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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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I Owe You One
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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

ARC Review: Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34109621-don-t-you-forget-about-me?ac=1&from_search=true
Please Note:  I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.

Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.

Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…
  


Review:
I first learned about author Mhairi McFarlane from a Boostagrammer in England named The Bookish Gurl. Since I really enjoy British romcom books, I was interested and found Don't You Forget About Me on Edelweiss.  Yes, this book was funny and romantic.  But it was also quite timely in this era of the #metoo movement, bringing up sexual harrassment (and worse).  With such a positive introduction to this author's work, I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

What I Liked:
Characters:
At first, we see Georgina as a stereotypical underachieving thirty year-old, working a series of low-paying waitress jobs and dating losers.  But there is a more complex woman under her pink furry jacket and short skirts.  I loved getting to know this character.  This author does a wonderful job of giving the reader information about Georgina in small doses, thus making me interested in finding out the whole truth about her.

Lucas is a man from Georgina's past who is likewise quite mysterious.  There are a few unnecessary about his past that are a bit clichéd, but mostly Lucas is a solid character with hidden depths.

Georgina's family is an interesting mix of infuriating and funny.  I especially enjoyed all the antics over Sunday lunches.  These could easily have been two-dimensional, annoying characters.  At first, they definitely are.  But I loved how we learn more about them and see how they all change over the course of the book. 

Themes:
Although this is not an exact retelling, I felt there were very strong similarities between this book and my favorite book of all time: Persuasion.  Many of Georgina's family resembles the family of Anne, the main character in the Jane Austin classic.  There is the vain, controlling step-father, and siblings who clearly don't see Georgina as capable or important.  And the main theme of a second chance at love after an intense, but youthful infatuation is the same. 

Story:
The story centers around the mystery of why Georgina and Luke (who were so in love as teens) broke up in the first place.  There are definitely differences between what we think happened and what really took place that will be addressed as the story moves along.  This was very satisfying.

But along with that, there is a side story about the aftermath of Georgina's relationship with a manipulative womanizer.  In fact, there are several men in the story who are used to exploiting women.  They seem genuinely baffled by the new self-awareness of women who are fed up with sexual harassment, mansplaining, and being devalued.  How she progresses from accepting this behavior to putting herself first made me adore Georgina.  It elevates this story from a charming romcom to a timely novel where we tell these types of men that their Time's Up!


Trigger Warning for sexual assault

Rating: 




Release Date: September 10th, 2019

Author:  Mhairi McFarlane

Publisher:  William Morrow Books

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

Page Length:  432 Pages

Source:  Edelweiss

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  A highly-entertaining book that was alternately funny and serious.  Go get this book!

 

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1 comment :

  1. Ah I really like the sound of this, will have to check it out!

    Lotte | www.lottelauv.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete




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