, a British student. James\x92s inevitable appearance\x97at precisely the wrong moment\x97adds a dose of melodrama. Yet despite some soap operatic strains, Ostow interjects diverting descriptions of London highlights and introduces some appealing characters, especially the increasingly self-assured and independent heroine. Teenage girls, especially those with a penchant for travel, will find this a light yet flavorful morsel. The series visits Italy in Getting the Boot (0-14-24014-4), due the same month. Ages 12-up. (May)