Monday, 20 October 2014

It's not me, it's you - Mhairi McFarlane

I first came across Mhairi McFarlane when she wrote for my local paper the Nottingham Evening Post. I liked to read the articles she penned at weekends in the paper as I loved her writing and was soon following her on twitter. Then a couple of years ago I saw a tweet that she was now a published author with You Had Me at Hello. I downloaded it immediately and loved it.
Fast forward to present day and her latest book “It’s not me, It’s You” and she is definitely on a roll with this her third book.

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.
When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.
When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.
And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…
From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

Mhairi has succeeded in creating the most dimensional characters you could hope to meet in this book. She intertwines so much back story into it all, even down to describing the d├ęcor of a restaurant and the menu. She also tells us what drives these characters, what their hopes and fears are, that I really felt I got to know them all.
I think it is an underestimation to call this chick lit – yes it has a girl has boy, loses boy thread but there is so much depth to the novel. There is also a little bit of a thriller thread running through it that had me holding my breath at times.
I was rooting for Delia to make the right choice (in my mind!) – I won’t spoilt the ending by saying what that was, but we are kept guessing with a will she won’t she storyline that doesn’t feel false. I also must say that this plot line rang so true for me, even down to some of the phrases used – I’ve been through similar things and if this was written without experiencing it, all I can say is she has written it to a T.
Mhairi has a fantastic grasp of the English language; it’s great to see that a modern novel, that isn’t a serious work, can actually use some words that are more than two syllables long.  
I am still thinking about the characters now – always the sign of a good book.

PS it would make a fantastic film!

My thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing me with an advance copy to review.

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