Study abroad stories have always fascinated me, there’s just something about reading about characters experiencing another culture. Westminster Abby, by Micol Ostow, is the first in the Students Across Seven Seas, or S.A.S.S. Series, a collection of novels about students studying abroad in different countries.

Abby Capshaw is a high school student who is studying in London for the summer session. A native of New York City, she is looking for a change from her overprotective parents and cheating ex-boyfriend. While used to city life and prepared for unfamiliar conditions, Abby is surprised to find out that London offers a lot more than she expected.

One of the unique aspects was how Abby is a high school student as opposed to a college student. I did know some foreign exchange students in high school from different countries, but most of the study abroad programs I was aware of didn’t come until college.

Ostow does a good job of describing London’s many places. Having visited many of the places in London myself, I could easily visualize Abby walking down the street in the East End or riding the London Eye.

However, I felt like the setting description was what made the book worth finishing. I found the actual plot very cliched and predictable, as it involves Abby meeting a guy and then getting torn between two guys, and so on. Abby does take a trip to Dublin, but that part felt incredibly rushed. There were several times where I considered skipping ahead just to find what happened. Also, I felt like it was more of a novella, since it was only about 200 pages.

While this wasn’t the best novel, it’s a good, quick read for anyone that wants to read about London.