Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Edie's life is going along just fine, she supposes. Until the fateful day of Jack and Charlotte's wedding, when everything changes. Edie is caught in a particular transgression with the groom, Jack, and immediately everyone blames her, without knowing the full story. Since Jack, Charlotte, and Edie work together, Edie finds life at work unbearable and winds up taking an assignment from her boss in Nottingham, her hometown. There she meets famous actor (think "Game of Thrones" famous) Elliot Owen, for whom Edie must ghost write his autobiography. But things only seem to go from bad to worse, as Elliot seems a pompous, self-absorbed actor and Edie's sister and father don't exactly seem thrilled she's living back home again. Not to mention she can't show her face on social media (or in public) due to Charlotte's revengeful friends, who all hate her... will things ever go right for Edie again?
I admit that I really didn't really know (remember?) the genre of this novel when I picked it up. It's a bit confusing at first, though certainly has its charming moments, especially as a romance.
"Do we ever choose who we fall for? Edie has many a long lonely evening in with only Netflix for company to contemplate that one."
Edie's quest for love is just one of the book's central themes. In many ways, she's on a journey to find herself, and only in doing so, can find love. The novel switches between the present tense (starting with the wedding) and also gives us a little of the past in some places. My biggest beef was how the adults in this book acted like bullying schoolchildren. So, Edie's transgression is really so bad that she's completely ostracized and the subject of intense in-life and cyber shaming and scrutiny? It seems like high school gone really wrong. Her "friend" Louis is just awful; are people really like this?! It's a commentary on social media and cyber bullying, perhaps, but also just terrible and hard to believe at times. These are grown adults! I found myself a little too appalled and couldn't believe grown people would act this way. It's really sad if they do, honestly...
However, once you get further past the wedding day and more into Nottingham, the novel picks up. Edie isn't always the most enjoyable of characters, but I did like her, as I liked Elliot. Parts of the book are just downright funny; I actually found myself laughing out loud. Edie's friends from school are particularly hilarious and a good fit for her. Her boss, too, even if he falls a bit on the dramatic side.
Just when it all seemed normal, it did get a little preposterous again, but hey, that can come with a good romance at times. Overall, while I found some of the characters and plot points frustrating on this one, much of it was balanced out by the charm and humor of the novel. 3.5 stars.
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!).
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