I read Giovanna Fletcher's debut novel Billy and Me earlier this year (you can read my review here) and knew that I'd be in amongst the crowds clamouring to get my hands on her summer 2014 release You're The One That I Want. Part angst-ridden love triangle, part friendship beyond measure, this is an emotional read which left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
I read this book in a day whilst travelling to and from Niall Horan's charity football match. I was totally sucked into the story and would have carried on reading it at the ground, but was distracted when Liam Payne's thighs came into the picture (sorry Gi, you're storytelling is hugely entertaining but still can't compete with the Payno). However, I was straight back into it on the coach home, desperate to find out how the story would pan out.
It's obvious that You're The One That I Want is a story of friendship and love, but its message runs deeper than that. It demonstrates how certain people become so engrained in your life that you can't imagine you could ever live without them. People who you compromise yourself for. People who you truly want to be happy. Maddy, Rob and Ben have the tightest of friendships and that is what stood out most about this book to me. There were times I wanted to scream at them to realise how lucky they were to have each other, because as a reader looking in I could see just how much they all relied on each other.
Of course, over a seventeen year period they inevitably hit a few bumps in the road. This is where my heartstrings were tugged and I was torn in two- team Ben or team Rob? I wanted happiness for all of them, but ultimately it was Ben that I related to the most throughout the book.
I absolutely loved the nostalgic element, being transported back to school trips to France (and it seems they always leave at stupid O'clock in the morning, even in fiction), Cotton Eye Joe (Ok, I could have done without reliving that) and exam results day. I felt like I was stepping back to these points in my own life, and although not always happy moments there is much in You're The One That I Want that I found relatable.
As in Billy and Me I did find there were a lot of unnecessary exclamation marks, but that was only a minor irritation in what was a cute and engaging story. Other than that, I loved it.
You're The One That I Want could be viewed as 'just another chick lit book', froth and candyfloss to read on the beach. Don't dismiss it as that. It's a charming and touching novel which touched my heart, and, in the words of Giovanna's lovely husband Tom...
With thanks to Penguin for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
You're The One That I Want is out now.