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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
I've just finished reading this book and felt compelled to write a review. This is one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are fabulous and so life like I felt part of the story. I laughed out loud numerous times while reading the book and also felt my heart swell with sadness at the missed opportunities that Rachel and Ben let pass them by. I did not want...
Published on 21 Nov. 2012 by lolaholic

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars :(
Bought this book with all the high reviews, I do purchase alot of books and can at times go through a few a week. This book just didnt grab my attention at all, I found myself reading so far waiting for something to happen and it didnt, was just long and drawn out. I would give up and read another purchase, finishing that and going back to this book and the same thing...
Published on 21 Jan. 2013 by Cat


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!, 21 Nov. 2012
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I've just finished reading this book and felt compelled to write a review. This is one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are fabulous and so life like I felt part of the story. I laughed out loud numerous times while reading the book and also felt my heart swell with sadness at the missed opportunities that Rachel and Ben let pass them by. I did not want this book to end but was desperate to know what the ending would be; it was so well written it had me wondering right up until the end. I am going to miss this story so much but know that I'll read it again - Brilliant!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, funny, heart-warming, 17 Dec. 2012
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I was supposed to revise for an exam but... Well I just got completely drawn in by this book and could not put it down! I'm not going to go into detail about the plot line, what I will say that it's a very enjoyable book, with a heroine who's neither some perfectly groomed princess nor an annoying cartoonish klutz (like so much chick-lit out there). The dialog was clever and funny, the characters had enough development and complexity to keep me interested throughout, and the romance-bits had me tear up in the good way. Overall an entertaining, heart-warming and realistic story that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre. At £0.99 for the Kindle version how could you resist?!
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248 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning debut, 11 Nov. 2012
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From first line to last I was totally hooked. In a genre often stymied by identikit plots, unrealistic dialogue and twee cupcake making heroines, everything about Mhairi McFarlane's debut is a breath of fresh air. The central premise is engaging, intriguing and always rings true, and in Rachel Woodford she has created one of the best leading ladies in recent memory: sharp, witty, sometimes flawed, but always totally lovable and believable. Add to this a brilliant supporting cast of friends and colleagues, all with their own stories to tell and this is one of the most satisfying reads around - a terrific ensemble piece as well as a thrilling central romance, it has a depth of plot, character and storytelling rare for the genre. Mhairi's wonderful turn of phrase, acute ear for dialogue and ribald sense of humour will guarantee you at least five embarrassing public snort lols per page, and I can make no higher recommendation than that. A total joy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Had Me At Hello, 29 Oct. 2014
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review*

This was just too cute. I don’t usually read books that are simply romance, but this one was definitely pleasing.

At first it was a bit hard for me to enjoy reading this. Throughout the book there are a lot of references to other things and people, and if you don’t know who/what they are, you’re missing out on some of the conversation. There was a lot of this in the beginning, but it gradually eased to less and less and I was able to enjoy the book more.

Throughout this book there are a lot of romance problems. Firstly, Rachel was engaged, but then her marriage breaks off. At the same time as this happens, Ben, an old time friend of hers pops back up again, happily married to his wife (called Olivia!) and happy to be friends with her again. The only problem is that Rachel ends up fighting her feelings for her best friend and a married man…

I loved the characters. Rachel was a good friend to her mates (who also have their own issues in the books and are very strong for secondary characters) and also a woman who had a lot of conflicting internal emotions. She was grappling with what is right and wrong when it comes to her feelings towards Ben, and also struggling with the troubles a job as a lawyer can throw at her. As well as trying to get over her ex-fiancée, this book also throws some other concepts at you. Security in appearance, friendships and being a family. I loved seeing her deal with each one, and there were definitely some life lessons in there as well.

Ben was a great romantic interest and also a fun character. Looking at his past he has been with a lot of women, but he was always a loyal friend to Rachel. He’s sarcastic, quick witty and loves a good joke. I thought he was a worthy romantic interest.

McFarlane also did a great job with showing us flashbacks at good times. We get to see the past of Ben and Rachel all the way from when they said their first hello’s, hence the title. But we jump from past to present, and sometimes the past unlocks a little plot twist for the story in the present, which was done expertly well. It was just another element to the story I loved!

This was a great book, and I really can’t wait to try another fun and light hearted book by this author. Schoolwork stopped me from finishing this in one sitting, but every spare moment was spent reading this until it was complete!

http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/10/you-had-me-at-hello-review-giveaway.html
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laughed the whole way through, 27 Jan. 2014
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You Had Me At Hello is the story of Rachel and Ben. Rachel and Ben became friends at Uni together when they realise they were on the same course. Their friendship is one of the ones that feel like it will last for ever. Until one night, when close becomes too close and the friendship they have falls apart before their eyes in a muddle if misunderstanding. Years later, all grown up and freshly single Rachel runs into Ben and all the memories come flooding back, but one major thing stands between them being friends again and that is Ben’s wife.

I had a few books at the top of my TBR to read before the end of January and when I asked my twitter followers which one they thought I should read next I was bombarded with tweets about how great a read this was. And they weren’t wrong.

