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Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane

Who's That Girl?

by Mhairi McFarlane

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885210,015 (3.7)8
An achingly funny story from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO What's the one thing you do at a wedding? Kiss your groom. What's the one thing you DON'T do at a wedding? Kiss someone else's groom. When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues' wedding, all the blame falls on her - turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays, and if the groom is the head boy, Edie is closer to the geek with NHS glasses and purple braces. Ostracised by her colleagues, her boss suggests an extended sabbatical and has the perfect project to fill it - ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new talent, Elliot Owen. All she has to do is keep her head down, get on with the star and not snog him. Easy, right? Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a megabrat of epic proportions but also facing the ghosts of her past as she moves back in with her widowed father and layabout sister. As she questions the woman she has become, Edie realises that turning to look at her past is not just painful - it could potentially change her future.… (more)



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Showing 5 of 5
An unfortunate moment at the wedding of two co-workers has Edie a pariah on social media and convinced she'll have to quit her job. Instead, her boss sends her to her hometown of Nottingham, a place she couldn't wait to leave, to ghostwrite the memoirs of a minor celebrity. She's back in her childhood home, back with her sister who resents her and her sad, broken father.

But this is chick-lit, that eternally optimistic genre, and Edie is nothing if not resilient, so she finds two old friends who are living in Nottingham and starts to make a temporary life for herself, even if she's ghostwriting for someone who doesn't particularly want to have his memoirs written for him. But either Birmingham has changed, or she has, and her life in London is looking less attractive than starting over in her old hometown.

Mhairi McFarlane writes with the required light and breezy touch, but her heroines are never that interested in shopping and her novels tend to feature strong secondary characters, emphasizing the importance of close friendships and finding one's own place in the world. This novel isn't of great substance, but it is solidly written, featuring a protagonist who refuses to give up and who decides to confront her family's issues rather than avoid them. it was a fun read, if slight. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Sep 13, 2019 |
I'd say more like 2.5, just because of the ending. It's not a bad ending tbh, just one I don't think works that great with this particular story.

I did laugh out loud quite a few times, though! The dialogue especially was pretty great. I don't usually go for the falls-in-love-with-the-oh-so-famous-guy trope, but once I got over my initial prejudices I enjoyed the book a lot. I'll definitely check out more of this author's work.

PS: I can totally see this rom-com happening in the near future. ( )
  Booksen | Jun 23, 2017 |
Edie Thompson thought she was doing the right thing by attending the wedding of two coworkers. Then she's caught off-guard by the newly wedded husband in a kiss that's witnessed by his new bride. Edie quickly becomes the pariah in her office and on social media. Unfortunately, her boss is reluctant to allow her to resign and gives her the opportunity ghostwrite an autobiography for actor Elliot Owen. Edie is now forced to deal with the continuing fallout from the kiss at the wedding, an actor that's reluctant to participate in the autobiography, and her family in Who's That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane.

Edie thought she was participating in a harmless flirtation and just being friendly with her male coworker. She thought attending the wedding of her coworkers was supportive. She had no intention of causing any problems for the newlyweds, but problems arise when the groom kisses her and they are caught by his bride. Edie quickly becomes "the other woman" and is targeted by the bride's friends and family. In an effort to "do the right thing", Edie attempts to resign, but her boss thinks it will all blow over. He strongly suggests that Edie take some time away from the office, go to Nottingham (Edie's hometown), and ghostwrite an autobiography for an actor. Edie accepts, thinking things can't possibly get any worse (she's wrong). She's hounded on social media to the point that she closes all of her online accounts. To say that Edie has a tempestuous relationship with her younger sister Meg is a bit of an understatement and the two siblings constantly rub each other the wrong way. After a bit of a rocky start with the ghost writing job, Edie becomes friendly with Elliot and encourages him to use a different slant with this autobiography. Edie befriends an elderly neighbor and even reconnects with old school friends. Just when it seems that things are on an even keel, Edie is caught up in another controversy and this one goes public with the cry of "who's that girl?" in the tabloids.

I found Who's That Girl? to be a rather fast-paced and engaging read, although it did take me awhile to get into the story. I felt sympathy towards Edie as a result of the onslaught of bullying she had to deal with from so-called friends, coworkers, and people she doesn't even know. I found the characters to be fully developed, all-too-flawed and realistic, and the action plausible. This was the first book I've read by Ms. McFarlane and I wasn't quite sure what to expect; but this is a story that provides a little bit of everything: personal drama, family drama, angst, self-awareness, grief, bullying, romance, and humor. This isn't a typical romance or ChickLit read, so I feel safe in saying that if you enjoy a well-written story filled with realism and touches of humor then Who's That Girl? may be just the book for you. This may have been my first Mhairi McFarlane read, but I'm looking forward to reading all of her previous books while waiting for a new release.

