Monday, 13 January 2014

Here's Looking At You Review

Here's Looking at You
Here's Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane

The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello. What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here's Looking At You. In essence it's an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like...Full of Mhairi's trademark laugh out loud humour, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

Lisa's Review - 4.5 out of 5 stars

At school, Anna was far from pretty. She was extremely overweight, and what most would class as the ugly duckling. So for years, she was bullied for it, and life was terrible for the teenager. The only little thing  that was any good was to admire the school hotty from afar. But when that hotty turns out being the person who creates the most humiliating, awful experience of her whole school life that then carries with her for the rest of the life, how does a teenager deal with that?
As an adult, Anna blossomed, losing a lot of weight and in turn, changing from that ugly duckling into the beautiful swan. But she still carries the nightmares from her school days with her. So when a school reunion comes up, her friends encourage her to go, to give the bullies a 'look at me now' moment.
What entails from there leads to Anna facing her demons, but can it also lead to her happy ever after?

I really enjoyed Here's Looking At You. It was a real curl-up-on-the-sofa and lose yourself book, so much so I couldn't believe how quick I was getting through the pages. Having faced two years of high school bullies myself, I find myself feeling all Anna's low points, as well as rejoicing in her triumphs.
There were plenty of laugh out loud moments peppered throughout the books, and if I ever find myself single the thought of blind dating sounds slightly appealing just for the laughs!

The ending for Anna was perfect, not too overly clich├ęd or predictable, and it was lovely and sweet. If anything as this book was starting to come to an end, I found myself imagining watching the film version of the book, and think it would be a huge hit!

The effortless way the writing switched from the heart breaking moments from, and caused by, Anna's younger years, through to the hilarious moments, and the romantic parts, made this a really enjoyable, and easy to read book.


Purchase Links

Amazon UK



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