Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)
Pages: 436
Received: Purchased copy

Release Date: December 20, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

If you love David Nicholls and Lisa Jewell then this is the book for you. Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first ‘hello’.

My Review:

Okay, so going into this book I for some reason was thinking some kind of Sophie Kinsella type story... not that at all! What I got was an emotional story about the one that got away coming back into your life. Even though this book was different from what I was expecting, it was in a good way and I fell in love with the story.

The book begins in the present with Rachel realizing that she can't spend the rest of her life with this guy (who she has been with for 13 years). So at the age of 30, Rachel must now start her life again, and work on what it means to be single, when she "coincidentally" runs into her best friend from university, who she hasn't seen for 10 years. From here readers get a back and forth from the past, seeing how the friendship between Ben and Rachel grew and watching them rekindle that friendship again in the present. What I really loved was how McFarlane keeps her readers guessing of what happened between these two characters that kept them from speaking for 10 years. (Though I had an idea, I wasn't absolutely sure about everything that went down).

This book is about so much more than the the romance between Ben and Rachel though, this book is a lot about the friendships that Rachel has kept over the years and how these characters are there for her through thick and thin. I loved the difference in attitudes of all three of her friends, and I loved all their interactions, really helping Rachel realize what she would do now that she was single and on her own. Readers also get a glimpse into Rachel's family and I think there was some interesting scenes between Rachel and her mother. The relationship between them is strained because Rachel has broken off her engagement and her mother is worried about her thinking that she is just scared. The scenes between these two were few but they definitely made a point and stuck with me, seeing how Rachel's life has become more difficult since ending things with her fiancé.

There were so many emotions running through this book, everytime Rachel and Ben are together the scenes are adorable but heartbreaking because you know they can't be together as much as you want them to be. There were so many parts where I felt like yelling at Rachel because she is doing something stupid and letting things get the best of her. But at the same time there was a great amount of humour interspersed in the story, Rachel has an attitude and she is a very sassy character, making me love her even more.

This book is not a regular love story that you see in a lot of chick lit books, Rachel has to go through a lot of hardships. I really like how you see that when one thing in your life starts coming apart, it has a huge effect on many other aspects of you life (even ones you would think were not connected).

The greatest thing that I got from this book was the quote "Do nothing, and nothing happens. Life is about decisions. You either make them or they're made for you, but you can't avoid them." This is the greatest message I got from this book, don't let life and others decide things for you, take charge and live your life.


  1. WANT! I bet you thought it was a Sophia Kinsella novel because of the cover. Covers can be deceiving. Thanks for the great review!

  2. This cover is so deceiving! I thought it would be like a Sophia Kinsella book too! Glad to hear you enjoyed it and that it was more than just your average love story.



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