I’m so torn on this book. I was all set to rip into it for not being the book I wanted it to be, which was a story about a young American woman’s lighthearted romp through the English countryside while she led a Harry Potter-esque existence (keeping the book magic, losing the outright magic) during her tenure at Oxford. Who wouldn’t want to live vicariously through such a character?
This is what I got for the first half of the book. Ella arrives in England jetlagged and smelling like someone who spent the better part of a day on a plane, only to have her meet-cute ruined by a posh prat, his vapid date, and a plate of sauce. No matter, as soon she meets her Oxford friends, who will become her extended family during her stay, and settles into classes and pub-hopping and her Oxford life. Did I say no matter? Because there was a slight matter. The matter being that her meet cute posh prat actually turned out to be her professor, Jamie. OF COURSE HE DID.
Her friends insist that they have chemistry and Ella denies it, which means they will end up on the train to Bangtown in no time at all. (Spoilers, I guess.)
It’s all very nice and flirty and no strings attached, as Ella has also been flirting with a new job with a political figure who very may be the next president, and first FEMALE president. It’s a once in a lifetime offer. She has until June to live it up in her Oxford life, with her dreamy, British, lit prof of a boyfriend (swoon), and then she’s back to the states to help get this person elected.
Since you’ve all read books before, I’m sure you can guess that complications arise AND BOY DO THEY.
This is where the book went in a direction I wasn’t prepared for and didn’t particularly want it to go, but after thinking it through, I reminded myself that it’s not up to me (rude). I’m not reviewing the book I WANTED this to be, I’m reviewing the book it was, and what it was was emotional and hard and a bit difficult to read because this book put Ella and Jamie and Jamie’s parents AND the reader through the ringer.
I’m not typically a fan of these maudlin types of romances. I just don’t have the patience for them, and I don’t particularly want to spend my fun reading time getting kicked in the feeling bone. BUT it’s my own fault for not realizing what kind of book this was from the beginning, as it’s right there in the synopsis on Goodreads: perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.
Now, I’ve never read JoJo Moyes but I made the mistake of reading some Nicholas Sparks once and I DID NOT CARE FOR IT. I honestly think comparing this to Nicholas Sparks is mean, because this book didn’t make me want to jab my eyes out so I wouldn’t have to read any more of it.
Read this if: You’re in the mood for a somewhat swoony romance with the super serious side effects.