Title: Hot British Boyfriend
Author: Kristy Boyce
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: February 9th, 2021
Formate: Physical copy provided by publisher
After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.
When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.
But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her.
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Review: Friendships and finding the strength to believe in yourself take center stage in this adorable, binge-worthy YA romance.
So first things first: I’m a little biased when it comes to this book because I’m an Art Historian. I saw so much of myself in Dev’s journey and this book made me desperately miss my musty classrooms, 20 page papers (yes really) and study abroad trips.
So to all my follow art history nerds: Dev will 1000% steal your heart and remind you of why you spend hours pouring over old books and talking your friends to death while wandering through museums.
If nothing else appeals to you about this book, it’s still worth reading for Dev’s growing love for art history.
Moving on: I’m having a very hard organizing my thoughts for this review because there are just so many things I loved about this book. So apologies in advance for the disorganization.
Anyways, if you’re here for a hot British boyfriend, you’ll find two in these pages and even with their faults they’re still pretty great. Will maybe every stereotype of a hot British boyfriend but we’ve all wanted one at one time or another (or girlfriend in my case). Frank meanwhile, our other hot British boyfriend, is pretty great too with his punk rock vibe and supportive personality.
The full cast of characters that Boyce creates in these pages are diverse, and have amazing layer of depth. Some are more developed than others, but given that this books is only written from Ellie’s perspective, that’s to be expected. I loved learning more about the characters as the book progressed and I want a sequel just to see where life takes them.
Other than the art history, what I loved most about this book was seeing the characters work through what they want in life. It’s their senior year and that means college is right around the corner. We have Sage, who knows what she wants to do and why; Dev how knows what his family expects, but wants something different; Huan who has to decide if the plan he’s made will actually make him happy; and Ellie, who doesn’t know what she wants to do or if she even wants to go to college.
While readers may not have experienced all of these for themselves, it was fantastic to see the different experiences many high schoolers go through represented here.
This book reminded me so much of what high school, college and even grad school were like for me and it was comforting to be reminded that so many people go through similar experiences. This book may be set in high school but it could easily have been in college or graduate school.
Ellie’s journey in particular I think will speak to a lot of readers. Ellie enters this book unsure of her ability to go to college or even find a passion in life. She leaves knowing that she could go to college if she wanted to and that even if others find your passion silly, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it.
I think a lot of readers will also relate to Ellie’s struggle to believe in herself, and her desire to hide herself out of fear of being rejected. So often there are things in life we don’t pursue because we don’t believe those things worth the effort, or we do not want to be judged by others. It was amazing seeing that here.
This book is perfect for young adults as they begin to question their future after high school or college. It fits real fears we all have in between friendships, cute dates and European adventures. It’s the perfect binge read and will leave you feeling seen and full of hope.
There were so many parts of this book I highlighted, wanting to remember, but here are my three favorites.
Top 5 Reasons to Read:
- Ellie, Dev, Sage and Huan are friendship goals.
- Huan and Frank are the cutest and I want a story just about them.
- Venice–what else do you need to know?
- Fairy Gardens are a hobby of Ellie’s that she loves deeply but doesn’t share with others often. It’s wonderful watching her open up about her love of them.
- Art history–again, I’m kinda biased but this book will help you understand the art history nerds in your life a little more.
Kristy Boyce lives in Columbus, OH and teaches psychology as a senior lecturer at The Ohio State University. When she’s not spending time with her husband and son, she’s usually writing, reading, putting together fairy gardens, or watching happy reality TV (The Great British Bake-Off and So You Think You Can Dance are perennial favorites)
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Thank you so much for reading!