Book Review: Melissa Jensen’s Falling In Love With English Boys

Click on the image for the book's Goodreads page. Published: December 23rd 2010  Publisher: Speak ISBN13: 9780142418512 Format: Paperback Edition Language: English Acquisition: Bought Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat's only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

Click on the image for the book’s Goodreads page.

Title: Falling in Love with English Boys
Author: Melissa Jensen
Published: December 23, 2010
Publisher: Speak
ISBN13: 9780142418512
Format: Paperback
Series: N/A (But Cat appears in The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Acquisition: Bought
Purchase at: Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother’s off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat’s only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

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WARNING: This review may have what some may consider as SPOILERS, but I try to be vague as much as possible.

For a title, “Falling in Love with English Boys,” there wasn’t a lot of said falling in love with English boys. I’ll be honest, I chose to read this book because I personally love English boys. I loved Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss, Keith from 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Garrick from Losing It (to name a few). So I thought, “Hmmm. More English boys to fall in love with?” I was wrong. Most of the book’s scenes were either interactions with other people or internal monologues. The falling in love part was probably only less than 25% of the book, and there weren’t even much to even swoon over or feel all fluttery. So it was quite a disappointment for me.

Why I didn’t fall in love: Let’s start with Cat’s William Percival – the person who supposedly likes Cat. I just don’t get how he thinks. For their first few meetings, Will would say that the cause for these said meetings was because of Cat’s mother setting them up together, but apparently he already liked her at the time so why does he not want Cat to feel like their relationship could be more than it is. Another blunder, why did he bring his ex-girlfriend, and act like they’re still together. He didn’t even deny that they were no longer together when Cat asked! Meanwhile, for Katherine’s Nicholas Everard, he was mean at times, but there were some sweet moments. The thing is, we just don’t really see much of him in the story so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to fall in love with him.

One thing I like about this book is the concept of how the story was told – It was told through Cat’s blog and Katherine’s diary. Of course, the problem with this is that you can’t really get all the details all the time. Also, I was often disturbed by how Cat uses misspelled words for her blog. I understand that it’s a blog, but I don’t really like that kind of thing in the narration. It’s okay for short texts (i.e. SMS, e-mail, etc.). That’s just my opinion though. Also, since Katherine’s account was only through her diary, her story was not given a proper ending – only a gist of what happened. I must also admit that I found Katherine’s story quite boring most of the time. Also, a huge part of her story was pining for the wrong man, and only a really really tiny part told about the person she should have been falling in love with, who was the person she married.

This is Melissa Jensen’s debut novel so that might explain why this book wasn’t so good. Although that can’t always be an excuse because there are a lot of talented authors who produce amazing debuts. In my personal opinion though, her writing improved in The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. The story was more likable for me. I did notice how she liked using historical texts in her writing. The only problem is she doesn’t always relate the writing to the main story so it feels like reading two different stories in one book. One of them I could care less about.

So all in all, I would count this book as a disappointment, but that is just my personal opinion. I did not fall in love with these English boys. Should you read this book? I’ll give you a Maybe, considering there were some good parts. So I shall give this:

RATING:

3-star

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Disclaimer:

  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own any of the images I use, but some may be subject to editing.
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