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English as a Second Language Paperback – August 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel is about that year of excess, and while it is entertaining in parts, and so very British in humor, you never get deep inside any of the unlikable characters, so you don't get a sense of why they're doing the things they do. Alex herself seems extremely immature for a 26 year old woman with prior work experience, and how she survived the year is anybody's guess.
This novel is about alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, casual relationships, stalkers, nutcases and immature behavior, and while it's easy to read, alcoholism in the UK seems to be the central theme.
Funny in places, but mostly shallow and bitter.
Amanda Richards, December 27, 2005
The novel is a light read filled with witty and hilarious dialogue. Since the author, Megan Crane, spent five years in Britain studying at a university, her experiences portray British life and the challenges and stresses of being a student in a foreign country. "The day outside was rainy and cold. Welcome to England I thought. I was still exhausted and stranded in a foreign country, away from everyone I had ever known."(Pg3) The novel's British phrases and diverse characters keep the reader laughing out loud as well as intrigued.
Life can be confusing in your twenties and many people can relate to this. I loved this book because I could identify with Alex. We are both struggling to find our place in life and I have always wanted to study in England. Alex's journey is difficult. "But I didn't know where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do when I got there. I had dreams, but they were vague things with no real substance. My whole life was fill-in-the-blank."(Pg8) Never the less she learned that when she took a chance, her life did change and she found a place where she belonged. "I shoved my hands into my pockets and watched them-the fools and the drunks that God was supposed to watch over with special interest, the ones I knew so well in so many surprising ways.Read more ›
Alexandra Brennan is the main heroine in the novel. She is living in New York City and generally bored in life. When her ex-boyfriend tells her she wouldn't be able to get into Grad School in the UK, she takes that as a challenge - and gets in. With a full-on caffeine addiction and a penchance for alcohol, Alexandra wastes no time in throwing herself into the British Grad-school life.
Things are interesting at the school, to say the least. A fellow student named Suzanne seems determined to make Alexandra miserable, as well as show her up in everything. Alexandra also develops a crush on her gorgeous, intelligent teacher and develops a hobby of peeking in his windows at night. Meanwhile there are her good friends Toby - a handsome playboy type that Alexandra tries to stay friends-only with, and the hilarious Jason. Not to mention a bevy of other interesting characters.
Megan Crane blends together a perfect mix of intriguing, intelligent characters, the ups and downs of grad school life, drunken nights out and a wickedly humorous plot. There are also some interesting cultural differences between the UK and America that she points out. The book is basically impossible to put down once you get into the third chapter or so.
Overall I found this book to be an awesome read, and recommend it highly to people who like an intelligent, hilarious, delightfully fun book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book but I just couldn't get into it. I struggled to get through the first few chapters waiting for the story to take off when I finally gave up. Read morePublished 18 months ago by aspenmd
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it is not without issues. I wasn't really able to identify with the protagonist, which is generally problematic when reading a novel. Read morePublished 19 months ago by AmRev
I thought the premise of the book sounded cute, but after 3 attempts and a complete inability to get into the book, I can't recommend it based on my experience. Read morePublished on January 27, 2013 by Kmanes
The end of an era, or at least, the month it took me to finally finish this book. Don't blame the book. This was entirely my own fault. Read morePublished on July 30, 2012 by ilonaz
I don't like the characters. I don't know as there was a plot. I read many genres, and give up on few books, but I won't get my hour back that I spent reading the first half of... Read morePublished on June 19, 2012 by BJC
Loved this book! I've read it in 2004 when I just moved to USA and started school so to some extent it was in unison with my real life at the time. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by snortapuss
I wanted to like this book primarily because I myself have been an American abroad (and still am), and hoped to see some similarities between the main character's experiences,... Read morePublished on July 30, 2011 by lochabar234
I don't know why i bouth this predictable romance book, I thought that set in England it would funny but it is not. I couldn't even finish it... Read morePublished on April 28, 2011 by Azul
While I did find this book to be an enjoyable read, I thought there was a lot more details about the immature behavior, alcohol, stalker encounters and nicotine than the depth of... Read morePublished on September 1, 2010 by Auburn Sky