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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Rating: 4 out of 5

Spice: 2; the steamy stuff was mostly alluded to

Sexy Time: 4; the chemistry was there and important, but the love that grew, it was the best part


Would you like this book? You might if you like:


  • England and would have given our right arm to study at Oxford/Cambridge

  • Sexy professors with a love of tragic poets

  • British humor

  • Kick ass Midwestern girls

  • Found families


This book was recommended by @ and after reading Thank You for Listening, I was really happy to get Whelan’s debut novel from the library. Also, because my reading has been a bit slow lately, and this was overdue, I knew I had to read it fast. Which was totally fine. I closed the cover on the True Love Experiment on Sunday afternoon, picked this up, and closed it again for good on Monday night. Whelan had me hooked and I NEEDED to know how Ella from Ohio’s Oxford year went.


Ella Durran is off to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She will spend one year in England, living the dream she has had since she was thirteen. At the end of that year, she will head back home to D.C. and continue her work as an education consultant for an up and coming politician. But, as with all of life’s best laid plans, she meets Jamie Davenport on her first night in Oxford and the trajectory of her entire time changes entirely.


I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but I will say it was much more moving than I was expecting. Though I am not sure why I am surprised, Thank You For Listening had me feeling all the feels, so why would this be any different. That this was Whelan’s debut novel is also very impressive. Her writing style and her construction of characters are excellent. And she can really set a scene. I feel like her training as an actress has certainly given her an ear for dialogue.


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