book review: falling in love with english boys, melissa jensen
Title: Falling in Love With English Boys
Author: Melissa Jensen
Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Speak, December 2010
Starred Review: 5 out of 5 stars
As I am a big anglophile, I love books like this. Fun, clever romantic chick-lit or YA books set in England with English boys and presumed accents and titles and princes and — well, I just love them. And I loved Falling in Love with English Boys not only because of the title and the cover (LOVE the cover), but also because it’s about an American girl in London AND it’s contemporary meets historical. What could possibly be better than that?
Here it is: Cat is dragged off to London for the summer with her English lit. historian geek mother, who is conducting research at the British Museum on Mary Percival, a little-known British writer and poet. Cat doesn’t want to be in London, but she is glad to be away from her scummy ex-boyfriend. At first, it seemed like Cat was just going to be emo and annoying, but then her mother hands her the diary of Mary Percival’s daughter (also a Katherine), Cat meets a few amazing and posh British girls, and into her life strolls William Percival — hot, nice, and oh-so-British. Why yes, I did fall a little in love with Will. Who wouldn’t?
Falling in Love with English Boys is told in two ways. 1. Through Cat’s blog — sort of a complete recap and private letters to her friends back home. And 2. Through Katherine’s diary as she enjoys her first London Season and tries to wade her way through society and its strange happenings. In both their lives are men. For Cat the wonderful Will, who is a descendent of diary-writer Katherine. And for Katherine quite a few, notably Mr. Baker, a poet whom Katherine fancies herself in love with, and also Nicholas, an ex-soldier family friend whom Katherine simply can’t stand.
Ah, what a great mix of the contemporary and the historical. Both voices — Cat’s and Katherine’s — are unique and distinguishable, something that sometimes is difficult when mixing POVs. The story is fun. The characters are great. The boys are fantastic. I seriously adored this book for all of the reasons I already mentioned. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA contemporary novel, especially those who also love England and/or historical romance!