I’m making my way through my Goodreads challenge to read 50 books this year. As I don’t have very much to do at the moment, and as a break from watching the entire film and TV selection on Disney+ (I haven’t, yet!), I’ve been reading a lot more than usual on my Kindle, in particular. Yesterday, I finished Don’t You Forget About Me, the second book by Mhairi McFarlane I decided to purchase.
Much like If I Never Met You, I didn’t have much to go off other than the illustrated pink cover, and so I didn’t really know what to expect. Regardless, considering how much I liked that book, I was excited to read this one.
If there’s one thing worse than getting sacked from your job, it’s coming home to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.
Reeling from the double dumping, Georgina gets herself a job at a newly opened pub, which just so happens to be run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy.
As with If I Never Met You, I didn’t really know what to expect with this one. The title gave me Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind vibes but, on reading, I discovered that – aside from Georgina wanting to forget her cheating boyfriend, Robin – this book couldn’t be more different. This was yet another case for me, which seems to be an ongoing theme of my book reviews as of late, of don’t judge a book by its cover.
Again, the characters in this weren’t perfect. They were funny, but flawed and – quite honestly – I prefer to read characters like that now.
Georgina is down on her luck in all respects, moving from one dead end job to the next, but McFarlane (like Laurie in her other book) creates a character that is funny and lovable, even if she is vulnerable and a bit tragic! Lucas was one of those Heathcliff esque characters but, as I read on, I realised that there was more to him than I first thought.
Much like If I Never Met You, I loved how relationships were portrayed in this. It wasn’t a fake relationship like the one in that book, admittedly a lot slower to unfold (and get into, on my part), but I liked seeing it unfold. Again there was a trope in there, as former lovers reunited in the present, but this didn’t prove annoying and was actually important in the characters development and the relationship as well.
I also loved the fact that Georgina wasn’t in a major, top job. I’ve been struggling for a while with where I’m at career wise, so I identified with Georgina and her desire for something more. I liked that she wasn’t just concerned with relationships and being with someone, it was good to see her have realistic concerns.
I liked the relationships in this book that weren’t romantic, as well. Family plays a big part in this narrative and I loved every member of Georgina’s family. I think we’ve all had a bit of a tense family gathering before and McFarlane nails this in her narrative (I screamed with laughter at Nana!). I also really liked her group of friends, though I wish McFarlane explored them a little bit more.
The one thing I wasn’t keen on was how long it took for the relationship to develop. Obviously past and present came to a head at one point but it felt incredibly slow and, by the time it came to any form of reveal, I’d completely forgotten what’d gone on before it.
Even so, it was an interesting read, with humour and heart, which proved your past has a way of catching up with you…sometimes in the best way.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Alternatively, what are you reading? I’d love to chat in the comments 😊