I spent the month reading the remaining books of Mhairi McFarlane‘s back catalogue. 🙂
Don’t You Forget About Me (McFarlane’s 5th book): You always remember your first love … don’t you? Georgina’s new boss, Lucas, turns out to have been her boyfriend when they were in 6th Form. Twelve years on, he doesn’t appear to remember her. At all.
There are some laugh out loud moments in the story; there is also the harrowing narration of a sexual assault, so be warned.
What I highlighted: “Something I’ve learned is people do much worse things to you in the name of love, than they do as your enemy.”
Here’s Looking at You (McFarlane’s 2nd book): The interesting twist in this story is that while they were at school together, Anna was the victim of James’s constant and hideous bullying. Years later, they meet again at a school reunion. Then a quirk of fate sees them working together on a high-profile public exhibition.
However, because Anna has changed so much and because she no longer goes by the name she used at school, James has not worked out who Anna is. It is one of those stories where it has plenty of uplifting moments and laugh-out-loud moments. There are times where you’re mildly frustrated at the characters because you want them to get past their problems and also times where you feel for them when it doesn’t look like it will go to plan. It is the fact that Anna and James go through many situations, good and bad, that makes them feel real and feel that you, the reader, can relate to them.
What I highlighted: “We’re scared of all sorts of things that won’t kill us, aren’t we? The things we live our lives around avoiding. Then we realise when we get to the end that what we should’ve been afraid of was a life lived by avoiding things”.
“She remembered that acceleration of time … You think three years is an eternity, then discover it’s nothing at all”.
Who’s that Girl? (McFarlane’s 4th book): She kisses the groom. She’s not the bride. Who’s that Girl? is a look at a different perspective – the ‘other woman’, who is usually the villain in stories like this. Edie commits what many would see as a despicable act at the beginning of the story and Who’s that Girl? charts the fallout from that.
What I highlighted: “Learn to spot irrelevant people. Don’t expect someone who doesn’t know who they are to care you are“.
“Those who know me better, know better“.
It’s Not Me It’s You (McFarlane’s 3rd book): A rollercoaster of a journey for Delia who thinks that her life is just moving on to the next stage of marriage and possibly a family. However, a text sent to the wrong person reveals that her life as she knew it was not as easy going as she imagined. This starts her off on a path to finding the old Delia before Paul, before the drama and whether or not she is able to return to the life she thought she was destined for.
My one criticism is that the story is a little on the long side – it probably could have done with a spot more editing, in my opinion. It comes in at a whopping 531 pages. Although I enjoyed it, I think It’s Not Me, It’s You is my least favourite of McFarlane’s novels.