Mad about You: The biggest romcom of 2022: heart-warming, laugh-out loud funny and wonderfully romantic
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I could not do it you guys. I could not give this book more than a star rating. The more I thought about, the more issues I had besides this not being a romance book though it is promoted as one. The main character Harriet had too much stuff that just didn't work for me. And I loathed the fact that there is a very real topic in this one (gaslighting/coercive control). And the larger issue was that the whole thing with Cal was too contrived. There was no there, there. Most of the book dealt with Harriet's past relationships so there was no room for him at all. I did not cheer at the ending especially since it was just told to us as an aside. I still saw lots of plot holes with regards to one of Harriet's friends, Jon, Cal's parents, etc. I don't think I have disliked one of her books this much since "After Hello" (gave it one star) and didn't love "You Had Me at Hello" (gave it 3 stars) as much as other people did. I absolutely loved her last two books, so this was definitely a surprise.
Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane | Goodreads
Harriet, a wedding photographer, has been dating the “perfect man” for about two years, but when he proposes, a lot of doubts she’s been having come together and she breaks off the relationship. Suddenly single, she moves into the first good house-share she can find. Her new landlord, Cal, is also escaping a past relationship, but that’s about the only thing the two have in common. When Harriet’s past rears up its ugly head, she needs to ask herself some hard questions and decide whether to run away again or confront the past to clear her future. Also, at one point someone references Netflix’s Bridgerton which came out in December 2020…and yet no mentions of covid (as far as i remember of course). Is this book set in an alternate reality? it was a minor thing but it took me out nonetheless. The book's female protagonist is an in-demand wedding photographer who loathes romance and does not want to get married (loved that!) and moves in with a charming stranger, who also happens to be a runaway groom (loved that, too!).All of which to say, this is a highly insufficient review to really get across just how much I loved this book. Perhaps it should have been wholly expected—I was always going to love it, and I was always going to struggle to find the words to explain exactly why. She was 30, and it was “very much not the ambition to be at the local paper” any more. “There was no-one’s job I wanted, which is very much the lodestar for moving on, for ambition, isn’t it?” she says. “And I thought, ‘What is stretching me?’ I loved romantic comedy—what if I tried to write something like that? What if I actually tried to write long-form fiction?” When I started making myself laugh, I thought, ‘Oh, you might be onto something here.’
Mad about You By Mhairi McFarlane | Used | 9780008412456 Mad about You By Mhairi McFarlane | Used | 9780008412456
On the slightly negative side, I did feel that for me personally too much time was devoted to the exes here, particularly as there is not just Scott, but Jon too, not to mention we have Cal's ex Kristina, the woman he jilted at the altar! As such it often feels like there is too much going on in the book and no breathing space. When it comes to Jon, I did actually like the portrayal of his character, and that it was not just him to blame for the failing of this relationship, but Harriet too, as whilst she may not have admitted it to herself at the time, she was in many ways using Jon as a safe bet after Scott. As such I thought both relationships made sense in terms of the context in which they were presented, however, it did mean that the present day evolving relationship with Cal didn't get as much air time, and given how much I liked the scenes that Cal and Harriet did have together, I just thought this a shame. Also whilst they totally worked as friends throughout most of the book, and whilst there was an undeniable spark between them, I did think the ending felt rushed and may be not quite convincing between them, simply because it hadn't been properly built up to. Mhairi McFarlane never disappoints. Never! Her writing is the perfect mix of intelligence, hilarity and emotion. Nothing about this book is in your face or overdone.My only criticism is that while I understand the focus of the plot is on Harriets growth as an individual in overcoming past trauma, I wish we could have had a bit more of Cal, as well as, more interactions between him, Harriet, and Sam. Mhairi's writing is always just super witty with layered, emotional depth . . . Loved. Adored. All-star.' In Harriet, we see a woman who has undergone a lot of emotional abuse and gaslighting. We see a woman who despite her hardships, finally finds the courage to stand up for herself.
Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane | Goodreads Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane | Goodreads
Hit or miss, McFarlane always brings across the banter. And this one is a hit, so that's always a plus. The heart of this story, and what drives a lot of the plot, is emotional abuse and the lingering effects it leaves on its victims. Also friendship, trust, and healing so it's not a huge downer. Indeed, I think it handles that subject extremely well, considering the depth of the darkness it manages to explore.On the other hand, she meets Cal Clarke, who unlike herself, is a hopeless romantic who has had his own wedding disaster. He is a guy who stood his fiancée up at the altar, minutes before the ceremony. Now single too, he has a place that Harriet desperately needs. Mhairi’s writing is always just super witty with layered, emotional depth . . . Loved. Adored. All-star.’ LIZZY DENT Enter Cal Clarke, a hopeless romantic who just experienced his own wedding-related disaster. Harriet and Cal are like chalk and cheese, but as they go from strangers to roommates to friends, it becomes clear they’re both running from something. When Harriet’s most heavily guarded secret comes to light, her world implodes. And Cal, with his witty humor and gentle advice, is a surprising source of calm at the center of the storm.