From Publishers Weekly
Heads up, world: British university students drink a lot. That's the main conclusion reached by first-timer Crane in this novel about a 20-something American student forging new friendships, swilling lager, kissing boys and generally behaving as if a master's degree is the furthest thing from her mind. When a smug, repulsive ex-boyfriend tells paralegal Alex Brennan that she could never get into grad school in England, she promptly applies, gets accepted and hops onto a plane. She arrives at a small northern university to discover a hideous campus, dreary weather, a gorgeous yet unapproachable professor and a social life that revolves around drinking pints in the double digits and nursing the resulting hangovers. Housemates Cristina and Melanie aid in reconnaissance missions to spy on Sean the professorial hottie, and drinking buddies Toby and Jason hover in the background in various stages of inebriation. Jealous and paranoid fellow student Suzanne embroils Alex in competition over grades, men and anything else she can think of. Meanwhile, the papers are piling up, and Toby's starting to look sort of attractive. Crane, herself a former university student in England, gets points for energy and effort, but this is an awkward jumble of a book with a familiar "Just shut up and kiss me" conclusion.
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After several postcollege years working as a legal assistant, Alex Brennan realizes she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. Her solution is the perennially popular option of going to graduate school. She chooses Oxford because her ex-boyfriend tells her she won't be accepted. It turns out he was right, so she opts for a different university in the north of England and begins her master's studies in English. Alex settles in very quickly, making friends with her housemates and an enemy of another American student, a neurotic woman who likes to force intimacy by spilling her guts to anyone within earshot. Countless pints and late nights later, Alex eventually manages to get a degree and is forced to decide whether she wants her move to England to be a year-long adventure or the beginning of a new life. Debut novelist Crane keeps things very light in this breezy but accurate take on twentysomethings who thought adult life began after college but find that the transition can take a bit longer. Beth LeistensniderCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved