My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

official blurb
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.

my blurb!
An American with plans for her future sets out to strike an item from her bucket list, and maybe change those plans for a different, perhaps better, future.  Perfect for fans of Me Before You, Love & Gelato, and The Hating Game.

4.5 out of 5

what i liked
There are a lot of good references in this book- like the dead poet society.  I don’t love name dropping, but I LOVE reference dropping!
I loved Jamie. He was fun and smart and wise. He had a good perspective on life that I really enjoyed discovering as the pages went on.  I was picturing him as the actor Sam Caflin as I read the book.  You’re welcome.
I loved Jamie’s mom.  I mean, shout out to good parents in novels! Not all parents are created equal, and not all media gives good justice to good parents.  But Jamie’s mom… she was strong, and realistic, and slightly manipulative but in the best was possible.
This book featured a solid group of friends.  I love reading about subplots with a friend group that you’re rooting for!  Really that in and of itself secure’s a solid star point in the rating of this book.
Something that pleasantly surprised was our main character’s ability to keep an open mind for people that she’s judged. This happened with a few people throughout the novel.  (But lets focus on one particular example).  There’s this one girl who is out of control possessive over Jamie. She sucks.  But as the story moves on, Ella evolves in her friendship with this girl.  Meanwhile, I’m over here reading the book thinking- no way, she was wayyyyyy too bitchy!  But, alas, Ella had already moved on from it.

what i didn't like
Read this book with a dictionary!  I love words. I love learning new words, and rediscovering words I had forgotten.  But wow.  I am pretty sure Whelan wrote this book with the thesaurus app open.
Buyer beware: There are a lot of tropes in this book.  Reeling from a tragedy Ella has sworn off dating, she’s totally career focused, the two main’s make a deal to only sleep together and have no feelings involved.  There may have even been more than that, but you get the picture.  Overall, the tropes didn’t bother me too much but should be noted.
I know that Oxford is supposed to be amazing, but I’ve never been.  (I know, you’re shocked because I seem SO cultured).  So, going on and on about Oxford didn’t make me want to visit, it made me want to skim those sections of the book.

It was really hard to figure out the genre for this one. The beginning screamed more of a romance novel, but then about half way through it became a totally different kind of intense drama. Is romdrom a thing? Because if so, this is it.

I laughed while reading this book and I cried while reading this book (truth be told, I’m kind of a crier since popping out a few kiddos). I was happy with the beginning and the ending of this book. There were parts in the middle that I wasn’t sure I was in love with, but I did read it in less than 24 hours.  So this book ALMOST got 5 stars from me.  It didn’t quite make it to required reading, but it was really enjoyable to read and you should definitely move it up on your TBR list.
If you’re STILL not convinced to move it up on your TBR list – they are apparently filming this movie right now!  So, it goes without saying (but here I am saying it), that you have to read the book before you see the movie!

while reading you should
Read: Poetry.  Because, really, when do you last read through a poem?
Drink: Beer (Although I hate the taste of beer. So maybe rootbeer)
Do: Make a list of places you want to travel and plan a trip that you’ll actually take!

if you would like to buy
Click here: My Oxford Year

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2 thoughts on “My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

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