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 Details

TitleMy Oxford Year
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 24th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062740656
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Contemporary, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Audiobook, Adult

My Oxford Year Review

  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    5+ stars!!! “The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn't follow a plan.” My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan is a real gem of a book! It took me by surprise in the best way! I’ve listened to many audio books narrated by Ms. Whelan (she is an amazing narrator) and I’m happy to report that her writing is amazing as well. I listened to this in audio, it was narrated by her of c 5+ stars!!! “The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn't follow a plan.” My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan is a real gem of a book! It took me by surprise in the best way! I’ve listened to many audio books narrated by Ms. Whelan (she is an amazing narrator) and I’m happy to report that her writing is amazing as well. I listened to this in audio, it was narrated by her of course, and if you haven’t read yet, I have to recommend you experience this book via audio. It was made to be listened to over being read, in my opinion. Ella Durran is a 24 year old American who is out of the country for the first time. She is a Rhodes Scholar who is studying in Oxford. On top of that, she has just been offered a job to work on a potential presidential candidate's campaign. Her future is promising and the world is her oyster. Her first day in England, Ella meets Jamie. Their meeting left me with a huge grin on my face. Jamie Davenport isn’t a professor, but he’s helping out by teaching a literature class. And it’s a class Ella happens to be in. These two have such a connection, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. They decide just for the time that Ella is in England, they will be together. No strings. Then, as things always seem to do, the feelings between them start to change. The problem with this is that things are even more complicated than what they seem… "And if you’re not surprised by life, then what’s the bloody point?” 
Ella and Jamie. Gah! I adored them both. Jamie is charming, sweet, and swoony, and Ella is witty, intelligent, and sharp. I loved them both, and even more, I loved them together. Along with the two main characters, there were a slew of wonderful secondary characters that made the story that much more interesting. When I saw in the blurb that this book was recommended for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks, I knew it was a book I had to read. It’s a smart book that’s full of humor, charm, and of course- feels. You’ll be happy to know I didn’t cry like a baby while reading this, I may have shed a few tears, but overall, I found this uplifting and heartwarming. It was a touching story, and one that will stay with me. I give this book a full 5 stars and recommend to all lovers of romance and coming of age stories. And remember- listen to the audio if you get the chance! It’s fantastic!
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  • KAS
    January 1, 1970
    I have never been able to write the following statement in a review before ... “This was an unputdownable listen !” Having going in blind, of course, I had no idea what to expect, but I can tell you I would have never guessed what unfolded before me. The storyline is not just about the romance. There is real substance, real meat on the bones, which I crave. To say this was captivating is an understatement. I completely fell in love with the charming, disarming, Brit named Jamie. He hooked me I have never been able to write the following statement in a review before ... “This was an unputdownable listen !” Having going in blind, of course, I had no idea what to expect, but I can tell you I would have never guessed what unfolded before me. The storyline is not just about the romance. There is real substance, real meat on the bones, which I crave. To say this was captivating is an understatement. I completely fell in love with the charming, disarming, Brit named Jamie. He hooked me in from the first word he uttered! Upon encountering Jamie, the American Rhodes Scholar, named Ella, finds herself in quite the quandary. She will need to decide what and or who, is most important in her life.This unpredictable, beautiful romance sure brought out the feels. Feels which vacillated from my lips curving into a smile to tears threatening to fall. Often times, I felt my heart lodged in my throat and muttering ‘bloody hell.’ ;)I was surprised to learn this is a debut novel. Clearly she is an amazing talent who also narrates this audiobook, and does an ‘ace’ job. I can only hope she is feverishly working on her next release. Well done, Ms. Whelan! Very well done!
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  • Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth
    January 1, 1970
    You know how our expectations are sometimes too high? Or, you expect something completely different and get something else and it's even better than what you were anticipating? It's the best feeling when a book does that. My Oxford Year surprised me, it totally blindsided me. Although I read the blurb it kind of slipped that it was compared to JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. Anyway, let me tell you about this sparkling little gem that is My Oxford Year.When Ella arrives in Oxford, jetlagged and, You know how our expectations are sometimes too high? Or, you expect something completely different and get something else and it's even better than what you were anticipating? It's the best feeling when a book does that. My Oxford Year surprised me, it totally blindsided me. Although I read the blurb it kind of slipped that it was compared to JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. Anyway, let me tell you about this sparkling little gem that is My Oxford Year.When Ella arrives in Oxford, jetlagged and, you know, a little freaked, the way you are when you are alone in a foreign country, her first encounters with Jamie leave her riled up, annoyed and...a tiny bit intrigued. When she finds out that he will be her professor for the term she doesn't see good things in their future. But a chance run-in on a night out in town is a complete game changer and this is where the fun starts. And if you’re not surprised by life, then what’s the bloody point? Jamie and Ella are both highly intelligent characters. It's not just that the author says so, no, the way they talk to each other, the banter, their long conversations about poetry, Julia Whelan shows us that these are super-smart people. Their weapon of choice is a sharp tongue that can cut deep. Mostly used in humor though, I loved their witty retorts and comebacks so much and it's a testament to the author's own intelligence and wit. I want to be BFFs with Julia Whelan.Jamie has this wonderfully dry humor that so resonates with me. He is kind, brave and endearing with his little quirks and I fell head over heels in love with him. He is the kind of complicated that makes a man charismatic. He is a contradicting mix of calm and storm and his tenderness is heart-achingly sweet.  Jamie is unforgettable and will always hold a special place in my heart. Ella from Ohio is his American equivalent. There was one situation I felt my face getting red from anger because Ella acted cruelly but she came through in a big way so she had my forgiveness in the end.Their connection is made of dislike and explosive chemistry from the get-go but these are equals on the battlefield of words. The combative basis of their relationship morphs soon into respect and affection, then love. The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all the things I cannot change. Love that doesn’t follow a plan. This author describes Oxford in vivid pictures, I could see Ella ride her bike through the streets of this charming town. Her description is a love declaration for Oxford.Ella's journey is one of soul searching and while you watch Jamie and Ella growing into the best people they can be this book forces you to look at your own life. It invites you to do your own soul searching to become a better version of yourself. My Oxford Year will stay with me for a long time, my heart still constricts when I think about it. Julia Whelan intersperses a ton of humor so that the sadder parts don't feel depressing. I really appreciate that - I love my angst but I don't want to be overwhelmed with it. The story ends with a message that we all should take to heart - live today, live and love like there is no tomorrow. Life isn't about goals and targets, it's about the way to them and how you get there. And that your goals can change. I came to Oxford looking for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience. I chose to experience a lifetime. With its intelligent prose and witty banter this book will go on my top-favorites-2018 - shelf. It made me feel, laugh and think and I can't wait to discover what else Ms Whelan has in store for us readers.On a related note: I just read that Sam Heughan and Melissa Benoist have been cast as Jamie and Ella - I'm in heaven. If you want to know more about Julia Whelan and her brand of humor read this "interview".