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  BookDivasReads | Sep 24, 2016 |
Edie's life is going along just fine, she supposes. Until the fateful day of Jack and Charlotte's wedding, when everything changes. Edie is caught in a particular transgression with the groom, Jack, and immediately everyone blames her, without knowing the full story. Since Jack, Charlotte, and Edie work together, Edie finds life at work unbearable and winds up taking an assignment from her boss in Nottingham, her hometown. There she meets famous actor (think "Game of Thrones" famous) Elliot Owen, for whom Edie must ghost write his autobiography. But things only seem to go from bad to worse, as Elliot seems a pompous, self-absorbed actor and Edie's sister and father don't exactly seem thrilled she's living back home again. Not to mention she can't show her face on social media (or in public) due to Charlotte's revengeful friends, who all hate her... will things ever go right for Edie again?

I admit that I really didn't really know (remember?) the genre of this novel when I picked it up. It's a bit confusing at first, though certainly has its charming moments, especially as a romance.

"Do we ever choose who we fall for? Edie has many a long lonely evening in with only Netflix for company to contemplate that one."

Edie's quest for love is just one of the book's central themes. In many ways, she's on a journey to find herself, and only in doing so, can find love. The novel switches between the present tense (starting with the wedding) and also gives us a little of the past in some places. My biggest beef was how the adults in this book acted like bullying schoolchildren. So, Edie's transgression is really so bad that she's completely ostracized and the subject of intense in-life and cyber shaming and scrutiny? It seems like high school gone really wrong. Her "friend" Louis is just awful; are people really like this?! It's a commentary on social media and cyber bullying, perhaps, but also just terrible and hard to believe at times. These are grown adults! I found myself a little too appalled and couldn't believe grown people would act this way. It's really sad if they do, honestly...

However, once you get further past the wedding day and more into Nottingham, the novel picks up. Edie isn't always the most enjoyable of characters, but I did like her, as I liked Elliot. Parts of the book are just downright funny; I actually found myself laughing out loud. Edie's friends from school are particularly hilarious and a good fit for her. Her boss, too, even if he falls a bit on the dramatic side.

Just when it all seemed normal, it did get a little preposterous again, but hey, that can come with a good romance at times. Overall, while I found some of the characters and plot points frustrating on this one, much of it was balanced out by the charm and humor of the novel. 3.5 stars.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!). ( )
  justacatandabook | Sep 5, 2016 |
Growing up, I adored the Bridget Jones books (I think I read the pair of them available at the time back to back on a driving trip across Australia). So when I hear of something mentioning her, my ears prick up and the book is dutifully noted on my wish list. But then I was offered a copy of this book to read, so I jumped at the chance and pretty much manhandled the parcel post man in my eagerness to read it. Let’s get one thing clear though – the heroine of Who’s That Girl?, Edie isn’t Bridget. She’s cool and funny enough to be named in a category of her own.

Who’s That Girl? is the first of Mhairi McFarlane’s books I’ve read (I have It’s Not Me, It’s You on my shelf because the title was too funny to pass by) but to use a cliché, it won’t be my last. She is one heck of a funny writer. I am a very difficult reader to make laugh out loud, but she did it multiple times in this book. It’s a combination of humour, supreme awkwardness, friendship and one hell of a hot actor in Elliot Owen (2 parts Hugh Jackman, 1 part George Clooney and 1 part Ryan Gosling). She doesn’t shy away from the bits that make you squirm (some of the situations Edie gets into are nightmare cringe worthy) but there are healthy doses of fun to balance it out.

Who’s That Girl? opens at the wedding of Edie’s colleagues, Jack and Charlotte. It’s a pretty boring affair, complete with The Worst Bridesmaid Song Ever. Edie escapes outside at the reception only to be caught in a compromising position after Jack kisses her. All of a sudden, she’s public enemy number 1 online and in her workplace. In an attempt to ease the tension, Edie’s wise boss sends her to ghost-write a celebrity autobiography in Nottingham. That means she moves back home with her heartbroken father and wannabe anarchist sister. It also means that Edie gets to work with Elliot Owen, the hottest actor of the moment. But Elliot’s a little (okay, a lot) hard to read and it takes time for Elliot to trust her. Then just as things fall into place for Edie, an inopportune photo has the online world talking about her again and that wedding misdemeanour…

Despite being a light read, the novel investigates some topical issues such as online bullying. Edie is harassed through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to the point where she deletes her accounts and can’t even look at her phone for days. Edie’s not 13 either – she’s 35 and getting hassled by people who are old enough to vote and have a mortgage. It’s pretty sickening that some of the characters just wouldn’t let things go and felt the need to say their piece cloaked behind a screen. Edie’s relationship with Jack is also interesting – he’s the boyfriend without the love bit, all hope and promise with no delivery. His type of character is that sleaze that I think has appeared in nearly everyone’s life and really needs a good kick in the bottom. Naturally, Elliot is the antithesis to Jack. He’s caring, concerned and a genuine good guy. He has his faults, like being overly suspicious of new people and keeping a bit too much to himself but…hey, he’s still hot. I loved the way the friendship between him and Edie gradually grew into a natural, comfortable relationship. As for the ending, it was ugly cry worthy but there is hope. (And perhaps hope of a sequel?) Like I said above, I can’t work out if I love it, but it felt right.

This is a perfect book to snuggle up with one weekend (or at the beach if you’re coming up to summer). It has all you want in a great story – you just need to supply the chocolate!

Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for the copy of this book. My review is honest.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | May 14, 2016 |
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