Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Fresh New Voice of YA- Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen
Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen
"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 . . ."- summary from Amazon
This was a surprise book. I didn't know about it until it came in a package with other books I'd requested (it was about 50/50), but it sounded like a really cute read. After reading it though, I don't think "cute" is the right word for it. It's definitely a good book, but it feels so much more than just a cute romance.
I really liked the dual narrative, going back and forth between the two. I was a bit hesitant regarding the historical section because I'm not big on historical stuff. Or, well, I'm very particular, I guess. But as I got more into the story, I wanted more of it just as much as I wanted more about Cat's life.
I also really like the setting of London and, in both narratives, it becomes its own character. I am a bit biased though since I love London so much already so it's nice to see a book set there in contemporary times. However, a problem that arises with the narratives (Cat in her blog, Katherine in her diary) is that it's hard to really flesh out the secondary characters. Jensen does her best but I felt that the only people I really knew were Cat and Katherine. But they're compelling voices, so I didn't notice it until really reflecting on the book afterward.
I had two other minor problems. Since Cat is on a blog, she frequently includes pictures of her travels and saying "(See pix.)" and it just bothered me whenever she did it because pictures aren't included and I wanted to see them! The other thing is a problem that may be fixed in the final version but Cat frequently mentions wanting to meet the single Prince William, however recently he became engaged, so it seems a bit odd to see her hoping that she'll meet him and become his girlfriend.
Overall though, the book has way more positives than negatives and it is a fun story. I definitely recommend it and it's a paperback original! It'll be in stores Dec. 23.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.