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    It’s not that there was anything...egregiously wrong with this, it’s just that it wasn’t what I was looking for. I grossly overshot in my quest for a *slightly*-lighter beach read. Who gives a [email protected]&k about an Oxford Comma?* - Well, I do! I’m a fairly... let’s say serious person, and I thought this book would be a beach read for People Like Me. Alas, no: it is Mr. Nicholas Sparks Goes to Oxford. It is A Walk (in Oxford) to Remember. I feel like the cover of the book, the reputation of the author, a It’s not that there was anything...egregiously wrong with this, it’s just that it wasn’t what I was looking for. I grossly overshot in my quest for a *slightly*-lighter beach read. Who gives a [email protected]&k about an Oxford Comma?* - Well, I do! I’m a fairly... let’s say serious person, and I thought this book would be a beach read for People Like Me. Alas, no: it is Mr. Nicholas Sparks Goes to Oxford. It is A Walk (in Oxford) to Remember. I feel like the cover of the book, the reputation of the author, and the whole Oxford setting all initially masked the formulaic romance novel core of this book. And truthfully, some of the plot, dialogue, and characterizations around the whole political subplot were truly egregiously awful. In general, a lot of stereotyped characters and hard to swallow plot twists. If I weren’t on a beach vacation, I may well have written a harsher review. But, as it is......Some people claim, that there’s a “Best Beach Reads” booklist to blame,But I know,It’s my own damn fault!***this is a Vampire Weekend song **this is a Jimmy Buffett song - duh!You should probably know both of these songs.
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  • Maddison
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.I had really high hopes for "My Oxford Year," but upon finishing it, I really can't bear to give it more than a single star. Where do I even begin?So much of this story is unbelievable, and not in a good way. I wasn't convinced that the main character was (A) a Rhodes scholar, (B) 24-going-on-25 years old, and (C) being recruited by an American presidential candidate's team based on a single article she wrote for The Atlantic. So much of her back I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.I had really high hopes for "My Oxford Year," but upon finishing it, I really can't bear to give it more than a single star. Where do I even begin?So much of this story is unbelievable, and not in a good way. I wasn't convinced that the main character was (A) a Rhodes scholar, (B) 24-going-on-25 years old, and (C) being recruited by an American presidential candidate's team based on a single article she wrote for The Atlantic. So much of her backstory was so utterly ridiculous that I found myself rolling my eyes within the first few pages.Likewise, the main character, Ella Durran, is - simply put - annoying. At the beginning, the author attempts to paint Ella as an overachiever (Rhodes scholar, fulfilling her childhood dream of studying at Oxford, interested and involved in the American political system, etc.) but later in the book, there is little to no mention of her academic life at all. I was not aware, based on the title, cover design, and book blurb, that this story was going to be so focused on a love story instead of an overall study-abroad experience. To my disappointment, the characters and plot quickly descended into cliche fairly early on.While the author clearly attempted humor in places, it came across as cheesy and over-written. The first impression I got of both author and main character was a thinly-veiled self-obsession which, I'm sorry to say, carried throughout the entire work. It's difficult to read prose and characters who are so clearly full of themselves.Also, just as a quick note... the names of the characters, and the not-so-subtle Austen references, were entirely too much. "Ella" (Elizabeth) falls for the charming and wealthy intellectual "Davenport" (Darcy) but, in this case, with little of Austen's charm and none of her characters' literary grace. Give me a break.So many of the characters were problematic. Whelan's inclusion of the side-characters seemed more like a strategy to check representational boxes instead of writing authentic, relatable, deep characters. Ella's friends were utter caricatures: Tom, the half-Indian and aloof Brit; Cecilia, the "English Rose," as the narrator identifies her; Maggie, the shy but edgy girl who sports wild-colored hair and dresses; and Charlie, the Wilde-esque gay friend who seems like a dull carbon-copy of anything remotely resembling Oscar Wilde. Not to mention Ian, a drunken friend who shows up once and never again, as well as Connor, a well-meaning American student who is somehow completely fine with romantic rejection after taking an ungrateful and distracted Ella to London for Thanksgiving. So much of this book is unrealistic - the characters are dry and empty with little depth.Closure, too, was a problem for Whelan. She builds up the relationship between Ella and her mother (mostly by including bits and pieces of Ella ignoring her mother's phone calls or rudely responding to her mother's emails with one-word answers) but never draws this relationship - and its struggles - out. Like Connor, Ella's mother fades into the background without any explanation, which is strange considering (view spoiler)[ Ella's decision to remain in England well after her intended date of departure. (hide spoiler)] This points to poor-planning on the part of the author.Also, (view spoiler)[the romance versus cancer trope is used heavily in the second half of this book. Whelan's portrayal is in the vein of Nicholas Sparks and John Green, so it's nothing new and seems fairly predictable. (hide spoiler)] That may be an unpopular opinion, but it's an oft repeated theme that does little to nothing for the depth of the story. It's been done before, many times. It was far from impressive in this work.The fact that this book is potentially going to be made into a movie absolutely blows my mind. I really hope that decision will be reconsidered.I honestly could go on and on, but I won't. The only reason this book got one star was for effort - and even then, that single star feels generous.
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  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    An unexpected enjoyable story, heartbreaking at moments but also heartwarming. I went into this book completely blind and it ended up being something I did not imagine.Ella has temporarily moved to England to attend Oxford, as soon as she completes her studies she plans to go back to the States to fulfill a promising career. However, her plans are trumped when she meets the intriguing Jamie Davenport. What follows is a story of love, pain, and new beginnings.I enjoyed the setting and learned a b An unexpected enjoyable story, heartbreaking at moments but also heartwarming. I went into this book completely blind and it ended up being something I did not imagine.Ella has temporarily moved to England to attend Oxford, as soon as she completes her studies she plans to go back to the States to fulfill a promising career. However, her plans are trumped when she meets the intriguing Jamie Davenport. What follows is a story of love, pain, and new beginnings.I enjoyed the setting and learned a bunch about Oxford and the Rhodes scholarship. I also enjoyed the exchange between the main characters, filled with literary tid-bits and what not. Although the characters deal with serious issues, the novel still manages to keep a lighthearted tone. It reminded me of THE LIGHT WE LOST and ME BEFORE YOU. I enjoyed it and recommend it to readers of romance and contemporary fiction.
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  • Brandice
    January 1, 1970
    My Oxford Year is a first person narrative of Ella from Ohio, a Rhodes Scholar, spending her allotted time at Oxford. Already at age 24, she has an impressive resume in the political sphere, yet chooses to study literature during her time in England. Ella is immediately swept up in the rich, historic tradition of Oxford. One of her classes is taught by a young, handsome Englishman, Jamie Davenport. She tries to balance classes with a pending job back in the U.S. for an upcoming presidential camp My Oxford Year is a first person narrative of Ella from Ohio, a Rhodes Scholar, spending her allotted time at Oxford. Already at age 24, she has an impressive resume in the political sphere, yet chooses to study literature during her time in England. Ella is immediately swept up in the rich, historic tradition of Oxford. One of her classes is taught by a young, handsome Englishman, Jamie Davenport. She tries to balance classes with a pending job back in the U.S. for an upcoming presidential campaign, as well as balance her growing interest in Jamie. Sometimes Ella seemed really immature, yet other times, the way she though about and discussed her work and life experience, she sounded like she was at least well into her mid 30s. I found myself at multiple points in the story, feeling doubtful on both sides of this observation. Make no mistake, when I was 24, I admittedly thought I knew it all and was wise beyond my years. Less than 10 years later, I know I know a lot ;) but also know what I don’t know. This is an aspect of the story that was a bit of a deterrent for me though, because it happened several times. Despite this, I enjoyed the story overall. It did give me a few Me Before You vibes and definitely included some predictable plot elements, but I still liked it. I listened to My Oxford Year as an audiobook, narrated by the author herself, Julia Whelan. She did a great job taking on the various characters and bringing passion to their voices and feelings. This is the first book I’ve listened to by Whelan, though upon finishing it, I noticed she’s narrated several others, some of which I’ve read and others currently on my TBR list. The fact that I listened to this book (just under 10 hours long via audio) in less than a week, is for me, a telling sign I enjoyed it.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Worth the attention in my opinion. A frenemy-turn-lovers story written underneath Whelan's love note to Oxford. So glad I finally decided to read it! ...and I heard this was becoming a movie! My favorite quote:“Losing someone is hard enough. But death without the process of dying is an abomination. It takes nine months to create life; it feels unnatural, a sin against nature, that the reverse shouldn’t also have its time. Time to let go of the known as we take hold of the unknown.”
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Audiobook...read by authorJulia WhelanJulia is terrific with a slight detached sound to her voice. Other times she has a kick-ass attitude which comes across in her sounds...always changing her voice range & emotional manifestation to fit the prose she wrote. She does this well.The book has some intellectual academic charm...with love in the Oxford air. Heartwarming!3.5. I enjoyed it...not Earth Shaking — but enjoyable!!!! Audiobook...read by authorJulia WhelanJulia is terrific with a slight detached sound to her voice. Other times she has a kick-ass attitude which comes across in her sounds...always changing her voice range & emotional manifestation to fit the prose she wrote. She does this well.The book has some intellectual academic charm...with love in the Oxford air. Heartwarming!3.5. I enjoyed it...not Earth Shaking — but enjoyable!!!!
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  • Rachel Reads Ravenously
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars This is a book that’s been getting a lot of great buzz, a lot of my book friends really loved it and I’ve been hearing good things all around. I was a fan of Julia on the show Once and Again and I had the pleasure of meeting Julia at another author event for a book she narrated and she’s absolutely lovely. All those things combined, I was very eager to read this book and really wanted to love this book and I had high hopes. And while I didn’t love it, I enjoyed it and I think this was a 3 stars This is a book that’s been getting a lot of great buzz, a lot of my book friends really loved it and I’ve been hearing good things all around. I was a fan of Julia on the show Once and Again and I had the pleasure of meeting Julia at another author event for a book she narrated and she’s absolutely lovely. All those things combined, I was very eager to read this book and really wanted to love this book and I had high hopes. And while I didn’t love it, I enjoyed it and I think this was a really great debut from this author. There were a lot of moments when we as readers were supposed to feel a lot, and I felt a bit like a sociopath in those moments because I didn’t really feel anything and I knew I was meant to. Plus, a lot of the dialogue and some of the vocabulary was way above my head and I felt, well, unintelligent at moments while I was reading this book. I think Julia Whelan is a fantastic writer, I think she delivered a very interesting and engaging story. I also think a lot of readers will love this book and I while I didn’t love it, I will be recommending it quite a lot because I think many of my friends and close ones would really enjoy this story.Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, Jojo Moyes and Sally Thorne, this is your next book to pick up! A copy for review was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥
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  • Melanie A.
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS I've just lived years of my life in those eyes. Soooooo . . .Unpopular opinion ahead. . .Here's the premise: "You're the hypercompetitive American, a Rhodes scholar no less, who sees Oxford as a series of hurdles to clear like levels in some video game, and I? I'm the hypocritical poetry scholar, espousing grand theories of love whilst shagging a different wench every night." Sounds so good, right? Unfortunately, despite being well-written, despite being polished 3.5 STARS I've just lived years of my life in those eyes. Soooooo . . .Unpopular opinion ahead. . .Here's the premise: "You're the hypercompetitive American, a Rhodes scholar no less, who sees Oxford as a series of hurdles to clear like levels in some video game, and I? I'm the hypocritical poetry scholar, espousing grand theories of love whilst shagging a different wench every night." Sounds so good, right? Unfortunately, despite being well-written, despite being polished until it gleamed, despite all the devastatingly clever dialogue . . . My Oxford Year consisted of one RAGING romance novel cliché stacked upon another, upon another, upon another. Don't believe me? Think my heart is made of stone? Consider the following . . . (warning: serious spoilers inside) (view spoiler)[===> the meet/cute: the hero knocks a plate of food into the heroine===> MC's are 'damaged' and reluctant to love in general===> MC's are friends with benefits who vow never to fall in love, but do===> they have epiphanies while reciting poetry back and forth===> the heroine wants to 'fix' everything===> themes: finding oneself, love conquers all, following your dreams===> there's a 'Cinderella' ball===> the hero has an incurable illness===> and then there's the writing itself: And I finally realize what it is about his eyes. They're the color of this swimming hole I used to spend summers at as a kid, at the end of a trail, at the base of a waterfall. The color was so magical I was convinced if I could hold my breath long enough, swim deep enough, pump my legs hard enough, I'd discover the bottom wasn't a bottom at all, but a portal to another world. It was all just too much! (hide spoiler)]I will admit that everything improved in the second half when the whole point of the story was revealed, but by then it was too late for me to do anything except bump the rating from a 2 to a 3.5.As always, take my criticism with a grain of salt. Just because I have a major sarcastic streak that makes me roll my eyes, doesn't mean that you won't find this book charming like everyone else on the planet. :-)
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  • Danielle ❤️ Pretty Mess Reading ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    ****4 STARS****I went into this book completely blind. I didn’t even read the blurb. Someone on Facebook stated this novel was on sale for $1.99 so I brought it. Nothing more, nothing less.My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan had been sitting on my kindle for about 8 months or so before opened it up. I wish I would have read it sooner.I’m going to keep this one pretty, pretty.Click the link to read more here. Remember to follow all things messy. . . Subcribe ****4 STARS****I went into this book completely blind. I didn’t even read the blurb. Someone on Facebook stated this novel was on sale for $1.99 so I brought it. Nothing more, nothing less.My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan had been sitting on my kindle for about 8 months or so before opened it up. I wish I would have read it sooner.I’m going to keep this one pretty, pretty.Click the link to read more here. Remember to follow all things messy. . . Subcribe/Listen to my podcast
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  • Robin Hill
    January 1, 1970
    There's a sentence in the blurb that's wholly responsible for landing this book on my Do Not Read list. I'm not going to divulge it—in case you're considering going in blind (which I recommend). I took said sentence as a warning, and while I appreciated being "warned," I almost missed out on a fantastic book because of it. Sampling the audio is what changed my mind. It's stellar...and narrated by the author herself who was an actress and narrator long before she was a published writer.Don't be l There's a sentence in the blurb that's wholly responsible for landing this book on my Do Not Read list. I'm not going to divulge it—in case you're considering going in blind (which I recommend). I took said sentence as a warning, and while I appreciated being "warned," I almost missed out on a fantastic book because of it. Sampling the audio is what changed my mind. It's stellar...and narrated by the author herself who was an actress and narrator long before she was a published writer.Don't be like me. Read this—or even better—listen to it. Sometimes a sentence is just a sentence and not a warning at all.
