Falling in Love with English Boys

Falling in Love with English Boys

4.1 19
by Melissa Jensen

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Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of


Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat's only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A 16-year-old Catherine from the 21st century--who's funny, irreverent, and prone to making bulleted lists--and an 18-year-old Katherine who lived in the 19th century both keep diaries (Cather­ine's is a blog) about their lives, romances, and families in London. Driving the story is the modern-day Catherine, whose academic "(s)mother" carts her off to England for the summer, forcing her to leave behind all her friends in Philadelphia. While there, she reads the 19th-century Katherine's diary, courtesy of Mom, and begins to appreciate her own life more. Jensen, making her YA debut, alternates between the girls' parallel experiences, yet the diary format makes for an uneven narrative. At times, Catherine's prose moves quickly and the dialogue is crisp and funny, while at others, her blog entries feel thrown together. Katherine's diary reads as quite proper when juxtaposed with Catherine's contemporary sense of humor, but it's clear that she can be every bit as acid as her modern counterpart. Romance blossoms for both, with varying outcomes, but the best part of this story is Catherine's opinionated take on London. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.38(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Jensen lives in Philadelphia, PA.

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Falling in Love with English Boys 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
InkandPage More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 The Low Down: Catherine Vernon has no choice in the matter; her mom, or “(s)mother,” as she secretly calls her, is spending the summer in London researching Mary Percival, a not-particularly-well-known female author from the Regency Period. Though Cat would have much preferred to stay with her dad, her father’s fiance has taken over the guest bedroom to store all of her samples and Brides magazines. Since she can’t stay in Philly alone, Cat grudgingly accompanies her mother overseas. (S)mother brings home a copy of a diary that was written by Katherine Percival, Mary’s daughter, when she was around Cat's age. Having no interest in reading what she imagines will be a boring retelling of her day-to-day existence, Cat finds she’s right...initially. She reads the diary, writes her own (in blog form), makes some great local girlfriends and wonders about Will, one of Mary’s descendants, who is a tall, handsome, blue-eyed guy her own age. She discovers many parallels between her life and Katherine’s, a girl nearly 200 years older than Cat. In the process, learns that some things are, unfortunately, out of your control. But the outcome of some things definitely aren’t. Best Thang ‘Bout It: If you know me at all, you know that I have favorites. British Chick Lit. Jane Austen. England. Handsome boys who smirk and have dimples and snarky senses of humor that cover up a sensitive soul. (OK, maybe you didn’t know that last one, but, come on. Duh.) So this is the British equivalent of the whole enchilada in one book. This story alternates back and forth between the present and the past. And the thing about the past is (excuse me for stating the obvious) it’s done. As a reader, all you can do is wait, knowing that the war you’re reading about was the worst ever, knowing things that a diary keeper won’t know for possibly some time. Now granted, it’s still fiction, so the author can feel free to make up what a particular character will do or what will happen to him/her, but there is a sense of poignancy, especially if a character is about to embark on The Titanic or be in San Francisco April 18, 1906. Both stories start off showing each girl in a depth typical of many girls of that age, which is to say, not very deep at all. Self-centered, immature, looking for shallow amusements. As time passes, each gains an awareness of things beyond them, an acceptance for the shortcomings of some around them, and a realization that they, themselves, are much more than they seem. And they are worthy. I’m Cranky Because: Books like this always end too soon for me. I know, there’s not much more to say, but it is still... And as an aside: I don’t like to read anyone else’s reviews before I write mine, but I did happen to see a couple of comments on Goodreads. Apparently, some thought the modern-day Catherine a bit whiny and selfish. I just say a sarcastic “uh, really?” to that complaint. Here’s a girl who is leaving her friends for the summer and going off to a place where she knows no one. She’s mostly going to be alone while her mom works on something that sounds boring. It doesn’t matter if a girl gets to travel to London or Paris or Auckland. Even if the spoken language is supposed to be English, a lot of times it is unrecognizable. If you have traveled at all and stayed in one area for a while, it can be difficult and bring on teary thoughts of the stupid stuff you miss (“My DVR!” “Taco Bell!” “Driving!” “The shampoo I like!” “Not having to stay ‘sparkling’ or ‘still’ when ordering water!”). So, in turn, it makes me wonder if those who condemn Catherine for being so stupid about a trip of a lifetime have traveled much themselves, especially unwillingly. So, that’s today’s rant. The Bottom Line: if you like the sort of book where a person grows up a little, has the possibility of a romance and maybe gets an appreciation of her (gasp) mother, then go for it! Falling in Love With English Boys by Melissa Jensen was published December 23, 2010 by Speak. Ink and Page purchased this book, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed. Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction Romance Historical Ages: 12 and up You Might Want to Know: Nothing of note.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This book was really enjoyable and it was interesting to really see more of the two Catherine's and how things happen for them. Of the two, I really liked the modern Catherine(Cat) and her wit. She really comes across as very believable and someone that I could see as being a best friend with. I also loved how Cat's blog entries had a lot of websites that I haven't gone on to actually check if they are truly valid, but give a really good look at things to see and do there in the London area. It made me want to go there and check out these places for myself. The romance that blossoms with Will is so sweet and true. I felt Cat's highs and lows along the way and I am so glad that they finally end up together, it just felt meant to be. The older Katherine was also interesting to read about because it was such a different time period and the dating was so different than what we go through. I also loved how Katherine was more interested in the artistic and poetic types, which was the exact opposite that her father wanted to set her up with. What shocked me was that those poet-boys were none other than Lord Byron!!!(sigh) I loved how there was stanzas of the poems in the book as well. This i great for a fast read, but perfect for a mental vacation in merry old England.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
There are two stories going on in this book--the modern-day adventures of American teen Catherine (Cat) who has been dragged to England for the summer by her mother, and 19th-century Katherine Percival. They are tied together by Katherine's diary, which Cat's mother has given her to read. The story moves between the two young women, with a change in font and print boldness to differentiate between the two, in case it is not otherwise obvious (it is). Both women are looking for love and seem to have picked the wrong person to set their romantic aspirations upon; the reader will notice the similarities of Cat and Katherine in that respect and in others. Katherine's tale brings a remembrance of the horrors of the Battler of Waterloo. Cat's tale is full of current retail brand names that may or may not hold the interest of readers as the years go by. A particularly apropos event in Cat's life was brought up a couple times in the book, referring to the Mall in Washington, D.C., "Like how the Mall looks when it's full of PO'd librarians protesting funding cuts" (pg 107). As a librarian whose district did not provide funding for books last year and apparently will continue this practice in the 2011-2012 school year, I applaud the author for weaving this issue into the book. A cute read with romance, chocolate, errors in judgment, and lots of laughs. There is language and references to sex which may make some readers uncomfortable but it is certainly appropriate for most teens.
harstan More than 1 year ago
They are the same age and gender with similar problems though they live two centuries apart. Each struggles with fathers who do not exist except in name only as they are very busy and moms with no understanding of their teen desires. Though there are differences, the similarities between them continue when both are in London as stated in "Cat's Cat-astrophic Cat-aclysmic Cat-atonic blog. Cat and Katherine soon find love. Cat relishes the chocolate and the dudes with charming accents, but especially Will who she thinks is Mister Right but acts like Prince Wrong; while Katherine falls in love with Baker though she thinks a lot more of Everard. Targeting middle school children, Falling in Love with English Boys is clever fascinating tale that enables readers to compare lifestyles of a modern era female teen with a Regency era teen through Cat's observations based on Katherine's dairy. Both lead females are fully developed characters while the males in their lives are less rounded as their mission is to enhance reader understanding of the two felines. Fans will enjoy Melissa Jensen entertaining tale of two girls who prove London Swings now and then. Harriet Klausner
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regencyreaderCA More than 1 year ago
Very adorable. Reminds me a bit of Lauren Willig's carnation series.
I_read_books More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be an interesting book and something different to read, but I was wrong. I read it, and it bored me. The characters are bland most of the time, and though the novel flips from present to past, neither connected very well. I don't recommend.