Sunday, May 6, 2018

Blog Tour Review—My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: April 24, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5

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.

“Some people have friends with benefits. You have sex with benefits. You never pretend this is about anything other than what it is.”

I don’t know why this quote stuck with me so much throughout the whole story. I’ll get back to that quote here in a sec. Our main characters, Ella and Jamie, we some of the best I’ve read this year. They had so much more going on
for them then meets the eye. This is a book about love, hope, and finding oneself. It’s also about this beautiful and messy thing we call life. 

Ella has dreamed about going to Oxford and studying for abroad since she was a little girl. She wins a prestigious scholarship to do just that—on her first day there, she meets a man who knocks into her...literally. 

Now about the quote I love so much. Both Ella and Jamie aren’t looking for a long term relationship. They’re looking for something more casual. Which begins the lovely non-relationship of “friends with benefits”. But it never truly was that way at all—they had too much of a connection for it to ever remain like that. Can two people with chemistry such as them, ever truly just remain friends?

Then we learn Jamie’s secret. One that I honestly didn’t see coming. The last half of the book is centered around that plot—one that I thought brought the story from a four star read, to a five star. Mainly because it made me feel so much. I loved the characters and everything they represented. Overall, if you’re looking for a book that has a strong female lead and is romantic in all the best ways, this is for you!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About the Author:
Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, life-long actor, and award-winning audiobook 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.

Connect with Julia
Facebook: @justjuliawhelan
Twitter: @justjuliawhelan
Instagram: @justjuliawhelan

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