Rachel is very easy to get to know and like. Her wonderful relationship with her great group of friends contrasts perfectly with her rocky relationship status and the turbulent reconnection with Ben. Her friends are a close knit group, each with their own personality but each one props up a part of Rachel’s personality to make her stand out. Her friends will also have you laughing out loud throughout most of the book. I think nearly every second page had me laughing.

Ben seems like the perfect book boyfriend, and real life boyfriend. He’s smart and funny and completely gorgeous. His instant connection at Uni with Rachel is easy to mistake for something more than it is even though I was reading it wishing that they would be more than friends. Adult Ben is just like the younger Ben only grown up. Still handsome and funny, but now has the power of hindsight – that wonderful thing – and a wife. His grown up life is leaps and bounds ahead of Rachel and she compares them quite often.

Their present day story runs in parallel with their past history throughout the book with Rachel narrating. Most of the story is focused on Rachel and her current life though so having her narrate the whole story really helps you to empathise with her completely and really get to like her!

Mhairi has debuted with this fantastic story that is the epitome of everything that chick-lit is and much more. Perfect for fans of Paige Toon, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Had Me At The First Page, 11 Mar. 2013
By 
allthingschicklit (Salisbury, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
To be honest with you, I had initially resisted reading this book. Mhairi McFarlane is a new author and after reading the description of the book and finding out that the main character's love interest was already married to someone else, this did slightly put me off. Not because of the subject matter but because I did not see the point in reading a book where there could be no happy ending. However I loved the gorgeous cover and eventually decided to give the book a go as I always find that the books I initially resist can often turn into my favourite reads.

The book centres around the friendship of Rachel and Ben who met whilst students at Manchester University. They lost contact after graduation and meet again by chance ten years later. Rachel has just ended a long-term relationship whilst Ben has been married to Olivia for several years. The book follows Rachel and Ben's friendship throughout university and in the present day so we only find out exactly what happened to end their friendship ten years previously towards the end of the book.

It is very rare for a chick-lit book to cover the subject matter of falling in love with a married man and I feel that this was covered in a sensitive manner and the ending to the book was resolved perfectly. I don't know why it is not covered more often in chick-lit as it is a common fact of life so it was quite refreshing to read this book.

I loved the fact that the book was set in Manchester as I too went to university in Manchester and Mhairi McFarlane perfectly summed up the Manchester student scene. It was well written, humourous and I really felt able to connect with Rachel and the problems that she was facing. I also liked the fact that Rachel's own dilemmas were reflected in the situations faced by her close friends Caroline, Mindy & Ivor.

In my opinion this book should have been called You Had Me At The First Page instead of You Had Me At Hello and I could not find fault with it. It was such a joy to read and I will be eagerly waiting for the next Mhairi McFarlane book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mhairi has restored my faith in women's fiction..., 29 Jan. 2013
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
You Had Me at Hello fell into my life in the manner of a `chick lit' plot prompt, in a truly serendipitous and wondrous social networking accident I found Mhairi on twitter, and this led me to reviews that I just could not ignore...

I have to be completely honest and admit that I often avoid this genre of book, but having seen the responses by both male and female readers I couldn't resist the urge to try it and once I opened it I couldn't put it down. I laughed, snorted, smirked, gasped and choked back tears. I finished in only a few sittings, looking at the pages in disdain at having finished I noticed only 3 neatly turned bookmarked corners, it had me bound.

Mhairi has restored my faith in women's fiction. The book is funny and fast paced with short sharp witted focused chapters, the plot jumps back and forth, between past and present, there's something very satisfying about the storyline and characters development, the split between the past and present pulls you into the plot and with every turn of the page you feel like you get to know them and their history as you would get to know a friend in real life recounting their past.

I have been put off woman's fiction on the whole by the ever exasperating `chick lit' characters, who are true fiction in every sense of the word. Mhairi presents her characters with realistic personalities, strong yet interesting, flawed and likeable, as a reader I am not left feeling inadequate and insecure, like an anti-woman with little or no understanding of relationships, of being feminine and of being an urban fashionable 30 something!

Mhairi has not presented the reader with unrealistic, unattainable plot lines either, instead we have a well written rom-com with actual romance and comedy. The plot is realistically brilliant, I could empathise with and appreciate the characters, the situations and the outcomes; I was emotionally bound to the book from the start and can safely say to even the sceptic of this genre, that this is a sassy story about love, that you will not regret reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had Me From Page One!, 21 Jan. 2013
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
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There's been a real buzz about Mhairi McFarlane's debut novel You Had Me At Hello - amongst bloggers, my bookish friends and in the press. The e-version shot up the charts and the paperback version is doing very well too and was published by Avon at Harper Collins in early December 2012.

For me, this really makes a perfect read. Romantic, but far from slushy with a great big spoonful of good Northern humour. Characters that you instantly recognise because they are so realistic and situations that could have been taken from your very own life.

