Don’t You Forget About Me
by Mhairi McFarlane
Book #3 in the 2019 Rare Birds Reading Challenge
It began with four words.
‘I love your laugh. x’
But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.
So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.
The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…
As the Rare Birds Book Club book for March, I was really looking forward to reading “Don’t You Forget About Me”, especially as several people have told me how much they have enjoyed Mhairi McFarlane‘s other work.
McFarlane has made a character to love in leading lady Georgina Horspool, a thirty year old woman, sacked from her job as a waitress, newly single and living with a roommate who leaves her spiteful notes each morning. When her kind brother-in-law recommends a job at a newly renovated pub called The Wicker, Georgina snaps it up, thinking mostly of the money she’s in desperate need of. She later finds out that she’ll be working for Lucas McCarthy, the guy she happened to be in love with back in Sixth Form.
This is ultimate chick-lit/rom-com territory. There’s a bit more com than rom in this one, but it still features a romance to root for, a gang of comedic friends and a bad guy ex we love to hate. This story is not all that flowery with love hearts and ponies and is far from predictable with plenty more serious things going on to allow for some pretty decent character development.
I didn’t love this and there were a couple of characters that I would have taken out completely without affecting the story too much, but overall it was enjoyable. McFarlane writes with wit while exploring complex relationships and touching on some difficult themes. There are some odd word choices in this though and several I would have to Google to really understand their meaning (iconoclastic, refusenik, excoriation, anyone?) I’m not going to read this book again, but I’m not ruling out the author either.
Overall rating: Georgina Horspool is so real it’s difficult not to love her. Unemployed and single on the same day and heading home to a roommate who’s not her biggest fan either. This rom-com explores some tricky themes but it mostly fun and witty. This wasn’t perfect for me but still an enjoyable 3 stars.