Every once and again I like to hop into a light read. My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan – while dealing with some heavy issues is still, at its heart, a romance novel. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy at no charge for my honest review.
About My Oxford Year:
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.
My Oxford Year is available for purchase at Harper Collins
About the Author:
Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, life-long actor, and award-winning narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a Tea Master. When not writing her own books, you can find her reading other people’s out loud into a microphone.
I don’t know what I expected when I agreed to read this book but I can tell you I got something I didn’t expect. I thought I’d be reading more of a coming of age tale but at least in my opinion what I read was a romance.
Ella is a young woman who has had her life planned since she was 13 – she would work hard, get good grades and get a Rhodes Scholarship. Why? An article she read at that impressionable age gave her a glimpse of Oxford and she never forgot it.
Ella is a young woman of high intelligence and is very driven in her chosen field of education policy. As she is entering England for her year abroad she receives a call that can change her career path; to work on the campaign for a woman running for President. She does not want to give up her Rhodes so they work a way for her to consult remotely with a commitment for her to fully join the team at the end of her term.
As she explores her new living situation and meets friends Ella also engages with a professor. Their initial meeting is very antagonistic but sparks fly and soon they dating without strings. But then something happens to change the course of both of their lives.
I’m not going to spoil plot points – you know that by now. I will note that I enjoyed reading My Oxford Year. I will also note that it was not a really deep read. I actually read it waiting for a flight and then on the flight from Kansas City to Salt Lake. It didn’t take long; it read very quickly. It made for a great airport/plane book, if truth be told. That being written it just didn’t leave me with any lasting impact. I read it, I enjoyed it and I promptly forgot about it as I turned to my next book.
The characters are likable, the plot has a couple of twists but nothing earth shattering. It was just a good, quick, easy read.
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