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  • Antoinette
    January 1, 1970
    Why did I choose this book to read- simple: location, location, location. I have been to Oxford a few times now and I love the city and all that it represents-higher learning and history. What I like best about this book was revisiting the streets and places that I knew and had been to.The bad news- I really did not care for anything else in this book. The main character, Ella, totally annoyed me. She was just too immature for words, but supposedly she was advising the next presidential candidat Why did I choose this book to read- simple: location, location, location. I have been to Oxford a few times now and I love the city and all that it represents-higher learning and history. What I like best about this book was revisiting the streets and places that I knew and had been to.The bad news- I really did not care for anything else in this book. The main character, Ella, totally annoyed me. She was just too immature for words, but supposedly she was advising the next presidential candidate in the States. (Btw, she was 24 yrs old). I found that many of her actions and words weren't even remotely plausible. There is a love story in this book but it seemed a poor imitation to another past best selling book. ( which I loved, but cannot name as would be a major spoiler!)I do enjoy reading a lighter book now and then, but I still expect some depth to it.This one was a definite miss for me!
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    lol @ me for thinking this was a light, fluffy romcom and then staying up till 1am sobbing I was feeling really audiobook slump-y for the past bit (and that usually never happens. audiobooks are usually my way of unslumping myself) and so I picked up this book in hopes of breaking that feeling (i chose this book specifically bc the narrator read Evvie Drake Starts Over and I LOVED her reading of it)and honestly thanks past may for being a genius bc i literally couldn't stop listening to this boo lol @ me for thinking this was a light, fluffy romcom and then staying up till 1am sobbing I was feeling really audiobook slump-y for the past bit (and that usually never happens. audiobooks are usually my way of unslumping myself) and so I picked up this book in hopes of breaking that feeling (i chose this book specifically bc the narrator read Evvie Drake Starts Over and I LOVED her reading of it)and honestly thanks past may for being a genius bc i literally couldn't stop listening to this book. the way she narrates, does accents, balances the hard sad parts with light banter, it was done SO WELL- this isn't just a book about a girl spending one year abroad in oxford before she settles down in her highly prestigious new political job back home- it's really about a girl who has planned every inch of her life and then gets thrown into a whirlwind of a new life that she's not ready to leave - it's really about discovering what matters to her most and learning how to trust and love and making those hard decisions that will absolutely impact her future- also it was surprisingly painful??? i THOUGHT I WAS GETTING FLUFF AND INSTEAD I GOT TEARS THANKS FOR THAT JULIA WHELAN- there's incredible character development in this book, even the side characters are loveable and precious and you just want to protect them all and shelter them from every bad thing out there :(- JAMIE DAVENPORT!!!!!!!- lowkey wanted the epilogue to punch me in the throat (harder than the book already did) and while i totally understand why it ended in that way, i kind of wanted to just feel all the hurt at once- anyways julia whelan can narrate audiobooks like a star and apparently she can write books like one too, so good going multitalented queen!!
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: My Oxford YearSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Julia WhelanRelease date: April 24, 2018Cliffhanger: NoHEA(view spoiler)[HFN (hide spoiler)]Sometimes you just get a gut feeling about a book, and that's what happened when I came across My Oxford Year. After seeing the adorable cover and reading the blurb, the entire package was calling to me and screaming READ ME in neon lights. I'm usually hesitant with new/unfamiliar authors, but I instictively took the leap of faith in this case, and it paid o Title: My Oxford YearSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Julia WhelanRelease date: April 24, 2018Cliffhanger: NoHEA(view spoiler)[HFN (hide spoiler)]Sometimes you just get a gut feeling about a book, and that's what happened when I came across My Oxford Year. After seeing the adorable cover and reading the blurb, the entire package was calling to me and screaming READ ME in neon lights. I'm usually hesitant with new/unfamiliar authors, but I instictively took the leap of faith in this case, and it paid off handsomely. I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't hesitant or cautious because of the blurb's comparison to JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. I love angst, but I don't want to have my heart ripped out of my chest and splintered into tiny pieces at the end of a book. If there's going to be sadness, I want it to have purpose and meaning, but overall a feeling of thankfulness that I went along for the journey. That's exactly what happened with this story. Ella learns valuable and life altering lessons during her year at Oxford. Not just for the sake of the man she loves, but for her own growth as a woman trying to find her footing in the world. The narrative is sharp, witty, and easily draws you into the story. Julia Whelan's knowledge of Oxford bled through everything, saturating Ella as she joyfully experienced the University and the beautiful city brimming with opportunity. The city seen through her eyes is just as exciting as she had anticipated all her life, but it gifted her so much more than she could've imagined. It was more than a checkmark on her to-do list, it was a place of knowledge and discovering her purpose. Of slowing down, and savoring the moments and people that mattered.Ella has been a planner and an overachiever all of her life. Intelligent, driven, and single-minded in her pursuit of a career and success. Along the way, personal relationships have been a casualty of her focus, but she doesn't pause too long to think about that. If it saves her from messy entanglements that will distract her or eventually bring heartache, all the better. She soon learns that all of her planning and preparations for her year abroad will all amount to naught. Life throws curveballs, and you must learn to adapt and grow, sometimes altering the fabric of your beliefs and ideals during the difficult process.It was on her first day in England when she would meet (and instantly dislike) Jamie Davenport. After a bad first impression that had them exchanging snark and cutting barbs, she would have been happy to never set eyes on him again. Unfortunately, she discovers that the audacious stranger that she crossed paths with is none other than the man stepping in to teach her English lit course. She thinks she can ace the class with her knowledge base and impersonal analyzations, but he helps her examine poetry with the power of her emotions. They have fascinating nuanced philosophical chats, oftentimes inspired by poetry or history. Though their attraction flared quick, it was their friendship that developed and grew solid even quicker. Despite the cultural diversity between them, they feel like they are almost like two sides of the same coin. Understanding and connecting to each other at a fundamental level so effortlessly. The story wouldn't have the same impact if it wasn't for Jamie. His brilliance and insight made him special, but his sense of humor and the purity of his heart will completely win you over. I loved his total unselfishness in trying to shield Ella from hurt, but also the ways in which he showed her how her happiness meant more to him than his own. He was everything. That's why one of the things that affected me the most was his broken relationship with his father, and the hurt that miscommunication has brought on the entire family. They were all living with so much pain, and I felt every bit of the ache as they tried to find a way to bridge the gap. I powered through the charming first half of the book, lulled into a false sense of security. The further I read, the more confidence built that I would make it through to the end without falling apart. My strategy was simple: try to remain slightly emotionally removed, and when the time comes, it would be like ripping off a band-aid. Quick and painless. Well, like Ella, I discovered that not all things will conform to strategy. Suddenly in the last 20% of the book, I was leaking like a broken faucet, and desperation had firmly taken hold. I needed a light to guide me out of the darkness. and I think that the author pulled me through it flawlessly. I left the book feeling at peace, and better for having read it. Ella and Jamie will stay with me for a long time to come. I love believing in something and fighting for it. That’s what I told Antonia and that’s true. It’s what I counseled Janet to do, on a national stage, no less. Believe in something and fight for it. Well. I found my next fight. Love. That’s my choice.FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
