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.