Review of A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak

 A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak by Laura Taylor Namey

To be published on  Sept 26, 2023 by Atheneum.

Thanks to the publisher and Spark Point for the advance copy for review.

Plot Summary for A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak

England has always been home for Flora, but when her mother dies after a long illness, Flora feels untethered. Her family expects her to apply to university and take a larger role in their tea-shop business, but Flora isn’t so sure. 

More than ever, she’s the chaotic “hurricane” in her household, and she doesn’t always know how to manage her stormy emotions. She impulsively decides to escape to Miami without telling anyone, especially her longtime friend Gordon Wallace.

Flora’s tropical change of scenery doesn’t cast away her self-doubt. When it comes to university, she has no idea which passions she should follow. 

That’s also true in romance. Flora’s summer abroad lands her in the flashbulb world of very attractive teen influencer Baz MarĂ­n, a Miami Cuban who shares her passion for photography. But Flora’s more conflicted than ever when she begins to see future architect Gordon in a new light.

Review of A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak by Laura Taylor Namey

I really enjoyed book one in this series, A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow.  

But I loved this one even more!  Either the author's writing style has grown, or it helped to have the backstory on the characters, but I was drawn into this book right away.

What is the connection between book one (Cuban Girl) and book two (British Girl)?

To refresh your memory, the main character in A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak is Flora, who is the sister of Orion, Lila's love interest in book one. You might also remember from book one that the Maxwell family is going through a difficult time.

Romance books are all about the tropes, so what tropes are in play in A British Girls' Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak?

Trope one: A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak is another fish out of water story

As in book one, in which an emotional Lila fled Miami in book one and went to live in England, this is a new fish-out-of-water story. In A British Girl's Guide to Hurricane and Heartbreak, an emotional Flora abruptly leaves the UK and heads to Miami to stay with Lila's family.

Yes, this book is part of the Unfortunate YA Parents trend OR what I called, in 2013, The Four D's of YA Parents. 

Trope Two: Fake Dating

In Miami Flora meets an attractive teen photographer and (long story) ends up fake dating him. Check out my post of 2023 YA fake dating stories - the trope we never get tired of!

NOW, let's also discuss the throwback elephant in the room:

Trope Three: Yes, nostalgic 2010s YA readers, this 2023 YA romance has a love triangle. 

How do we feel about love triangles in 2023? Please tell me in comments as I feel a bit out of date on this topic.

Back in the 2010s, love triangles were a huge thing and then we all got sick of them. Like rectangular sunglasses or low rise jeans.

But ... oops, those things are BACK.

Way back in 2015, I discussed Love Triangles with my blogger friend Lauren, YA Love Triangle Expert and HATER of Love Triangles.

I posted on Love Triangle Red Flags for characters and Lauren posted on some general Love Triangle Red Flags to watch out for.   Feel free to check those out and come right back.

At first, as I was reading A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak, I was like oh no, I'm going to hate this love triangle. But then I began to change my mind. Probably because I could see which way the wind was blowing in the romance department. That's the thing about love triangles. It all depends on which match you are rooting for. 

What I Loved About A British Girl's Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak

To me, the strength of these books is the fun of watching someone explore a new city and a new environment. Which is why I also put book one on my list of YA Books To Read if You Love Watching Emily in Paris.

I also love a thematic book, so I really liked the way Laura Taylor Namey tied together Flora's tumultuous emotions with Hurricane Jessica, which is barreling down on Miami in the book.

So, there are three tropes in this book (is that too many? I say no!): fish out of water, fake dating, and love triangle. 

I enjoyed this one a lot. If you can't stand a love triangle, then this might not be the book for you. But I swear, it's not a bad one. Don't let that stop you!