    January 1, 1970
    But the hardest thing is staying. The hardest thing is living with dying. Loving with dying. The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn't follow a plan. — Julia Whelan, My Oxford Year..This is a command, add this to your tbr list ASAP!!! Please, please don’t let the year pass without reading this book, please! You’ll not regret it. I freaking love this novel so much. As soon as I fi But the hardest thing is staying. The hardest thing is living with dying. Loving with dying. The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn't follow a plan. — Julia Whelan, My Oxford Year..This is a command, add this to your tbr list ASAP!!! Please, please don’t let the year pass without reading this book, please! You’ll not regret it. I freaking love this novel so much. As soon as I finished Julia Whelan’s “My Oxford Year,” I thought to myself, wow, this is a novel I’d loved to see adapted into a movie. And sure enough, major motion picture is already in the works, yes! I can’t wait to find out who’s playing the lead roles. .Although I have not read many romance novels, I’m going to go ahead said this is the best romance novel writing I’ve ever came across. This novel blew me away! This is the kind of romance novel I like, none of the cheesy plot, annoying characters, and cheap language. Yes, it’s a trope that has been done many times, heroine, love, adventure, secret, and big life decisions, but it’s the depth of the story & attention to detail that makes this one really special. Each chapter begins with a quote corresponding to a chapter’s event, absolutely beautiful use of it. Besides the great writing & loveable characters, each chapter is brimming with wonderful literary references, poetry, and breathtaking beauty of Oxford. This is a booknerd’s dream! this is one smart, wise, moving, and beautiful novel that’ll make you cry, laugh, and ponder about the important things in life, how you should live the life you want, and what matters in the end. I thought I was just in for some fun, light summer reading, but it’s got me thinking of my life in ways I did not expect. I was unprepared for this novel on just about every level. This novel will stay with me for a long and will have a special place in my heart, it’s that good! .You know what the story is about, so I’m not gonna go on about it, I’m going to leave it here for you to decide whether to pick this up or not. But I hope that you do, it may be the one of best bookish decisions you’ll make this year. ps: it’s also not an easy read, there are some challenging moments & tough decisions that needs to be made. It’s beautifully written with care & love, full of fun, beautiful, tear-jerking moments, and relatable, vivid characters, it’s an unforgettable novel. 🤓✌️📖
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    This book was....ok. I think that’s the best way to describe it. There were parts that warmed my heart and parts that made me feel, but for the most part? Pretty mediocre. Which is pretty disappointing because this book seemingly ticked all my boxes. ESPECIALLY AN AMERICAN IN OXFORD.I never felt attached to any of the characters, and I think this is in part because of the odd pacing of the book. Instead of us watching the two main characters fall in love, we are told that they start to in a weir This book was....ok. I think that’s the best way to describe it. There were parts that warmed my heart and parts that made me feel, but for the most part? Pretty mediocre. Which is pretty disappointing because this book seemingly ticked all my boxes. ESPECIALLY AN AMERICAN IN OXFORD.I never felt attached to any of the characters, and I think this is in part because of the odd pacing of the book. Instead of us watching the two main characters fall in love, we are told that they start to in a weird kind of “imagine this” chapter. We skip over the relationship building and straight to something more interesting, but that foundation is necessary for the future of the story. It was just a really odd choice and it honestly hurt the book in the long run I think. The ending was also very odd and abrupt, which didn’t help the story either.This book could’ve been a lot better....but it wasn’t, unfortunately.
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  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    January 1, 1970
    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.Honestly, this was fantastic! I just really loved everything about this delightful story. I know Julia Whelan from her work as a narrator so I was really curious about this book as soon as I saw it. I decided to give it a try simply because of my curiosity and didn't really know much about the book beyond my guess that it would be about someone spending a year at Oxford (nothing gets past me). This book is really so much more than th This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.Honestly, this was fantastic! I just really loved everything about this delightful story. I know Julia Whelan from her work as a narrator so I was really curious about this book as soon as I saw it. I decided to give it a try simply because of my curiosity and didn't really know much about the book beyond my guess that it would be about someone spending a year at Oxford (nothing gets past me). This book is really so much more than that and I must say that I had such a good time reading this book.Ella is at the center of this story. Ella is from Ohio and has just made it to England to study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. To make things even better, she gets a call offering her a position to work on a presidential campaign just as she makes it to England. Things are looking up for Ella. She soon realizes that things are a little different at Oxford than she expects but she is making friends. One of her classes is being taught by the same man she had a run-in with at the fish shop on her first day in town. I do think that this a book that will really be best to go in as blindly as possible so I am going to be careful not to include any spoilers in this reviews.I really liked Ella. She is so driven to do well with everything she attempts but it quickly becomes obvious that she will have to make a few adjustments to succeed at Oxford. She was just such a strong character and I found her very easy to relate to. I really liked her more and more as the book progressed and thought that she grew dramatically as a character. Jamie was also great. He was more of a mystery to me at the start of the book but as I continued reading, I really fell in love with him. He was such a great guy and I thought he compliments Ella very well. This story made me think, it made me feel, and it even made me laugh. This book was such a joy to read. When I started reading, I thought that this was going to be one kind of story and then things changed and by the end of the book I was reading something totally different. I loved the fact that this book went in such an unexpected direction kind of like life tends to do. I would highly recommend this book to others. Julia Whelan has proven that she is not only great narrator but that she is also a wonderful writer. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this story and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.Initial ThoughtsI loved this this. Not really sure on the final rating right now. It is either 4 or 5 stars from me but I will need to think about it a bit so I will go with 4 for now. I really didn't know a lot about this book before reading it besides the fact that it would be about someone spending a year at Oxford (nothing gets past me). It was so much more than that. It was a delight in the end. I have loved Julia Whelan's narration in the past and it looks like I enjoy her writing just as much.
