Book Review: You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

'Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.'
'You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?'
'I think you've missed the point Rachel.'
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.
They'd been partners in crime and the best of friends. But it's clear that life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is not.
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. 

Wow! I absolutely loved this book. I just wanted it to go on and on. You Had Me at Hello is Mhairi McFarlane's debut and it is a stunning read.
Rachel is newly single and living in Manchester where she works as a court reporter for the local paper. She is getting her head around being back on the market after a 13 year relationship when she bumps into Ben. Ben who was her best friend and so much more at university. Ben who she has thought about every day since she last saw him. The dynamics have changed; Ben is now married and a successful lawyer; they are not care free students but their friendship is still there.
Rachel's character is great, she very much wears her heart on her sleeve and wants to see the best in people, this has led her to a few problems in the past and a few bad decisions. I loved her job as a court reporter, it adds a very realistic element to the book and makes for some excellent sub-plots.
You Had Me at Hello reminded me a little of One Day by David Nicholls but I have to be honest and say that  I enjoyed this more. It has the same intense love story but I found it much more entertaining. Mhairi McFarlane's humour had me laughing out loud in several places.
I liked that Mhairi McFarlane didn't make out that love is all hearts and flowers. I felt that she presented a very realistic tale of modern love. Ben and Rachel both make mistakes and I think it goes to show that however much you love someone, life can still get in the way. If you really want something then you really have to go after it, don't wait for it to come to you.
I have already told so many people how brilliant this book is, if that was Mhairi McFarlane's debut then I can't wait to see what she does next.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to Avon for sending me a copy to review and for introducing me to such an exciting author. You Had Me at Hello is out now!


Dizzy C said...

I have this one patiently waiting for me :)

Looking forward to it!


Dot said...

Carol- I think you will love it!

Nadia said...

Wow! This one sounds amazing! Will definitely be reading it ASAP!

Dot said...

It's ever so good Nadia, didn't want it to end!

Kevin Loh said...

Whoop! Hear hear! Looking forward to Mhairi's next one - December is TOO long.

Jane Henry said...

I'm a fellow Avon author and I simultaneously loved this book/was extremely jealous of Mhairi's brilliant writing:-) I studied English in Liverpool a decade earlier, but I know Manchester reasonably well and the student bits REALLY resonated, though sadly I never had an English Ben:-) The boys on my course were mainly twats. Or gay. However, that aside, I thought the grown up part of the book was absolutely wonderful too, and I just didn't want it to end. Think Mhairi McFarlane is possibly the next Marian Keyes. Looking VERY much forward to book no 2

Dot said...

Jane- This really made me laugh, I did English lit at Birmingham uni and the boys were very similar on my course. Probably a good thing as I wouldn't have done any work if there had been a Ben!

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