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You Had Me At Hello by [McFarlane, Mhairi]
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You Had Me At Hello Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Very very witty and funny. Left me in awe…a total gem.” (Marian Keyes)

“The funniest, most romantic book I've read since One Day.” (Lisa Jewell)

“I loved this book. It made me laugh and reminded me that anything's possible in love – and in everything else for that matter.” (Minnie Driver)

“I loved this: an original, genuinely funny, genuinely moving, modern love story.” (Katy Regan)

“Mhairi is darkly funny and quite, quite rude…You Had Me at Hello is a breath of tart, Northern air.” (Sarra Manning)

“Bitingly sharp and achingly funny…guaranteed to have you bent double. I absolutely loved it!” (Claudia Carroll)

About the Author

Mhairi was born in Scotland in 1976 and has been explaining how to pronounce her name ever since. (With a ‘V’, not an ‘M’. Yes, that’s us crazy Celts for you).

She is based in Nottingham where she used to be a local journalist and now she’s a freelance writer and sometime-blogger, which we all know is code for messing about on Twitter.

She likes drinking wine, eating food and obtaining clothes; all the impressive hobbies. Her best anecdotes involve dislocating her elbow tripping over a briefcase and a very bad flight to New York. She lives with a man and a cat.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1676 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (February 25, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 25, 2014
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G1TPXB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,055 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Your enjoyment of You Had Me at Hello will depend sorely on how much Ben you can tolerate. Sadly, I couldn’t tolerate much.

This saddens me so much, because the premise for this book is wonderful. We’ve all had that one person who’s “got away”, so it is supposed to be easy to relate to this story.

It starts off pretty strong too! We see Rachel & Ben in college, where it all started. Ben jokingly (and so cutely!!!) proposes to Rachel and then we’re thrust into present day, 13 years later. Rachel is unhappily engaged to someone else, and hasn’t heard from Ben in over a decade.

For the most part, this book is told in past and present POV’s. The past POV shows us Rachel’s life with Ben in college, while the present POV tells shows us how Rachel has been dealing with her life after her fallout with Ben.

What motivated me to keep reading was the fact that I wanted to know why they stopped speaking to each other.

After I actually found out, I was left feeling so disappointed. It made me hate the situation even more and frankly removed an overall star from my rating.

Rachel seems like a very put-together girl, and I value her honesty at the beginning and her courage to have broken off her engagement because she wasn’t happy. After this, when Ben comes into the picture she turns into this lovesick, indecisive, girl who is suddenly unable to speak her mind and decides to settle for whatever it is Ben can offer her.

Which, let’s get this out of the way first: Ben is married. Yes, you heard me correctly. He is not only married, but also happily married. So now begins the constant hot/cold back and forth game between Ben & Rachel.

I hate Ben. I seriously do. Ben is like this annoying rock in your shoe.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I guess I went in with the wrong expectations. Just too much sad and not enough happy. The writing is fine, and I liked the characters. The best part of the book for me was the interaction between the heroine and her friends. Her friends are hilarious and unique and just so cleverly written. I found their stories much more interesting than Rachel's. I just can't get into a romantic story where the "hero" is married for 98% of the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You Had Me at Hello was a amusing story and the dialogue was occasionally witty and funny in places, but it pales in comparison to her second book "Here's Looking at You" which was similar but funnier, better edited and more poignant. The characters in You Had me At Hello are much less appealing, the plot flows less, and the whole thing feels much less polished. I’m so glad I read the other one first as I might not have tried this author again based on this book alone and I’d have missed out on a really good writer.

First the good stuff: the writing is really good and pretty snappy and the plot keeps you turning pages. It goes back and forth from present to past in a way that is easy to follow and keeps a good pace as one never gets bogged down in either time period.

The less good stuff: I did not care much for the characters in this story. I couldn’t really get a handle on Ben who was good-looking but who seemed to be all over the map in terms of his personality and very inconsistent. Rachel seemed too much of a doormat for me to identify with. So rooting for these two was not a given and at one point (mini SPOILER here) it looked like it was really over and I felt relief and thought: now they can both grow up and move on. Strangely, that would have been a more satisfying and realistic ending.

I had a few issues with the plot which have left me feeling uncomfortable about this book. Mainly the fact that Ben was married to someone who seemed perfectly nice and they’d only been married TWO years. This made the denouement of the story much less “satisfying”.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about what would happen if that old flame from uni returned sending your world spinning all over again? If the answer's yes, then You Had Me At Hello answers some of the questions and explores the inevitable complications that arise when one of the protagonists involved isn't free to follow their heart. Seductively straddling two parallel timelines, McFarlane's debut novel follows the present day travails of Rachel and Ben while regularly dipping back into the past to show how the two met and first fell in love. It's a deceptively simple device that lends the central romance genuine poignancy and draws the reader ever closer to the two would-be lovers, giving them a warmth and vitality that keeps you rooting for them even when an eventual reunion seems impossible.

There's a refreshing adult edge to the dialogue, which often fizzes with enough citric spritz to fuel a screwball comedy. An attractive cast of friends cajole, sympathize with and complicate Rachel's stumbling pursuit of rekindled romance, adding a rich and humorous backdrop made all the more appealing by the story being grounded in the trendy and distinctly contemporary Northern Quarter of Manchester.

This admirably assured novel marks Mhairi McFarlane as an exciting talent to look out for in the future. Witty, engaging and romantic, You Had Me At Hello will keep you enthralled until the final reveal, by which time you will have grown so close to Rachel and Ben that you'll hope against all expectations that true love will find a way, no matter what adversaries are sent to thwart it. If we didn't know already, McFarlane successfully proves the truism you never know what a good thing you've got until it's gone.

Review by Jamie Simpson on behalf of
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