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:His voice is so melodious, so low and soothing, it should be accompanied by choral music. Everyone else looks very British about it, like this is where fun comes to die.“Given the lovely turn of your figure, it’s quite gratifying you’re not one of those dreadful American girls who subsist entirely on lawn clippings and glacier water,” Charlie says. My mouth is too full of scone to reply. He has this ability to go still, as if he’s stopped breathing. Like a vampire. Which makes me Favorite Quotes:His voice is so melodious, so low and soothing, it should be accompanied by choral music. Everyone else looks very British about it, like this is where fun comes to die.“Given the lovely turn of your figure, it’s quite gratifying you’re not one of those dreadful American girls who subsist entirely on lawn clippings and glacier water,” Charlie says. My mouth is too full of scone to reply. He has this ability to go still, as if he’s stopped breathing. Like a vampire. Which makes me realize I’m not breathing. She also holds a fan. Like, an actual fan. Like it’s Gone With The Wind and she’s about to tap someone flirtatiously on the shoulder with it. She drips money like a leaky faucet.My Review:I adored this delightfully crisp and eloquent book; it pleased me and did so in a cleverly amusing and intellectually stimulating manner. I greatly enjoyed the thoughtful and well-chosen quotes and poems that started each chapter, which provided just a little taste of what was to come. Julia Whelan is a master wordsmith with graceful and elegant wordplay. My Oxford Year was written from the first person POV of Ella, an endearing and wholly relatable character that I instantly connected with. I quickly fell into Ella’s vortex and enjoyed hitchhiking in her head and was loath to leave her and her new friends behind. The storylines were unique, relevant, and expertly crafted. Ms. Whelan’s writing was nimble, flawless, lushly detailed, and a felt like a long awaited gift. I will most likely be stalking her listings as long as I have functioning brain cells.
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  • Antonella
    January 1, 1970
    It was a time for a book surprise. This is it. Booooooom!I so wasn't prepared for this. And reading blurb I thought this was other kind of book. And boy was I wrong.......all and This is so much more then just another collage coming of age book. Because I thought that it was exactly about that. Silly me. (view spoiler)[There is cancer and dealings with loss. Happy end but until when that kind of thing.I don't like that kind of surprises in a book (hide spoiler)]["br" It was a time for a book surprise. This is it. Booooooom!I so wasn't prepared for this. And reading blurb I thought this was other kind of book. And boy was I wrong.......all and This is so much more then just another collage coming of age book. Because I thought that it was exactly about that. Silly me. (view spoiler)[There is cancer and dealings with loss. Happy end but until when that kind of thing.I don't like that kind of surprises in a book (hide spoiler)]
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  • Hulya Kara Yuksel
    January 1, 1970
    Seda, my dear friend. Thank you so much for recommending this book to me... I'll never forget it. ❤❤❤ If you love someone, and are loved by someone, you might find forever after.Whatever and wherever that is. Seda, my dear friend. Thank you so much for recommending this book to me... I'll never forget it. ❤❤❤ If you love someone, and are loved by someone, you might find forever after.Whatever and wherever that is.
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  • Bookphenomena (Micky)
    January 1, 1970
    I give my reasons below in the spoilers as to why this book made me angry (not the topic) and I by no means intend to invalidate anyone else’s experience reading this book, this is just my experience.(view spoiler)[ I am an academic in palliative and end of life care, my doctoral studies are in the same. This is underpinned by 20 years of having the privilege of walking the journey towards death with patients in my care, hundreds of patients. I have also navigated a very personal journey with my I give my reasons below in the spoilers as to why this book made me angry (not the topic) and I by no means intend to invalidate anyone else’s experience reading this book, this is just my experience.(view spoiler)[ I am an academic in palliative and end of life care, my doctoral studies are in the same. This is underpinned by 20 years of having the privilege of walking the journey towards death with patients in my care, hundreds of patients. I have also navigated a very personal journey with my father towards his death, the emotions, the decision-making, the end. I can tell you that what I’ve just read was a diluted hallmark movie of a book. It was poorly researched, unrealistic at many, many junctures and rather chaotic in where the story went. I know this is fiction and giving it such licence it still made my heckles stand on end from 30% onwards. In fact, it made me angry. I needed much better research in the foundation.You might think that no fiction could meet my high bar for this context, but it can. I refer you to Me Before You, an emotive, fictionalised but real and well researched story about a European experience of living with a life changing injury and the autonomy of being able to choose assisted dying. I lecture on this subject and it was very well done, kudos JoJo Moyes. I will say that I think Julia Whelan has writing talent in some elements but not story or character development in this instance.I didn’t know what this book was about, I don’t read blurbs but I guess there’s not much to give the content away in there. How awesome are my book friends for not giving the storyline away and I’m sorry for how my review will disappoint you. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Anja H.
    January 1, 1970
    *4.25 SELF-DISCOVERING STARS*This has never been more true for me: Never judge a book by its cover.Judging by the cover, I thought this was going to be your average cheesy contemporary romance. Now, having finished this with tears in my eyes, I realize I was wrong, so so wrong. “But the hardest thing is staying. The hardest thing is living with dying. Loving with dying. The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things *4.25 SELF-DISCOVERING STARS*This has never been more true for me: Never judge a book by its cover.Judging by the cover, I thought this was going to be your average cheesy contemporary romance. Now, having finished this with tears in my eyes, I realize I was wrong, so so wrong. “But the hardest thing is staying. The hardest thing is living with dying. Loving with dying. The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn't follow a plan.” This was way heavier and deeper than I expected, and pretty hard to digest due to some difficult subjects (death, illness,...), but I loved every second of it! Beautiful message, beautiful writing, beautiful quotes, beautiful poetry, beautiful characters.
