Monday 25 March 2013

You Had Me at Hello - Mhairi McFarlane

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

Review: I love the concept of this book. The idea that people who once had a spark with one another but were in the classic predicament of 'wrong place, wrong time' can meet up again ten years later and test whether those feelings are still burning or not. I got into this book straight away, was totally drawn in by the characters and the supposed plot line. Our heroine Rachel is a typical twenty something who finds her world suddenly change when she splits up with her fiancée. She's very identifiable as a character, as is her situation and has a strong group of friends who are also easy to like, and very easy to read about. I found myself intensely disliking ex-fiancé Rhys and falling in love myself with old-flame Ben!

Whilst the beginning of the novel and the characters immediately gripped me. I found this novel to have a kind of lull in the middle. I found it quite hard to get along with in the middle third. There was an awful lot about Rachel's job, which I wasn't interested in in the slightest, for others I'm sure the idea of a court reporter and a scandalous story being leaked sounds like a fantastical adventure, but it wasn't for me. I also disliked the character of Simon who appears at this point in the story. He's entirely the opposite of Ben even though the two are close friends, and whilst I disliked the person of Rhys, I think he was necessary to the story, whereas I could have lived without Simon entirely.

Do not fear though, the last third of this novel returns to its initial glory and I became frantic to turn the pages and find out what happens next. Whilst I didn't cry at the ending, as many suggested I would, I really liked the build up to the final chapters. I also really liked the way the author tied up everyone's story lines, as I think that this is something many authors can fall down own. When one becomes invested in the supporting characters as much as the main characters in a novel, one wants to know how things pan out for each and every one of them too, and Mcfarlane deals with this very well in the ending of her book.

This novel has the perfect formulae for a romantic comedy, a strong cast of likeable characters and the odd villain thrown in for extra interest. It was a lovely quick read and whilst the middle section lacked something for me, I am sure that others will find something to catch their interest throughout the duration of this debut novel!


  1. I LOVE these kinds of books! I'm just crazy over second chances. Especially in love.

  2. Yeah this is totally up your street-quite a quick one too!