08 May 2018

Book Review + Giveaway | My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (@justjuliawhelan)


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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.


Rating: 5/5

"I came to Oxford looking for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience. I chose to experience a lifetime."

This is my first Julia Whelan book - and I wasn’t really prepared. Sure the blurb says something about Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks, but heck, who cares about those warnings? Well, I should have listened. So should you.

This book broke me.

It broke me to pieces while gutting my heart out mercilessly.

"When you feel more than you can say, when words fail you, when syntax and grammar and well-constructed expressions are choked from your mind and all that's left is raw feeling, a few broken words come forth. I'd like to believe those words, when everything's stripped away, might be the key to it all. The meaning of life. I'd like to think it's possible to remain so devoted to someone's memory that fifty-nine years later, when all the noise of life is muted, the lats gasp passing over your lips is that person's name."

But it was beautiful. It was so beautiful that I can’t help but gush over it while in tears, excitedly typing out my review while telling my sister and some friends who were avid readers to read this book. Because it is truly a must-read. Especially when it says it will be a motion picture.

This book is intelligent, insightful, heartbreaking and hopeful. I love travelling all over the history-filled place, Oxford. Not to mention meeting scholars and different kinds of people, least not forget getting drunk in pubs. Julia Whelan made sure that her readers gets first hand experience as she described it vividly in her book, making you feel that you are in their, experiencing it, feeling it.

Who would not fall over Jamie Davenport? He’s charming, intelligent, and hot. But he’s straight forward. He doesn’t want any relationships. Then came the equally smart Ella from Ohio. Who was living her dream coming to Oxford through a scholarship, and a dream job waiting for her once she’s done with her one year schooling. But life has other plans - what happens after a year might not be what one plans to do.

Julia Whelan takes us into the rollercoaster ride of Ella’s year in Oxford - it’s exhilarating, it will leave you breathless, and somehow - this novel will make you just FEEL. It’s a touch of reality. I just couldn’t explain how good it was, or how much I loved it. But one thing is for sure: READ THIS BEFORE IT BECOMES A MOTION PICTURE.   

"We were never forever, Jamie and I. Nothing is in this life. But if you love someone, and are loved by someone, you might find forever after. Whatever and wherever that is."

Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master.

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

To enter to win one (1) paperback copy of MY OXFORD YEAR by Julia Whelan [US/CANADA]

ARC was given in exchange for an honest review.
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