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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Unputdownable

    Mhairi McFarlane never fails to deliver. I loved this book and I just didn’t want to put it down. From the very first chapter, it had me hooked, and although the ending was predictable, I enjoyed the twists and turns it took to get there. A fun read.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Wonderful characters

    This is a very thoughtful book about love, friendships, loss and secrets told from the viewpoint of thirty something Eve who is reeling from the sudden loss of her best friend. Eve has been part of a close quartet since sixth form, she’s been secretly in love with one of them, Ed, for years and despite him having a long term girlfriend she’s held out for the chance of a future with him. A shocking event reveals past secrets that cause Eve to rethink many things about her past and about herself. The characters are really well written, the plot is simple but very character lead and works well and there’s a great balance of sadness and humour.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Tragedy brings love to ageing Goth Eve

    Eve, Sophie, Justin and Ed have been friends since they were eighteen years old, they may have parted ways when they went to university but they are still close and participate in the weekly quiz at their local pub on a Thursday night. They like to think of themselves as a British version of the characters in the film The Breakfast Club, albeit Justin says he is a gay version of Judd Nelson. Just before they left for university Ed and Eve had a moment, but, as is often the way, things went awry, and Ed met Hester. Now the gang are in their early thirties, with careers and their own homes, but Eve is still in love with Ed, sometimes they share a moment or a glance and Eve wonders if he still thinks of her like that, but when Hester proposes things are about to change. Eve just didn't realise just how much things would change that night, but tragedy strikes and Eve learns that everything she thought she knew about her friends is no longer true. There's so much to unpack in this book, growing older doesn't necessarily mean growing up, your best friend may have your back but they aren't always a reliable narrator, good guys can also do bad things, and sometimes your first kiss can be the one! It sounds odd to say that a book based on a tragedy is a feel good, uplifting romance but it really is. Eve is such a great character, funny, honest, loyal, and genuine. And in their own ways, so are her friends. Another cracker from a master of contemporary romance. I was offered a free copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Fantastic!

    I’ve read all of Mhairi McFarlane’s books and this one did not disappoint. It is low on the romance but I didn’t mind that as her usual writing style of creating witty and real characters shines through. Do yourself a favour and add this one to your must read list.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Emotional and ultimately satisfying story

    The best way to enjoy this book is to go into it not expecting a romance. Although there is a surprising and lovely one that develops along the way, that's definitely not the focus of the book. Instead it's an honest and sometimes raw exploration of grief and of moving on after the unthinkable happens, tempered by the author's trademark wit, brilliant and smart banter between the main characters, and the self-awareness with which they ultimately examine their motivations. Eve is a 34 YO who feels stuck in her life. She wastes her days at a dead-end job and lives for the time she spends with her 3 best friends, Ed, Susie, and Justin. They've been an inseparable unit ever since they met in high school. Aside from Ed, who has a long-term partner whom the others tolerate for the sake of their friendship, they are all unattached. Unfortunately for Eve, she's been in love with Ed pretty much forever although she believes she missed her chance with him years ago. At the beginning of the book, Ed's girlfriend publicly proposes to him and Eve realizes she has to move on. However, this is the only the first, and the smallest, of the blows that Eve is going to receive as a result of that night. How she deals with them, and the emotional clarity that she gains as she does so, drives the book forward in ways that the reader does not expect. Eve learns a secret she was never meant to know, takes a road trip with a person she's predisposed to dislike, and learns how to forgive something that initially seemed unforgivable. I went into the book unprepared for its darker tone and emotional turbulence, and found it to be rough going sometimes in the way that it invoked unresolved feelings of my own. Nonetheless, I was pulled into the story and didn't want to put it down. It was a beautiful exploration of the unbreakable ties that bind us to our friends even as we come to realize that we can never truly know them the way we know our own selves. This was not the book I was expecting, but it's a book I was happy to read. My thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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