Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Goodreads: Don’t You Forget About Me
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 10 January 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

You always remember your first love. Don’t you?
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…

TL;DR: Wow, despite not being at all what I expected I still really enjoyed this book! Like, I read this overnight because once I started I didn’t want to put it down. It’s deeply emotional and had me in tears at the end but it was well-balanced with sarcastic quippy humour that had me frequently laughing out loud. I really enjoyed MacFarlane’s writing and the characters, especially the group of friends, were fantastic! I can’t wait to read more by this author in the (near) future. 😍

Phew, I did not expect this book to have me all up in my feelings and yet, here I am wiping the last tears off my face. Everything about the face of this book from the cover, title and synopsis is freaking deceptive—this is not a light and fluffy rom-com and if that’s what you’re looking I advise you to search somewhere else! I mean, yes, I laughed out loud a lot as pretty much everyone is sarcastic and full of quippy -isms, especially Georgina, and the writing is just so British and I’ve always loved the humour, but this also covers heavy topics so I’d advise checking the CW/TW (below) beforehand.

Content/Trigger Warnings: abuse (mental/emotional), toxic relationships, gaslighting, sexual assault (recounted by MC in detail), death of parent death of spouses (cancer), cheating (off-page, not with MC/LI) 

This is a character-driven story told entirely through Georgina’s perspective and it was a bit slow to start but once we move past the unfortunate events at the start, the story picks up rather quickly. I will say that if you’re expecting a full-blown romance then you will be disappointed because the romance ended up being quite minor and mostly took place towards the end of the book. This is more a story about self-acceptance and healing and I really enjoyed being Georgina’s head as we follow her on this tough but ultimately satisfying journey.

I admit to initially being unsure whether I’d like her because she had this chaotic energy that I wasn’t entirely vibing with, but the more we get to know her, the easier it was to empathise with her and eventually really root for her happiness! Georgina might be a bit of a messy character but she’s entirely realistic. She’s smart, thoughtful and has a big heart but she grapples with strong insecurities and self-doubt that stems from a strong desire to be liked at all times. She has been through so much and oof, some of the stuff was infuriating (like her having to deal with that absolute nob bag Robin!), other parts absolutely heartbreaking but I found a lot of her story to be quite relatable (as I’m also in my 30s and I just really got where her head was at in certain situations).

I thought Lucas was an intriguing LI though sadly, we don’t really get to know him as they don’t spend that much time together for a good portion of the book. I did like the quirky banter and chemistry that we do see between them but I felt there was potential to build it up even more and McFarlane didn’t bring it all the way. It wasn’t difficult to predict the romance arc and it did get frustrating at times because *communicate please*, but on the whole, I’m still happy with the way it played out. I will say that the ending definitely had me swoon crying in my lonely feels because ugh, MY GOSH, Lucas’s speech. THE AUDACITY! 🥺

Other than those two, I adored Georgina’s friendship group so much! They were an incredible support system and I loved getting to know them as well. Their banter had me absolutely cackling and I’m ngl, I kinda want more of these friends?! There’s a significant family drama aspect involving Georgina’s gaslighting ar*ehole of a step-father and mother, and although I did warm-up to her sister Esther and even her mum by the end, I could still take or leave them.

This wasn’t the fluffy rom-com that I was looking for but I’m still so very glad that I read it! I’m very curious to read more by Mhairi McFarlane and lucky for me, I’ve got a few of her books lined up to read (hopefully soon)!

Have you read Don’t You Forget About Me or is it on your TBR?

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

    • Yaas, they were such a great friend group and I loved their banter so much 😂 I loved being a part of this healing journey too and was really happy with how things ended up. I can’t wait to read more by McFarlane!

      Liked by 1 person

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