Saturday, May 5, 2018

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Title: My Oxford Year 
Author: Julia Whelan
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 24, 2018 

Major Motion Picture Already in Development with Temple Hill Entertainment

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

"Love. That’s my choice. "

If you read the blurb, then you know this is going to be a tear jerker at some point. How you might say?  Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks names are mentioned in it. That's enough, don't you think?

Yet, I must have missed it since I wasn't prepared. 

What I can say about My Oxford Year without spoiling it for you? I will tell you that I loved it. Yes, at some point I was crying. It was inevitable. But, at the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised by it.

My Oxford Year has a great cast of characters, a budding romance and a BIG unknown. A perfect trifecta for this romance reader. 

As the novel begins, we meet our heroine Ella Durran who has recently arrived at Oxford. She's doing one year abroad studying English Lit. Just when she gets there, she receives a phone call, the next possible candidate to the presidency needs her help but Ella doesn't want to let go of her dream of Oxford. She offers to help from overseas instead. She knows that come June 11th, she'll be back in the States and hopefully as part of this candidate's new team. 

On the same day, still jetlagged, she meets Jamie Davenport, a "posh brat" who makes a terrible impression on her despite being incredibly attractive. Not soon after, she learns he will be her professor for the term. In the beginning, Ella is not sure what to do about it but once again, she wants to do the Oxford thing, just like she promised herself when she was a teenager. 

Jamie Davenport has a reputation with the ladies. From the gossip Ella can gather, he doesn't do long-term relationships. But, Ella is not worried, is not like she likes him, right? And even if she finds him attractive, she won't let her heart dictate her future. She lost once and that was more than enough. 

Life has a funny way of messing with people's lives. In spite of both, Ella and Jamie who start with not wanting anything serious will learn that love has no boundaries and can't be contained. 

As I said earlier, the characters in this novel were fascinating. Ella and Jamie were both smart, funny and honest. Their philosophical discussions, as well as their love for poetry, help them become closer to each other. They got one another and I was so happy for them until the twist hurt my heart. 

"I chose to experience a lifetime."

As for the secondary characters, Ella's friends were all so cool. I wanted to be friends with them myself. They were a good support system for Ella. They took her under their wing not too long after arriving at Oxford and showed her the ropes.

One last thing. My Oxford Year is going to be a movie which is great news. I won't have to wait long to see Sam as Jamie. 

Cliffhanger: No 

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.

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