Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me – Mhairi McFarlane

Don't You Forget About Me - Mhairi McFarlane

About The Book

You always remember your first love. Don’t you…?

It began with four words.

‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

My Review

I have one problem with Mhairi McFarlane’s books; I inhale them. Every single time I sit down to read one I think to myself, ‘savour it Beverley, because once it’s finished, that’s it’, and every single time I devour it in a matter of hours. Don’t You Forget About Me is no exception, I couldn’t put it down and was fully absorbed in the world of Georgina.

If you haven’t read a Mhairi McFarlane book before then you really should remedy that pretty quickly. Her books are witty, sharp, precise and feel like you are falling head first into a really excellent romcom, like the ones Matthew McConaughey used to make before he became boring a serious actor.

Georgina is working at a quite dire Italian restaurant in Sheffield when she is unceremoniously and publicly sacked. To rub salt in the wound she then finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman.  He didn’t think they were exclusive you see, even though they had been in a relationship for the previous 6 months. Her brother in law wangles her a job at a newly refurbished pub owned by one of his clients. Under strict instructions from her sister not to mess it up like she does everything else in her life she is stunned to discover that the owner is Lucas, her first love. The problem? He doesn’t remember her. Awkward. 

Georgina is a wonderful protagonist who is faced with adversity in the form of a family who love her but don’t seem to like her very much at times. She feels like a failure, is unsure what to do with her life and is regularly reminded that now she is thirty that she should be married and putting her womb to good use. Add to that an ex who is a gaslighting cheater and a flatmate who communicates in passive aggressive notes accusing Georgina of teabag theft and other minor misdemeanours and things are a bit rubbish for the lovely Georgina. She keeps her head up though and surrounds herself with family in the form of friends who really get her and she shows how it is possible to rise to the top, even when others want to pull you down.

Mhairi McFarlane manages to write sparky, strong characters and romance without it being the least bit schmaltzy. In fact, if you think this is a book about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries very hard to get girl back then you’d be wrong. Yes it’s about romance, but it is also about not ignoring those red flags in a relationship, complicated families, turning thirty and not knowing what on earth you want to do with your life and the joy of really, really excellent friendships. 

It is a thoroughly modern book which fizzes with anger at toxic relationships and the treatment of women at the hands of men. Wrapped up amongst the laughs and the love is a serious tale of insidious behaviour and cruelty and yes I laughed, but I also did big snotty, ugly crying too. 

Now, what on earth do I do until Mhairi McFarlane’s next book? You see, I knew I shouldn’t have gobbled it up. 🙈

Where You Can Buy It

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers HarperCollins UK for an advanced copy of Don’t You Forget About Me which was published in ebook on the 1st January 2019 and will be out in paperback on 7th March 2019.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me – Mhairi McFarlane

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