Need ideas for easy read novels set in London

I am taking/chaperoning 3 teenage girls on a trip to England where we will spend 2.5 days in London on their way to an exchange program in Bath.

I would like to give them a novel that will be an easy read on the plane since they will already be sleep deprived when they board and won’t have the energy for the ‘classics’.

My real objective is to give them a book that will allow them to identify with the more mundane things that make London unique. For example, as a huge Absolutely Fabulous fan just seeing Harvey Nichols made me say “Sweetie dahling, Harvey Nicks” and gave me an urge to say LaCroix. M&S made me think of Bridget Jones Diary.

So does anyone have some suggestions on what books I should look to get for them.

Oh and this is coming out of my pocket, so paperbacks are a must!

Frell, that is one specific request.

Sorry I don’t have an answer. :frowning:

The Shopaholic series of books by Sophie Kinsella are very light plane reading, and name drop a lot of shops and places in London - very Bridget Jones type books. Another author I’ve enjoyed on long flights is Marian Keyes. I’m quite sure some of her books are set in London, however, as I gave 90% of my books to charity shops when I moved back to Oklahoma, I can’t recall which ones. Also, some of Freya North’s books are set in London as far as I can remember.

Have a wonderful trip, sorry I couldn’t be more help (tis late, but I will try to think of some others tomorrow).

London fiction for teens? Beats me.

But I was in London last May, and will recommend these non-fiction travel guides:

Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to London
Frommer’s London With Kids
Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to London (Amazon page)

*Sherlock Holmes Stories * by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Apart from just about every English chick-lit novel kicking around, High Fidelity and About a Boy by Nick Hornby have London as their setting.

For chick-lit, I think Getting Over It by Anna Maxted is a cut above.

May not be what you’re looking for but:

could definitly come in handy. And a fun read.

I like the Nick Hornby idea. Or…there are a lot of British comic book writers who take London as one of their character (Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison). Of course it might give them some very strange ideas…

Thanks for the thoughts

I have read all of the Nick Hornby stuff, but I don’t recall much in the way of London itself. His books are very character driven and his characters aren’t exactly motivated to hit the town :stuck_out_tongue:

I saw one of the Shopaholic books on my last bookstore trip, but didn’t realize it was set in England so I will look at those today. I will also look at Freya North and Anna Maxtead.

As for the actual tourist stuff, I have a pretty good idea of what we will be doing although I am going to let the girls select their 3 “must see” sites and then I will fill in around those. However, I have a slightly different take on tourism and I won’t be frog-marching them to every historical location I can get to in 72 hours.

Any other ideas for books?

Get them Neverwhere to read on the plane back, once they’re already in love with London Above.

I have only ever actually read this book, which is not at all what you’re looking for (kids on scavenger hunt in NYC), but it’s quite charming. The sequel, however, which I have not read, might just work for you–kids on scavenger hunt in London–but it might be a bit youngish for the kids you’re talking about.

Bumping back to page 1.

Thanks for the helo :slight_smile:

For chick-lit, try Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell.

If any of them like crime, try Rancid Aluminium - not the best book in the world, and maybe a bit racy for your audience, but entertaining and mostly London-based. A slightly more “intellectual” crimey novel - bit hard to pin down the genre - is Armadillo.

Tony Parsons has written a few Hornby-esque (chick-lit for/about guys - or would that be dick-lit?) London-based novels, beginning with Man and Boy.

Not set in London, but in England. You might consider An Unkindness of Ravens by Ruth Rendell, especially if the girls are a little goth.

Here is a link to Amazon reviews.

Some of the themes are adult, but as I recall they are handled with British discretion, not Amercian style Jerry Springer-esque crassness.

Enjoy your trip!

Another vote for the Shopaholic books, especially for teen girls. And doesn’t quite a large chunk of that damn Da Vinci book take place in London?

Oh! I know! V for Ven…er…on second thought, not such a good idea.

Seconding Neverwhere, it’ll make the subway that much more interesting.