Third Book of The Year (and Also Third Book by Mhairi McFarlane of The Year): It's Not Me, It's You

I feel like so on a roll after finishing my third book of the year last night. Continuing my binge-read of Mhairi McFarlane's books, I picked up her 2011 novel titled It’s Not Me, It’s You. I realize that my recent progress on this little project has been more like tracing her works backward to the earliest instead of going forward, so trust me to remedy that by choosing her latest one later.

Following the story of thirty-three Delia Moss, It's Not Me, It's You brings us through the journey of a heartbroken Delia upon finding out that her longtime boyfriend, Paul, is cheating on her right after she proposes. In trying to mend her heart, she moves from Newcastle to London and temporarily lives with her best friend, Emma. With a tricky job, a weird boss, and a handsome journalist called Adam blackmailing her, Delia wonders about her future with Paul and whether or not she is ready to welcome him back into her life.

For a book this thickthe translated version contains more than 600 pages, even bigger than You Had Me at HelloI would say that the time it took me to finish it was relatively fast. It’s Not Me, It’s You was a book I imaginary shelved in my mind as a pretty fun read that felt relatable in most parts. Instead of celebrating or cursing Delia’s decisions throughout the entire story, I found myself reflecting on whether or not I would make the same choice if I were in her shoes. In other words, reading this book felt like seeing the tragedy of a best friend’s love life in a very lengthy version.

It was undoubtedly easy to get lost in Delia’s journey like it was to root for her happiness and independence as a woman who should not only be associated with the guy she was dating, even if Delia’s characterization didn’t feel as strong as I had hoped for. Her inconsistency was understandable while her hidden humorous nature was fun to get to know, but as a whole person, she was not exactly that easy to connect with.

But as expected from a book this thick, it provided us with an in-depth look at Delia’s life, and trust McFarlane to execute such a long story with enough grips. While I liked the fact that it thoroughly explored her development before and after London, I couldn’t help but think that I would much prefer it if pre-London was trimmed to be much shorter. If more highlights were emphasized in the post-London chapters instead, I believed that better chemistry between Delia and Adam would be brought out, and their bond wouldn’t feel as hasty built. Adam had all the potential, after all.

After reading three books by Mhairi McFarlane, novella excluded, I would say that while It’s Not Me, It’s You might be the less funny and thereby my less favorite, it was still a great read that left me with a big goofy smile on my face. I would still recommend this book, particularly if you like Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella.

Actual rating: 3.5