Title: My Oxford Year
Author: Julia Whelan
Publication: April 24, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan was surprisingly quirky, comical, and intriguing in ways that kept you interested and wanting to keep reading.
The story follows Ella Durran as she crossed the pond to attend Oxford University for a year and fulfill her dream of doing so. Although, as we all know, life is not what we always plan. As she meets different characters, making friends and some enemies, and some love connections. Whalen lead us through Ella’s time in Oxford as she learns a lot about herself and how judging other people may be too fast on her part. Ella’s discovery of herself is something everyone can relate to, and I found myself comparing some of my choices as I passed my twenties. Whalen’s character in Ella was smart and intuitive, but also naive and still growing.
I loved the writing style and speed of the story. I got a little confused with the introduction of so many supporting characters in the first 10-20 percent of the story, but otherwise found no flaws in the overall layout of the story. The story flowed slowly when needed, and picked up speed and emotions at just the right moments. I look forward to reading more from Whelan in the future and everyone who likes a good romance or coming of age story should pick up their copy.
STAR RATING: 4/5