Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane

In brief: Edie is practically run out of London after a very awkward moment at a colleague’s wedding. Forced to ghost write the autobiography of the hottest new actor in Nottingham, she will have multiple issues to contend with…

The good: It’s laugh out loud funny and Elliot the actor is super-hot.

The not-so-good: I can’t work out if I love the ending or not (although if the word sequel was said, it would be a definite ‘love’).

Why I chose it: I had it marked down as a book to read – many thanks to Harper Collins for the pretty pearly copy.

Year: 2016

Pages: 535

Publisher: Harper Collins

Setting: Mainly Nottingham and London

My rating: 9.5 out of 10

Growing up, I adored the Bridget Jones books (I think I read the pair of them available at the time back to back on a driving trip across Australia). So when I hear of something mentioning her, my ears prick up and the book is dutifully noted on my wish list. But then I was offered a copy of this book to read, so I jumped at the chance and pretty much manhandled the parcel post man in my eagerness to read it. Let’s get one thing clear though – the heroine of Who’s That Girl?, Edie isn’t Bridget. She’s cool and funny enough to be named in a category of her own.

Who’s That Girl? is the first of Mhairi McFarlane’s books I’ve read (I have It’s Not Me, It’s You on my shelf because the title was too funny to pass by) but to use a cliché, it won’t be my last. She is one heck of a funny writer. I am a very difficult reader to make laugh out loud, but she did it multiple times in this book. It’s a combination of humour, supreme awkwardness, friendship and one hell of a hot actor in Elliot Owen (2 parts Hugh Jackman, 1 part George Clooney and 1 part Ryan Gosling). She doesn’t shy away from the bits that make you squirm (some of the situations Edie gets into are nightmare cringe worthy) but there are healthy doses of fun to balance it out.

Who’s That Girl? opens at the wedding of Edie’s colleagues, Jack and Charlotte. It’s a pretty boring affair, complete with The Worst Bridesmaid Song Ever. Edie escapes outside at the reception only to be caught in a compromising position after Jack kisses her. All of a sudden, she’s public enemy number 1 online and in her workplace. In an attempt to ease the tension, Edie’s wise boss sends her to ghost-write a celebrity autobiography in Nottingham. That means she moves back home with her heartbroken father and wannabe anarchist sister. It also means that Edie gets to work with Elliot Owen, the hottest actor of the moment. But Elliot’s a little (okay, a lot) hard to read and it takes time for Elliot to trust her. Then just as things fall into place for Edie, an inopportune photo has the online world talking about her again and that wedding misdemeanour…

Despite being a light read, the novel investigates some topical issues such as online bullying. Edie is harassed through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to the point where she deletes her accounts and can’t even look at her phone for days. Edie’s not 13 either – she’s 35 and getting hassled by people who are old enough to vote and have a mortgage. It’s pretty sickening that some of the characters just wouldn’t let things go and felt the need to say their piece cloaked behind a screen. Edie’s relationship with Jack is also interesting – he’s the boyfriend without the love bit, all hope and promise with no delivery. His type of character is that sleaze that I think has appeared in nearly everyone’s life and really needs a good kick in the bottom. Naturally, Elliot is the antithesis to Jack. He’s caring, concerned and a genuine good guy. He has his faults, like being overly suspicious of new people and keeping a bit too much to himself but…hey, he’s still hot. I loved the way the friendship between him and Edie gradually grew into a natural, comfortable relationship. As for the ending, it was ugly cry worthy but there is hope. (And perhaps hope of a sequel?) Like I said above, I can’t work out if I love it, but it felt right.

This is a perfect book to snuggle up with one weekend (or at the beach if you’re coming up to summer). It has all you want in a great story – you just need to supply the chocolate!

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