Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like everything I’ve read in the past by Mhairi McFarlane, and I like Don't You Forget About Me as well. Her writing is always strong, the blend of character, poignancy and humor skillful. But I found it a wee bit unsatisfying in two distinct ways. One, it was too familiar, an entertaining but unremarkable second chance at love, with a protagonist who resembles many romantic heroines before her: adorable yet insecure, lovable yet love-starved.
The main thing that got in the way of me really getting immersed in the narrative though, was not the sameness, but rather the unusual and, for me, unbelievable premise about a first love that is both indelible and life changing for our heroine and yet somehow literally forgotten (she believes) by her former boyfriend. I like her and he's great. But given what happens in the flashbacks, nothing about how their reacquaintance plays out makes sense to me. Could you forget your first love? Would you think your first love had forgotten you and say nothing? Even one long left behind if you're thirty, and not seventy years old? ? The suspension of disbelief required kept taking me out of the narrative, which, in the end, was still a lovely, sweet story about a woman coming to terms with her past and a second chance at love, but felt a bit like a draft with some of the rough spots still yet to be smoothed.
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