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  • Libby
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded up. As Eleanor Durran (Ellie) lands at Heathrow, on her way to Oxford with a Rhodes scholarship, I am immediately drawn into her story. A tale for romantics and book nerds ( a club to which I heartily belong), a holiday in England begins swirling in my mind; I could see with my own eyes the Lake District where poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge drew inspiration, and Oxford, of course, site of many a fantastical yarn. Googling images of the Oxford colleges, I envisioned walking 4.5 stars rounded up. As Eleanor Durran (Ellie) lands at Heathrow, on her way to Oxford with a Rhodes scholarship, I am immediately drawn into her story. A tale for romantics and book nerds ( a club to which I heartily belong), a holiday in England begins swirling in my mind; I could see with my own eyes the Lake District where poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge drew inspiration, and Oxford, of course, site of many a fantastical yarn. Googling images of the Oxford colleges, I envisioned walking those cobblestones and lazily perambulating down the narrow streets. Oh, yes, to see the “City of Dreaming Spires” as Matthew Arnold writes in his poem, ‘Thyrsis.’ Julia Whelan prefaces her chapters with lines from England’s great poets and writers, like Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edward Lear, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, among others, adding, to the story’s romantic appeal, setting a deeply atmospheric stage. Like an overly large stone, I sank into the well of Whelan’s story.While the poems, quotes, and setting do settle me deep into this narrative, Whelan has her own story to tell. Whelan writes, “It’s just another day in Oxford, but to me it’s magical.” I step through a door into Ella’s enchanted world, a year set aside for scholarly study and perhaps the best kind of contemplation. Don’t we all deserve a year like that? Except, Ella has already, upon her arrival at Heathrow, accepted another job as an education consultant for Janet Wilkes, a contender for president in the next election. She can be a Rhodes scholar and do this job at the same time, can’t she? Upon arrival, Ella is nearly run over by a car. Then, the same man that almost runs over her . . . runs into her at a ‘Fish and Chips’ shop, dumping a plate of condiments onto her shirt. She’s furious, calls him a ‘posh prat.’ What a surprise, then, when he (Jamie Davenport) ends up being the TA (Teacher’s Assistant, the professor is called on for administrative duties) of her literature class at Oxford. You know where this is going, right? The beauty is in how. Clever, clever, clever. The dialog is marvelous, sizzling, and smart with delightful repartee. Jamie Davenport says to Ella, “But we’ve sped-read each other, and luckily, we’re the clever ones.” That’s laying down a gauntlet, a challenge, saying you don’t really know me at all, and when Ella reveals that she’s never had her heart-broken, he says simply, “how could you? Believing a man is only capable of loving a woman for six months.” He uses Ella’s words out of an article she’s written, to deliver a sword blow.Davenport says, “But who are we, really, eh? We’ve told each other what we think, but we’ve no idea what we feel. That requires a conversation. Having words, having language, to connect us to ourselves and each other.” Such lovely sentiment and feels like a truth. Doesn’t it take others to form a knowing of oneself? What we like, what we don’t like, how we want to be, how we don’t want to be, our values, the spirit of our innermost world. And who are we without our social context? So, I believe that Whelan has thrown a little philosophy in here. Highly Recommended.
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  • Ginger at GReadsBooks
    January 1, 1970
    With a strong opener, I was really into this novel. Then something happened & I’m left feeling a little “meh” about it all. I wish I could put my finger on it, but something overall just didn’t satisfy me the way I was hoping it to. This saddens me because I was really into it for the first half. Guess you can’t love everything you read! With a strong opener, I was really into this novel. Then something happened & I’m left feeling a little “meh” about it all. I wish I could put my finger on it, but something overall just didn’t satisfy me the way I was hoping it to. This saddens me because I was really into it for the first half. Guess you can’t love everything you read!
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  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    January 1, 1970
    3.5-4 ★'s “I came to Oxford for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience. I chose to experience a lifetime.”Obviously, the title gives you an idea of what the story is about and when Ella meets Jamie, you know he is a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, after that things get muddled. Ella is a poli sci and history grad taking a school year at Oxford studying English literature 1830-1914. 'Nuff said? Yes, it's all that and more. The author writes above most people's heads...she definitely wrote above my p 3.5-4 ★'s “I came to Oxford for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience. I chose to experience a lifetime.”Obviously, the title gives you an idea of what the story is about and when Ella meets Jamie, you know he is a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, after that things get muddled. Ella is a poli sci and history grad taking a school year at Oxford studying English literature 1830-1914. 'Nuff said? Yes, it's all that and more. The author writes above most people's heads...she definitely wrote above my pay grade. This is just another time I am sooo thankful for my kindle dictionary! Jamie starts out as a bit of a bad boy but then he kind of falls to the wayside. He has no voice in the story and it’s blatantly obvious and seriously missed. Don’t get me wrong you will adore him, how could you not? You will also adore Jamie’s parents especially his Beautiful Mum although it might take you a while to warm up to his hot headed Dad. There are also four interesting secondary characters that are great to know but a little bit distracting. Even more distracting is Ella’s political job that’s going on in the background and only surfaces at the most inopportune moments.The story writes like a screenplay and when you read her "Behind the Book Essay" regarding the story a lot of the things finally make sense. The book was written from a screenplay. IMO, books usually have a lot more depth to them than screenplays or movies and that’s where I felt this book was lacking. When I look back at events that happened, I can see how things were set up that way but unfortunately it didn't lose that screenplay-esque. And I really hated it not having a proper epilogue. Don't get me wrong, there is an epilogue and it's sweet and I don't think I will ever get that waterfall scene out of my head but the story felt incomplete. I just really hate wondering and I felt after everything we had been through, we deserved a little something more.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    *6 stars*Still gobsmacked, need to process before writing a coherent review.
