It’s Not Me It’s You

it's not mePublished: 2015
Author: Mhairi McFarlane

Great fun from the first page


I try not to judge a book on its first few pages, I like to get into the narrative before I make any judgments. Of course there are some books where this doesn’t work – I couldn’t read more than the first four or five pages of Anne Enright’s The Gathering before handing it to a bemused woman on the train. I judged Mhairi McFarlane’s new novel, It’s Not Me, It’s You on its first paragraph but thankfully it was a much more positive opinion.

Delia Moss is blissfully happy with her boyfriend Paul, her incontinent dog, and her dull but easy job for Newcastle City Council. She decides to propose to Paul to make her life complete but her happiness is short-lived when she discovers that Paul has been cheating on her with a younger woman. She gives up her safe job and her life in the North East to join her best friend in London and make a new start in the wicked world of public relations.

Delia is a fantastic character – she’s immensely likeable and you feel all of her emotions as she experiences them. The supporting cast are all great fun from the online troll who Delia befriends to her best friend Emma who is a successful lawyer to her socially awkward but loving brother. The “baddies” of the book are brilliantly booable and the love story is great fun and

I laughed several times reading It’s Not Me, It’s You, the opening line made me giggle out loud and I think I’ve thrust the book into the hands of everyone I’ve seen and demanded that they read the first page. More unexpectedly I wept buckets at one point. There’s one particular chapter that left me utterly bereft and I had to put the book to one side to recover myself.

The book isn’t perfect. It’s perhaps about 30/40 pages too long and there are a couple of scenes and characters that seem a bit superfluous such as the “gay best friend” character who flits in and out and seems to exist only so that there can be a gay best friend character. Minor niggles which certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of a fantastic book.

I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book but was lucky enough to win a copy from W6 Book Café on Facebook. I’m so glad that I did, I really enjoyed It’s Not Me It’s You – it’s an ideal summer read and will bring both a smile and a tear to everyone’s face.

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