Falling In Love With English Boys

Written by Melissa Jensen
Review by Patricia O’Sullivan

Seventeen-year-old Cat Vernon is stuck in London all summer with her mother, who is doing research on an obscure writer from the early 19th century. Her mother wants her to read the diary of Katherine Percival, daughter of the 19th-century writer, but Cat would rather blog to her friends back home in the States with her observations of London and her lamentations of boredom. But then Cat meets Will Percival, descendant of the Percivals her mother is studying, and suddenly London and Katherine’s diary don’t seem so dull.

This is a fun novel that describes the bumpy road to adulthood from the perspective of both a modern teen and a historical teen. The time switch is done very well, with clear distinctions in style between the two periods. The literary references scattered throughout the novel add interest without seeming like a literature lesson; Katherine’s riddles are particularly notable. I had to put the book down several times so that I could spend time figuring them out. I also enjoyed how the author chose to delve deeper into each time period by discussing more than fashion and dating. Both Cat and Katherine learn important truths about their parents, and realize that the consequences of war are not limited to the battlefield. Because of some mature content, I’d recommend this novel for older teens.