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review 2019-11-17 00:06
Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


He chewed his pen and gave me a guarded smile. Something and everything had changed. I didn’t know yet that small moments can be incredibly large.


Don't You Forget About Me is a moving standalone that I would consider women's fiction with about 15% that could be considered romance. Told completely from Georgina's point of view, we're introduced to her on a night she gets fired from her waitress job and catches her boyfriend cheating on her.


So Lucas is now a grown-up who owns and runs places. I’m thirty and begging to work in them. The indignity.


Through Georgina's reminiscing, reader's learn that she was a typical student just wanting to be liked and that she had a secret romance with a bit of an outcast named Lucas the last year of school. On a night that was supposed to end up special for her and Lucas, something happened and they ended up never speaking again, until Georgina's brother-in-law gets her a job at a pub Lucas and his brother are newly opening. Lucas behaves toward her like he doesn't know who she is and even though that breaks her heart, Georgina pretends they never met too.


I shake my head and fight to get control of my vocal cords. “I’m writing about my worst day at school for a writing competition at the pub,” I gasp. “And I know they want something funny and light and easy. But my worst day at school. It was terrible. I think it might’ve ruined my life.”


I somewhat struggled with the first half of the book. Georgina's inner musings dominate and the tone from her reads a bit hyper, distraught, and rambling. Georgina's life is laid out, with her feeling like a failure, still dealing with dad's death, friends, and family issues; it's more structure of our lead character's world. This made it at times plodding for me to get through but when towards the middle when Georgina is settled working at the pub, starting to deal and interact with family, friends, and starting to write by competing in a stand-up performance at the pub, this opens the story up and Georgina interacts with the outside world more, bring in more emotion.


The price of keeping the secret, it was too high to keep paying.


While I would give the first half 2-3 stars, the second half is 5 stars all the way, rarely have I read a story that packs such emotional punches. In the beginning, Georgina hints at what happened her last night of school, I'm sure most will guess, but the second half she lays it out there and the author did a beautiful job of writing Georgina's emotions as she confronts, deals, and shares such an impactful night of her life. Secondary characters, like her friends and family, are brought even more in and the emotional ties between them added so much to the story. This also helps to bring Lucas even more into play and the later half is where there is a stronger romance genre feel. These two don't have a lot of moments together but you'll feel and remember each and every one.


Sometimes the truth is messy and difficult but it isn’t always best left. Sometimes it saves you.


This story is about all the laughter that hides the pain and relationships that can weaken and strengthen you. Georgina started off a little bit left of center character with a circle of family that brought messy emotional ties, friends that supported her and pushed her, and a first love that acted like he didn't know who she was. As this was more women's fiction, Lucas' character was lacking a bit in feeling completely filled out but the way he shows up in the end came pretty close to making up for it for me. I would have liked more of Keith the dog and the beginning to be cleaned up in terms of flowing better but the second half was pretty close to perfection. If you're wanting a story to make you feel, Don't You Forget About Me packs a heck of an emotional punch that will have you smiling through your tears.

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text 2019-11-11 20:33
Reading Update: Page 1
Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

Snuggled in with sloppy joes and a good book on this cold and blustery day.


Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane purchase link


Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes recipe

These are a fav I love making, the blue cheese sauce adds great taste.


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review 2019-07-09 15:07
Wonderful Romance!
Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


So "Don't You Forget About Me" was wonderful. I have never read McFarlane before, but now I want to read all of her books. This book had so much heart and I loved Georgina (the main character) and her friends Jo, Clem, and Rav. I also laughed a lot and even teared up when you find out why Georgina's life derailed when she was a teen and again a few months later. There's not any love scenes in this one, but you definitely get chemistry for days between Georgina and her love interest. Now if we can a sequel following Clem, Rav, or Jo I will be thrilled.

"Don't You Forget About Me" follows 30 something Georgina. Georgina is a waitress at possibly the worst restaurant in England. Seriously, I maybe laughed a few times when Georgina recounts the mess that went on in the kitchen. When a restaurant critic starts to make a fuss about his congealed carbonara the chef blames Georgina and fires her. Georgina goes to her boyfriend's place and finds him having sex with someone else. So yeah, we're off and running. McFarlane follows Georgina who is trying to do something with her writing (yeah she hasn't written anything yet) and who ends up finding a new job at a pub. Only problem is that one of the owners of the place is someone that Georgina has wondered about for ages, the boy she was in love with, Lucas McCarthy. 


Georgina is definitely someone you want to root for. Her whole family sounds like a mess, but once you get some reveals going on you find out what was going on with all of the parties (her mom and sister) and I just ended up liking everyone more. That is one thing I want to keep emphasizing with this book, not everything is pushed out in the open. McFarlane lets the character of Georgina tell us things in her own way. We find out that her relationship with her jerk of an ex wasn't as awesome as she thought it was. And with that she starts to reveal how she first met Lucas and what happened between them.


The secondary characters like Lucas, Clem, and Rav were great. Lucas is an engima at first, but once again we find out what has happened to him since school. Rav and Clem were hilarious. I loved the friendship between the three friends and Georgina. They all got each other and supported one another. 

The writing was great. The stories that Georgina tells are hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking. Her voice throughout this book was strong. The flow was great as well.

The book takes place in London though we mainly have the bar that Lucas owns, Georgina's apartment, and her sister's place as the main settings in this book.

The ending does a six months later epilogue that I was very pleased with. Seriously though, follow up with Clem or Rav. 

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text 2019-07-09 02:25
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

Loved loved loved this book.



 It takes a lot for me to gush over a book and my goodness this book is definitely up there with full blown gushing. The author did such a great job with the character of Georgina and her mother, her sister, her friends. And it takes a while but we slowly get to see why she left University and why she’s had a hard time just sticking with a job. And I also love the fact that the author touched upon toxic masculinity in this one. But all in all this is just a really really great romance with heart and I loved Georgina and the character of Lucas. I hope we get to see a sequel following other characters in this book. The characters of Rav and Clem had me in tears. 


Review to come later. 

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review 2019-01-24 09:22
Who's That Girl? - Mhairi McFarlane

I have to admit, I was expecting this to be just another wishy washy chic lit with a catchy name and funny tagline (I've clearly read far too many), but 'Who's that girl' had me hooked from the first chapter until the very last word. It was witty and believable and I actually found I really liked the protagonist so I cared about what she was going through. Yes it was a tad bit predictable in soms areas but there is nothing new under the sun, as they say. It probably also helped that it was set in Nottingham, a city I studied at, so I enjoyed recognising so many of the places mentioned. Anyway, highly recommended.

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