Rachel is a court reporter, she's been with her boyfriend Rhys for years and years, they are on the verge of getting married when it all goes horribly pear-shaped. A minor disagreement about what sort of music to play at the wedding reception turns into meltdown and Rachel realises that her life has just been chugging along. Around the same time, Ben re-appears in her life. Ben who was her best friend at Uni, who knew her so well and who she hasn't seen or spoken to for ten years. Ben who still has the potential to make her feel so happy.

Ben is gorgeous, successful ....... and married. His wife Olivia is gorgeous and successful ...............

Mhairi McFarlane has written a story that is funny, moves quickly and will move your heart. Rachel and Ben are supported by an amazing cast of friends and colleagues. The wonderfully colourful Mindy, to the slime-baggishness of Simon, every single one of them are drawn perfectly and add so much to this story.

I love the way the story flits back to the character's time at University, I love the one-liners that made me snort with laughter. I love the characters, the story line and the writing. I love the Northern slant, living on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire/South Yorkshire border, only 40 minutes away from Sheffield, this only added to the realism of the story for me.

There have been comparisons with David Nicholls' One Day. Whilst I can see the similarities, for me You Had Me At Hello wins hands-down. I was really disappointed by One Day, not the writing or the story, but I really hated the characters. Mhairi McFarlane has created two lead characters that the reader really cares about, and identifies with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Had Me At Hello, 13 Jan. 2013
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
I am in no way an expert on adult novels, I only read a few a year (if that) and have my favourites. I'd heard about You Had Me At Hello from various different people and decided to give it a go. The cover didn't make me particularly enthused, but I'm so glad I tried it anyway because I loved it!

One of the elements that really stood out for me was the setting: Manchester! I don't live far from there and visit regularly, so knowing all the places being talked about was great and gave the story a familiarity I don't usually find. I also loved the humour and sarcasm present throughout McFarlane's writing. I laughed out loud SO many times, thanks to main character Rachel's sarcastic comments and thoughts. The dialogue was quick and realistic and I could easily imagine real people talking that way.

As always I don't want to spoil any of the plot in this review, so I'll tread carefully. Basically, Rachel and Ben knew each other at university and bump into each other again ten years later. Do old feelings still exist? Can they still be friends? McFarlane explores every facet of their relationship and the conclusion is both poignant and surprising. I was happy with the outcome, though, and I can see why the book has been likened to similar time-spanning novels such as One Day.

You Had Me At Hello also features a well-rounded, brilliantly likeable cast of secondary characters in the form of Rachel and Ben's friends and colleagues. Even the questionable men are likeable in their idiotic ways, and don't even get me started on Rachel's trio of best friends - Caroline, Mindy and Ivor. They were so supportive and down to earth, and had maintained their friendship since university!

Rachel's profession as a newspaper journalist played a big part in her story, and I found it to be an interesting addition that added a lot to the overall narrative of the novel. It gave her more depth and realism, which is always welcome! I did think the beginning was a bit rushed at first, and the break-up between Rachel and Rhys seemed unbelievable. It was only as the narrative revisited the past later in the book that it made more sense and seemed like something that might actually happen after such a long time together. I was glad it was addressed as it bugged me right from the beginning.

You Had Me At Hello is definitely going on my list of favourite adult books, and I will now be recommending it to everyone I know who reads this genre (unsuspecting customers at work had better watch out!). I'm so looking forward to reading more by Mhairi McFarlane, though I'm going to have to exercise some patience as her next novel isn't out until December 2013. Yikes. Wish me book luck!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would def recommend, 19 Dec. 2012
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: You Had Me At Hello (Paperback)
When Rachel and Ben met at university they struck up a unique easy-going friendship that no-one would believe that they were not a couple despite Rachel having a boyfriend Rhys and Ben dating plenty of pretty girls from college. Although their close friendship did cause issues with their relationships nothing would tear them apart.

But fast forward to the present day where we find out that something must have happened as they are no longer in contact with each other. Rachel is still living in Manchester working as a court reporter where she's still in regular contact with some of her university friends.

During a night in with her friends, Rachel is stunned when one of her friends tells her that they'd bumped into Ben and that he's now back living in town. So Rachel sets about trying to 'accidentally' bump into Ben herself to try and reconnect with him. But when she does she finds that the dynamics have now changed as Ben is now the one in a relationship, married to wife Olivia, whereas Rachel is newly single after finally splitting up with her fiance Rhys

This is very much a story told in two parts, the past and the present day. We see Rachel recounting memories from their university days leading up to the event that shattered their close friendship, as well as present day encounters as they attempt to rebuild their friendship.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book though was that it's wasn't all just about the 'Rachel and Ben' story, there was interesting parts about her job as a court reporter and the dramas that ensued as a result.

It's an extremely well-written story with a lot of humour throughout that had me hooked almost from the start, I probably would have read this book in a day if I hadn't had to go to sleep as I had to work the next day! It's hard to believe that this is Mhairi's debut book so I cannot wait to read her next offering.
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You Had Me At Hello
You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2012)
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