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You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane
Member Name: hlb2009
You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane
Advantages: very weak story
Disadvantages: easy to read
The last few books I have reviewed I have raved about them and gone on and on about how much I enjoyed them... I knew my run of good reads must come to an end sooner or later and it has done; with this book. It was recommended to me by Amazon who thought I would like it, sadly they were wrong! I downloaded it to my Kindle for about £2.99 and I kind of regret having spent that on it.
The story tells of Rachel who begins the book by having an argument with her fiance about the music they'd like at their wedding. Within 2 pages she has gone from discussing wedding music to deciding to split up with him. The book then goes on to show Rachel with her friends Caroline, Ivor and Mindy who she went to university with. Caroline tells her that she bumped in to her old friend Ben at the library. Obviously, Rachel then goes to the library and happens to bump into Ben and as you can guess it's obvious there is history between Rachel and Ben. The story goes back and forth from university days to present day and we see that there is still a spark between the two of them but Ben is married and it appears that his friend Simon is interested in Rachel... or is he? Is he really trying to stir trouble?
The characters were rather bland and typical. I mean this insofar as I didn't feel like I could relate to any of them, it didn't move me the things they said, I wasn't irritated by them when they did irritating things, they were just not created in a way which made them believable. I could see the kind of people that this author was trying to create but there there was just something lacking. I couldn't work out if Rachel was supposed to be a hard-faced, tom boy or if she was a girlie girl, it just seemed to be one extreme to another without it being mentioned so I don't think the author really knew herself. The character of Ben seemed a 'too good to be true' kind of person, it just all seemed a bit odd and wishy washy.
The story was very disjointed, it went from university days to present days from one chapter to the next but didn't state what date we were in so often it would take me a paragraph or two to work out that we had gone back in time again and this was rather irritating. Other books can work really well by having past and present being told at the same time but this felt disjointed and jerky.
The dialogue between the characters wasn't well written either. Often I lost who had said what and had to read back to work out who was talking and some of it just felt as though it was written in a rush, I felt as though I was at a party and wasn't keeping up with the story when people were talking. It was rather irritating.
The story line itself was what really let this book down. As soon as I head read the first few pages I could have told you how this book would pan out. From trying to pre-empt whether Rachel and Ben would end up together to knowing what else was happening in terms of her work and her friends Mindy and Ivor it was just glaringly obvious. It was just full of clichéd moments and so very predictable. Nothing in this story was novel, nothing blew me away and in fact it just made me roll my eyes thinking 'here we go again'. This is a really poor example of chick lit, it's embarrassing actually as it's so weak on the story front with no twists whatsoever. It was made worse by the fact that this author tried to be funny, I could tell she was trying to be humorous like Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes but she just couldn't pull it off, it was more cringe-worthy like the embarrassing friend trying to tell a joke at a party, it had that effect on me. It started off so rushed with Rachel one minute talking weddings to suddenly calling it off, it felt as though a whole chapter had been missing prior to this, it was rather odd beginning a book in this way.
I really didn't enjoy this book as it was just so wishy washy, predictable and we've seen it all before. I am giving it 2 stars because it at least was easy to read but that was about it! It really isn't anything new at all and I do feel bad for criticising it so much but if I had written this book I'd be cringing at my own downfall! I didn't even want to finish this book as I felt it was a waste of my time but I kept thinking surely it will get better... I should have stuck with my instincts as it didn't get better.
Sorry to say I won't be recommending this.
Summary: very poor