Book Review – My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

by Maryse on August 12, 2018 · 15 comments

in My Book Reviews

My Oxford Year: A Novel
OMG BEST BOOK EVER. Seriously I’m crying as I write this, but I am so absolutely in love with this love story, and I can’t believe my luck that I was able to experience it.

I chose it but vacillated. Suspecting – due to comments – that it was “one of those” books, hearing words like “ugly cry”, “sobbing” and all the warnings that come with “one of those” books – and I was second guessing myself. Was I up for all of that intensity and emotion? But I can promise you, I couldn’t be more delighted. I devoured this one. DE. VOURED.

Michele: This book was a 5 star fave for me!! It is one of “those” books but I thought it was done very well! So worth reading!!

Jennifer: So good!

Kari: This ended up being a book where “that thing that happens” was nowhere on my radar!!! It totally changed the story and made it so so good!

Andrea: Just finished this book. It was epic and amazing and I want more from this author! …I loved this book!

Amy: My Oxford Year (teacher-student drama!)… Oh, you KNOW My Oxford Year was an immediate click for me. I had seen buzz for it before it was released, but the price made me a bit hesitant. But as soon as I saw it was on sale…CLICK! :D

Cheryl: My Oxford Year scares me; to be compared to Jo Jo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks and a “heartbreaking story.” Think I’ll wait for someone else to guinea pig it and let me know. *whispers I think it’s one of “those” books*

Maryse: That just makes me want to read it more. ;)

Yes I’m crying. I won’t tell you why!!!!

  • I could be devastated yet touched.
  • I could be crying of happiness <— I’m good at that too, ya know!

But everything… EVERYTHING I read in this book, I took straight to my heart. I experienced. I fretted. I laughed. I learned. Oh how I have learned. But in the BEST way.

I’d say this is a cross (feel-wise) between Nottinghill (one of my absolute FAVORITE movies) and … dare I say it? Me Before You (WARNING!!!! DO NOT consider the ending of that one in regards to THIS one – maybe… maybe not!!!! I said FEEL-wise, not spoiler-wise). I will NEVER do that. You have NO idea how this will end, as I didn’t, even if I had all sorts of suspicions due to reactions from fellow readers.

Amy: OH! By the way…about My Oxford Year. Finished it, and it was really, REALLY good. I didn’t cry (although I did get teary-eyed a couple of times) and the ending was bittersweet but lovely.

Michele G: I LOVED the book My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan!!  …one of my faves this year!

Does it go there? Doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter. READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!

So what’s it about?

Word of warning: At first (first few chapters), I wondered if I’d be able to relate to the main character and if this story could hold my interest. She’s pretty much a super-woman (education-wise) and I was gearing up for a slightly “stuffy” atmosphere… but this is NONE of that, once the story gets rolling. P.S. All told from the heroine’s POV (YAY ME!!!)

Ella has received a highly coveted “Rhodes” (Rhodies?) position at Oxford University (I dunno the logistics of it all… just work with me here). LOL! What it means is that she’s been awarded an elite position to attend Oxford University in a certain study, etc.

“I work in politics. American politics. But this whole year for me is about pushing boundaries, and exploring new things, and basically just, like, leveling up. As a person?”

Ella is a competitive, self-starting, highly intelligent fighter that’s ready to take on the world, and while she’s headed straight for politics, her major at Oxford is Literature (and oh how I fell in love with it… the intro to every chapter is absolutely incredible. Read each one. Poetry that speaks to me, and leads you in… perfectly).

Anyway, all that to say, she has a pretty appalling start when she runs into – in the worst of ways – a rowdy (yet super-sexy) man that’s full of pomp and circumstance. Or better defined… he’s a “posh prat”. :P

He smiles charmingly at the group and everyone responds with an appreciative chuckle.

Except for me. I can’t respond. I’m too busy having my world reordered.

The new professor is the posh prat.

But then she soon realizes (when she starts her courses) that he’s her professor. Ugh (for her) and YAYYYYYY!!! (for me… the reader… that just LOVES this kind of thing). ;) Also a professor with quite the randy reputation with his students. Let’s just say things of this nature are more liberal in Britain.

“Jamie Davenport’s a legend,” Maggie says, eyes wide. “The road between Oxford and Cambridge is positively littered with broken hearts.”

Charlie considers this. “More like dropped knickers. The man invented the three-date rule.”

“So just be careful there,” Maggie says.

And of course, the attraction between them is undeniable, but since she plans to return to the US in just a few months, and well… he’s just not the type to settle down,

I cut him off at the pass. “Students are off-limits?”

He pauses. “Actually, technically no.” He looks up and grins at me. “Unlike some, Britain is not a nation of Puritans when it comes to matters of carnality between two consenting adults.”

I smile at him. “You’re not looking for a relationship?”

He takes a step back into my room, sighing. “That would be it. Quite.”

…they settle into a “friends with benefits” situation.

He considers my hand, tempted. But shakes his head instead. “I still don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Don’t think, Professor. Feel.”

But oh how things change as they attempt to keep their emotions in check.

Why does this hurt so much? “Wow,” I hear myself say. “It’s a good thing I don’t love you.”

ROOOOOOOOAAR!!!! Yeah. The fury I felt. There were a few roars from me… for both of them.

And then, you know… other stuff is revealed. Secret stuff. That’s right. I won’t tell you.

There are choices to make. Life choices. Goals, opportunities and new reveals that don’t quite mix. But mix the two of them, with her family (and past), his family (and past), the new friends she’s made at Oxford (each one is TOTALLY believable… they seem so real – with mini side-stories of their own), and you will experience an unputdownable, absolutely amazing story that will have you feeling from start to finish. Feeling good? Feeling bad? Elated? Sad?

My lips are sealed.

This book is just SO smart. So… everything.

5 STARS PLUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! <— PLEASE DO. NOT. MISS. THIS!!!!!!! And did I mention it’s going to be a movie? Yes. It’s THAT GOOD and I will totally watch it. BUT READ THE BOOK FIRST. You know it will be even better.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess August 12, 2018 at 8:45 PM

Can’t buy it till 27th of December

Maryse August 12, 2018 at 8:47 PM


Jess this will be a wonderful read for the holiday, my friend.

Ansa August 13, 2018 at 12:53 AM

Ohhh, I actually lived in Oxford for 3 years while my husband did his studies. I have to read this!

Angie August 13, 2018 at 7:32 AM

I just ordered it! Thanks for the recommendation!!!!

Jean August 13, 2018 at 9:58 AM

5 Stars Plus Maryse?!?! How can I ignore that? Skimmed your review and I’m thinking i can handle it. Now I gotta see how much it is…..

Michele G August 13, 2018 at 11:04 AM

YAY!!!! I’m so glad you loved it as much as I did Maryse! I had rented the ebook through the library when I first read it because it’s a little pricey. When it went on sale recently, I bought my own copy because I know I will want to read it again!!! TRULY fabulous book!

Maryse August 13, 2018 at 11:57 AM

It was fantastic, you guys!!! Seriously… I was lucky enough to get it on sale, and so I’m thrilled, but I do actually think it would be just as awesome of a read, even at the normal price.

Michele G August 13, 2018 at 11:58 AM

Maryse, I would agree!

Tasha J August 13, 2018 at 1:13 PM

I only read the 1st 2 paragraphs of this, have no idea what it’s about, but I’m 1 clicking! I love diving in blind AND you sold me. :)

Amy August 13, 2018 at 3:01 PM

“Wow,” I hear myself say. “It’s a good thing I don’t love you.”

*ROAR* is right!! I wanted to reach in my iPad and smack someone right then. How could you say that? After what was just admitted?? HOW?!?

I loved how the author ended the story and WHERE she left it. The epilogue…the waterfall…the FEELS…oh, my heart…

Maryse August 13, 2018 at 8:08 PM

Amy… it was EXACTLY right. She totally ended it perfectly. I was crying so hard and smiling at the same time.

Jan August 13, 2018 at 10:08 PM

Jess! I know!!! Me too!!! No fair…….

marina August 15, 2018 at 1:39 PM

Wow this sounds amazing, cannot wait to read it!!!!

Bree August 15, 2018 at 4:42 PM

This sounds great – thanks for the recommendation! I picked up a copy :)

Sam October 29, 2018 at 4:47 PM

Can somebody help me!? I went to buy this book and it says it isn’t available until June 2019!

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