Review: Falling in Love With English Boys
Cat is forced to go to London for the summer when her mother decides to go on a research trip. Despite her angst-ridden protests, she can’t get out of the trip. Once she gets there, her mother often leaves her behind, and she spends a good deal of her time moaning and groaning until she befriends the daughter of a local shopkeeper and Will, a hot male descendant of the woman her mother is researching. Cat starts touring London with her new found friends, discovering that its past and its present have a lot more to offer than she initially realized.
While Cat’s story is told in blog posts, it alternates with diary entries from Katherine Percival, a teen in her debut season in 1815. Like Cat, Katherine is boy-obsessed and often all too whiny about her family and social obligations. These intermittent diary entries demonstrate just how alike teens can be even when they are divided by centuries. They also show an interesting comparison between the private diary keeping of the past and the commonly public journaling of the present.
Though the premise of Melissa Jensen’s Falling in Love With English Boys sounded in some ways of Anna and the French Kiss and Revolution, I was reminded that execution always trumps ideas. Like too many teen protagonists, Cat comes across as whiny and obnoxious much of the time. I’m getting a bit sick of teens who complain about being forced abroad; though some have good reason for their angst, Cat mostly came across as a spoiled brat. Next time I hope she’ll let me take her ticket to London instead. Further, Cat often found Katherine’s diary entries boring and hard to get into, and I have to admit that I was similarly disengaged.
I did enjoy the cast of supporting characters. Cat’s friends were charming, and I loved Cat’s daily visits to pick out British chocolates at a local shop. When I wasn’t rooting for the book to end, I rooted for Cat and Will’s romantic relationship to make it past virtually monosyllabic text messages and awkward sight-seeing “dates.” No matter what else I might have thought of the book, I was at least able to appreciate the English boy of the title. Thank goodness for that.
Unfortunately, this book wasn’t the right fit for me, but I know that many other bloggers enjoyed it. I’d encourage you to check out some other reviews rather than dismissing it based on my taste alone.