Welcome to Reading the Backlist, a (new) periodic feature in which I will review a book that was published months or even years ago.
First, a confession: yes, I was supposed to be reading three March 1 releases, but two of those took place in the aftermath of someone dying and ... I wasn't feeling it. I'm not usually a mood reader -- that can be a problem for a blogger -- but in this particular case I needed a fun, feel good kind of book. Which was...
by Mhairi McFarlane
Published by February 25, 2014
by Avon Books
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 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.
My take: Back in the day, I used to read ALL the chick lit. And then that genre seemed to fall out of favor and I went on to reading other stuff. But reading You Had Me at Hello reminded me of all the great things chick lit had (and still has!) to offer. It's the next step after YA, New Adult without the endless angst. For me, good chick lit tells a story of a regular girl just trying to figure her life out -- work, friendships, and romance.
You Had Me at Hello had a great balance of all three. Rachel is a court reporter and I loved that the book focused on her work life and a certain younger colleague who might or might not be trustworthy (Hello, All About Eve!) After Rachel's breakup with a longtime boyfriend, she leans heavily on her two great friends, Caroline and Mindy. (Female friendship: check!) Then, of course, there was the romance. Rachel and Ben met at university and I liked how the story showed their friendship in the past and their rekindling of that friendship (and possibly more) in the present.
Plus, You Had Me at Hello had a fourth bonus quality: Britishness. I read all nationalities of chick lit, but have a special fondness for the British variety. This book had so much fun slang -- why can't I go around saying things like "ooh... scrummy cupcakes" without sounding like a weirdo? And I liked that this book took place in Manchester in uh... (Googles where Manchester is) the northwest of England. I mean, I will never say no to a book set in London, but the new setting was fun.
All in all, You Had Me At Hello was just what I needed: a fun, page-turning, feel-good book with just a touch of suspense and NO death. And now, back to my regularly scheduled reading...
I used to read a lot of chick-lit but then open endings seemed to become a trend with them and I just need a solid HEA lolReplyDelete
Karen @For What It's Worth
This one has an ending. I agree, that is key!Delete
Great review. I think I'll check it out. I love books set in England too, and I'm enjoying chick lit more and more lately.ReplyDelete
Try it - or I think she has a newer book coming out?Delete
chick lit can be perfect some times. Light and fluffy and always romantic. I love chick lit in the summertimeReplyDelete
I agree - though after all the doom and gloom books I've been reading, I needed that now!Delete
Oh jeesh. Yes, something like that would definitely plummet my reading vibes and require me to read something a bit more upbeat. This sounds like it had the perfect balance for you. It sounds like a fun read and I don't blame you for wanting to use the slang. I kinda want to read the book just so I can pick up some slang to use myself. ;)ReplyDelete
I secretly want to be British...Delete
oh how i tried my best to get through this book once upon a time. glad you enjoyed it, jen!ReplyDelete