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Falling in Love with English Boys Paperback – December 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melissa Jensen lives in Philadelphia, PA.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Original edition (December 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014241851X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142418512
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in San Francisco, which gave me a love of fog and funny-colored houses. My mother is an amazing watercolorist, my father an architect. I can't draw. Never could. But I always loved telling stories (occasionally of the sort involving passing Vegetable Fairies and disappearing sweet potatoes at dinnertime). I read lots of pretty wonderful books as a kid, but haven't been quite the same since I was fourteen and my English teacher handed me a copy of Pride and Prejudice. I still want to be Elizabeth Bennet when I grow up. Elizabeth Bennet with a career and jeans, anyway. My husband got a second date by telling me he had once played Mr. Darcy on stage. There would have been a second date, in any case, but still...

I've written lots of stuff over the years, including a few novels, magazine articles, and even a syndicated newspaper etiquette column. I like dinner parties. I don't give nearly enough of them. I love to make lists of whom I would invite if I possibly could. My fab friends aside, there's always a spot for Jane Austen (who probably would always politely refuse), Robert Burns, and Charles Darwin. Then there's Oscar Wilde, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Dalai Lama, and William Steig. Abigail Adams and Oprah. Orlando Bloom (anyone have his phone number?) and Julia Child. Bonnie Robinson: that long-ago English literature teacher, later my creative writing teacher, who told me that I'd better spend a lot more time in England if I was going to insist on writing about it.

My fave places in the world are London and Dublin, neither of which are as foggy as literature would have us believe. I spend as much time as possible in Ireland, often on the edge of one cliff or another. It makes my family crazy. It makes me feel like a Bronte.

Now I live most of the time in Pennsylvania, in a house old enough to have hosted Elizabeth Bennet, if she had cared to visit the Colonies. Of course, as Mrs. Darcy, she would have been very grand and my house isn't, but then, she was all about having a curious and open mind. Not a bad philosophy. I do my best, but it doesn't always work. Nothing will ever make me like sweet potatoes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Keri Mccormick White on December 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic!
I received an advance release copy of this to read as a professional courtesy. I dutifully cracked the cover, figuring this would be yet another ho hum teen novel, but at least this seemed to be mercifully devoid of vampires. I was instantly entranced by both story lines--the contemporary blogger Cat and her 19th Century counterpart diarist Katherine. The writing is crisp, witty, and intelligent and the voices are authentic for both eras. Bridget Jones meets Jane Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly--for teens and readers well beyond those tumultuous years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was really excited for Falling in Love with English Boys prior to its release, but was a little wary because I'd heard mixed things. I've heard it had mature content, was a little boring, etc. And after reading it? I'm so glad I didn't let those reviews stop me.

The modern-day protagonist, Cat, is awesome. She's sassy and witty and I always get annoyed when I read about teen girls complaining about spending their summer in Europe, but it was totally different with Cat. She had actual reasons and issues to not want to, which I appreciated. She loved chocolate and I loved reading her adventures to the newspaper stand down the street. At first it was just a minor thing, but the characters Cat met at the newspaper stand began to play a real role, and I thought that was a very well written segue. And those characters totally rocked. I was a huge fan of Cat's British friends and I would love to see more of them if Melissa Jensen were to write another book in this world.

I loved Will. He's British - what's not to love? And I loved Cat's interactions with Will. I thought their relationship was well formed and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of romance in this book. I'm a moron, though, because how could I NOT get that from the title? Their text conversations bugged me, but that's just because I hate the level of emoticons they went to, as well as abbreviations.

I was a little annoyed with the historical-fiction-diary-flashback bits at first, because they sort of interrupted Cat's flow for me, but then I really got into them because they allowed the reader to root for another protagonist, Katherine. I also liked how connected the diary was, because rather than just being some random diary Cat found, it was related to her mother's work, and was more believable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth LaBan on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
To be perfectly honest, I initially bought the book because I was more curious about the author than I was about the book - but I was open to it and the subject sounded interesting. I was very quickly drawn in and immediately loved reading about the two girls from different centuries. It was amazing to be reminded that young women have worried about many of the same things, and have shared similar feelings, for years and years. I am a mom of a soon-to-be-12-year-old girl, almost old enough to read this book (next year maybe, and I can't wait to give it to her), and I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the worlds of two girls who hadn't yet made all the important decisions, for whom everything was still possible. I know my daughter will love it for different reasons - she will love the cute and charming English boy (actually, I did, too!), she will also love the unexpected and organic friendships. I also plan to give this book to my mother, who is 80, because I know she will enjoy the juxtaposition of the two time periods and, because she has a huge crush on Colin Firth, will love reading about anything British.

For me the best test of how much I like a book is how I feel when I read the end of that last page. The short answer to how I felt when I finished Falling In Love With English Boys was sad - I didn't want it to end. I find myself wondering about Cat and Katherine, I actually miss them. I couldn't wait for the little time I had each day to hang out with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone above the age of 13 or so. You might find, as I did, that the English boys weren't the only thing to fall in love with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erin C on January 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was a bright spot of sunshine in an otherwise snow-filled January. I thoroughly enjoyed the juxtaposition of historical diary and modern day blog, and learning how not much has actually changed when it comes to matters of the heart. I would recommend "Falling in Love with English Boys" to any girl in her teens, or woman in her 20's, 30's, 40's plus. It's just a really fun read and interesting story where you end up pulling for the two protagonists who are separated by about a century. Melissa Jensen's voice and humor are woven throughout this book from beginning to end, and when I finished the last page I have to say I was a little sad to put it down. Not to sound too Hollywood, but I can definitely picture a great movie stemming from this story, and if I were a producer I'd fund it right away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francine Soleil on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Review originally posted here: [...]

WARNING: This review may have what some may consider as SPOILERS, but I try to be vague as much as possible.

For a title, "Falling in Love with English Boys," there wasn't a lot of said falling in love with English boys. I'll be honest, I chose to read this book because I personally love English boys. I loved Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss, Keith from 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Garrick from Losing It (to name a few). So I thought, "Hmmm. More English boys to fall in love with?" I was wrong. Most of the book's scenes were either interactions with other people or internal monologues. The falling in love part was probably only less than 25% of the book, and there weren't even much to even swoon over or feel all fluttery. So it was quite a disappointment for me.

Why I didn't fall in love: Let's start with Cat's William Percival - the person who supposedly likes Cat. I just don't get how he thinks. For their first few meetings, Will would say that the cause for these said meetings was because of Cat's mother setting them up together, but apparently he already liked her at the time so why does he not want Cat to feel like their relationship could be more than it is. Another blunder, why did he bring his ex-girlfriend, and act like they're still together. He didn't even deny that they were no longer together when Cat asked! Meanwhile, for Katherine's Nicholas Everard, he was mean at times, but there were some sweet moments. The thing is, we just don't really see much of him in the story so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to fall in love with him.

One thing I like about this book is the concept of how the story was told - It was told through Cat's blog and Katherine's diary.
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