  • NMmomof4
    January 1, 1970
    3 StarsOverall Opinion: Welp. This is me, shooting myself in the foot! I found the gem with my Scribd app after seeing some GR friends raving reviews about the audiobook. I like audiobooks every once in a while, but I much prefer to read -- so when I found this ebook as part of my membership I jumped all over it! The author has won awards on her storytelling abilities in audiobook format, so I definitely think I needed to experience it as an audiobook. It fell flat for me as an ebook. I found t 3 StarsOverall Opinion: Welp. This is me, shooting myself in the foot! I found the gem with my Scribd app after seeing some GR friends raving reviews about the audiobook. I like audiobooks every once in a while, but I much prefer to read -- so when I found this ebook as part of my membership I jumped all over it! The author has won awards on her storytelling abilities in audiobook format, so I definitely think I needed to experience it as an audiobook. It fell flat for me as an ebook. I found the humor during the sad times to be the saving grace of the book. I don't think I ever felt the connection between the characters. Yes, I definitely enjoyed their witty banter and intellectual conversations-- but I didn't understand the progression into a relationship of anything past friendship. I don't even think it was the fact that we don't get sex scenes. I have read books before that have minimal or no scenes that I have felt the connection between the characters, but we don't even experience their first kiss! We get them having some sexually tense scenes with conversation and eye contact, then they're in a taxi going home, then it's the next day with them after having a night together! We get a weird scene with the h baring herself to him, but not even the first kiss! I found it all just weird, and I think my lack of feeling towards their connection made it so I wasn't as emotionally invested as I wanted to be. I also found the h to be too detached and kinda cold. I get her past trauma, but I didn't like how she always would throw out that she was leaving. I especially didn't like her reaction to his big secret. I went in kinda blind on this but I also had my predictions. I would recommend doing the same, unless you have major triggers for reading. I would then recommend looking at my spoiler tags below. And! I would also recommend enjoying this through the audiobook format since I think that might've had me enjoy it more...Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Ella and Jamie's story. Ella's dream since she was a young teen was to attend Oxford, and the story starts when she arrives after receiving the Rhodes scholarship. She has a tense run-in with Jamie her first day, and then she is shocked to find out that he is going to be standing in for one of her professors. They end up starting a temporary no-strings-attached affair that is to last until she goes home, but they fall in love. There's are some big secrets revealed, some sad moments, some funny scenes...and there is a HFN ending.POV: This was told in Ella's POV. There was one chapter that was told in 2nd person narrative, which I thought was...different.Overall Pace of Story: Good for the most part. It did feel kinda slow to start and I struggled with the closure at the end -- but otherwise, I felt like it flowed well and I never skimmed.Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.H rating: 4 stars. Jamie. I liked him. I appreciated how he was witty and smart regardless of the situation he was in.h rating:2.5 stars. Ella. I struggled with her. I appreciated that she was a smart girl and didn't hide it, but I also didn't like how detached she was in her relationships.Sadness level: Low/moderate. I shed only a few tears. I think it's because of my lack of a connection. Other reviewers claimed to have been very emotional during this, so it absolutely could be a me thing.Push/Pull: Yes (view spoiler)[ There are times when they both push away and both pursue the relationship. (hide spoiler)]Heat level: N/a. We're talking not even fade-to-black here.Descriptive sex: NoOW/OM drama: NoSex scene with OW or OM: NoCheating: NoSeparation: Yes (view spoiler)[They are separated shortly (weeks?), but there was no mention or suggestion of other partners during this time. The h does go in a date with OM, but it doesn't go anywhere and she ends up confessing that there is someone else. (hide spoiler)]Possible Triggers: Yes (view spoiler)[ Loss of a parent (h - off page), loss of a sibling (H - off page), and the H has terminal cancer (he doesn't die on page, but they deal with H's condition on page) (hide spoiler)]Closure: Hmmm. It's hard to describe that ending without ruining it. Is it what I would call a HEA? No. Was I happy with it? For the most part, yes. I think it was a nice way to address the issue at hand and to allow these two to find their happiness and love in a really sh¡tty situation. Did I want more closure? Absolutely. I wanted to know what happens in farther the future! Y'all know how greedy I am with my endings 😏 I would classify this a HFN ending.Safety: This one is probably Safe with exception for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences.(view spoiler)[- Does Not have cheating- Does Not have a descriptive sex scene with OW/OM- Does have both the H and h pushing away- Does have a short separation between the h and H- Does Not have abuse- Does Not have a HEA ending (see above) (hide spoiler)]
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  • Evelyn
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to goodreads and the author. I won an ARC of My Oxford Year!It's taken me a few days to mull over the book. I knew the author from the many (many) audio books Julia has narrated. And I have to say she is one of my top favorites. I will listen to the books she's narrating based on her alone. So with that being said, I have to say I was really disappointed with this book. It took me a really long time to read this book. I just had no motivation to want to read it. Clearly, it took almost Thank you to goodreads and the author. I won an ARC of My Oxford Year!It's taken me a few days to mull over the book. I knew the author from the many (many) audio books Julia has narrated. And I have to say she is one of my top favorites. I will listen to the books she's narrating based on her alone. So with that being said, I have to say I was really disappointed with this book. It took me a really long time to read this book. I just had no motivation to want to read it. Clearly, it took almost a month to read.In the back of the book it states that this book was based on the original screen play of Allison Burnett. OK, so this isn't your original idea? And they wanted someone who went to Oxford to rewrite the story, basically. Yea Julia for going to Oxford! Also it says the book is 352 pages and my book was only 329 pages with acknowledgements. Am I missing part of the story?Phew, now that the technical is out of the way let's talk about the book, shall we?It was all over the place. First, its about a girl who has dreamed since she was a teenager she wanted to go to Oxford. (That's a good goal) Then we find out she is heavy into politics and she is only here in Oxford (On a Rhodes scholarship) to fulfill this dream of going but in one year she is going back to get on the campaign trail in the US.There was tiny bits here and there to check off a list of oh I gotta talk about Oxford. I wasn't a fan of the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. The rest of the book was typical cliches of we gotta have the gay friend, the nice friend, the party friend, etc..and she dumps them for this guy who states, I don't want a relationship I just want to sleep with you. She goes back to her friends when she gets the I need space let's take a break. Ladies, are we done with guys like that? Ain't nobody got time for that. If you feed the bad behavior you'll only get bad boys. Are you with me? It was during the break from the F-buddy we explore the way of life during her year there. Different foods, drinks, customs...etc.Throughout the book she takes phone calls to help a campaign back home? That was just weird. It didn't jive with rest of the book. Where is this book going? Are we studying at Oxford and this about her year there or is Oxford just a backdrop to this campaign job? But wait, it gets even more confusing! She dumps friends/political job/school all to take care of this sick boyfriend dying of cancer. (OK, she didn't dump them in the river but they became the back burner and now it's about nothing above and a sad cancer book) At this point I had to get a dry erase board out and start drawing out what was happening.Big picture, this was the American version of Me Before You and it didn't work. You're telling me a girl who is that educated and has a focus/goal, is going to throw it all away over a "dying rich" dude? We all know, if this man didn't have the money her ass would be like well I gotta go study now. Even though, it's pointed out she wants to pay for her own stuff (eye roll).I think this review is making about as much sense as this book. It's all over the place and we are all barely hanging on till the end.The author wrote a great speech about motivating to follow your campaign dreams and don't give up! Yea girl power! But the protagonist herself did the opposite, wtf?Can someone write a female protagonist who knows what she wants and is not going to lose herself over a guy. You know the girlfriend we all have who starts dating someone and can't return a text until they breakup. Clearly, I didn't go to Oxford. And a publisher is not dying to put my words out to the world. I really wanted to like this book. It's me not wanting to read about a girl who gives it all up over a boy.
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