Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Don't You Forget About Me Book Cover Don't You Forget About Me
Mhairi McFarlane
Women's Lit, Comedey
William Morrow Paperbacks
September 10, 2019
Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
432

You always remember your first love... don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat... what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth... or a second chance with the one that got away?

Don’t judge a book by the cover or even the first couple chapters… 

I will be totally honest, it was really hard for me to get into Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane.  This, in part, comes down to personal taste in writing styles; I have a hard time staying interested in a book with constant internal dialogue and over-saturation of adjectives for every little description and action, which is a big part of Don’t You Forget About Me.  You are probably wondering why then I gave it 4.5 stars… it grew on me and ended up being a story that was well worth the read.

Mhairi takes the common experiences and struggles in life and conveys them in a somewhat snarky but surprisingly profound story about Georgina, an English girl in her late 20s who feels defined by her youthful identities and mistakes and allows them to shape her into an adult who is adrift in life.  However, through a strange turn of events, Georgina is able to redefine how she sees herself, finally bringing her the true happiness she always wanted.

I think the expression, “not my cup of tea”, can be just as applicable with authors as it is with so many other things in life.  Just because I don’t gravitate towards a certain style of writing doesn’t mean that particular author is untalented or that they cannot convey a message intertwined in an entertaining story.  This is my take away after reading Don’t You Forget About Me.  I am familiar with enough authors who write in the same style as Mhairi to acknowledge that it is popular with many readers.  So while initially, I struggled to stay engaged in the story, eventually I found that there was actually an intriguing plot threaded between Georgina’s internal monologue and lack of confidence in herself.  One of my favorite symbols is the pink fur coat she constantly wears as it becomes a representation for the image she has has allowed others to define her as.  In the end, Georgina’s self-transformation is inspiring.

Don’t You Forget About Me just goes to show that it’s worth giving stories a chance to develop before rendering a final verdict.  Read it for yourself and I think you will not only be entertained but encouraged that there are still happy endings in life.

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