Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: It's Not Me It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

Sometimes we get a little complacent. Sometimes life needs a little shaking up. Changing a settled existence is definitely scary but it's far better to make changes yourself than to have changes happen to you before you're ready for them. In theory, the heroine of Mhairi McFarlane's light new novel, It's Not Me It's You, understands this but when the changes she instigates throw her for a loop, she's completely taken by surprise and forced into even bigger changes than she ever imagined or planned for.

Delia Moss is a quirkily dressed ginger. She works at the local council in comms, a rather uninspiring position, and she's been with her bar owner boyfriend Paul for ten years. As the novel starts, she has decided to propose to Paul, to move their relationship forward from the stasis it's in. Paul's rather lackluster acceptance of her proposal doesn't really bother her until later that night when she gets a panicked text from him meant for the much younger woman with whom he's been cheating. All of a sudden her entire life is thrown upside down. She immediately moves out of his house, the one she lovingly decorated and made into a home for the two of them, staying with her parents and her video game obsessed younger brother. She gets called on the carpet at work for trying to uncover the identity of the internet troll, nicknamed Peshwari Naan, who has been wreaking small amounts of havoc on the council's webpage, despite the fact that her boss has asked her to look into the matter. And when she is further chastised for sharing information about her personal life in a team building exercise that asks for just such personal revelations, she has finally had it, quitting the incredibly unfulfilling job and impulsively moving from Newcastle to London and in with her best friend Emma.

Once in London, she finds a job in a PR firm that seems exciting and fast-paced, unconventional and interesting. In her new position, she meets an attractive journalist named Alex but she is offended when he asks her to spy on her boss for him. She refuses. But when she leaves a binder of privileged information behind her after their meeting, Alex has the nerve to blackmail her into providing him information.  Terrified of losing her job, she agrees despite not being able to abide Alex. As she watches her boss, Kurt, function over time though, she starts to realize that Alex may not be the bad guy in the scenario. The truth is not only being massaged and stretched beyond recognition, but Kurt is flat out lying and manufacturing things, things that are completely amoral. That he is a lech doesn't add to his cache for Delia. Meanwhile Paul has started a campaign to win Delia back.   Delia has never been so conflicted.

Although Delia is in her thirties, she has never learned her own worth, never fought for what she deserved out of life, always settling for comfortable and safe, not wanting to rock the boat. But all this fear of reaching for something greater has resulted in so far is a broken heart, her abandoning drawing the Fantastic Miss Fox comic that once meant so much to her creatively, and a tangle of confusion over what she really wants from life. Despite the fact that she is naïve and not as full of self-confidence as she initially seems, Delia's a really fun character. Her experiences moving from the smaller, familiar Newcastle to the big and overwhelming city of London are well written and she keeps finding herself in situations that are actually rather funny. Plus you just have to love a character who loves an incontinent dog named Parsnip. The secondary characters here are quirky and appealing and each of them is integral to the story. There is one plot thread that doesn't make as much sense as the others and seems to only exist to introduce one of the secondary characters, something that could have easily been done without the added intrigue of the extra storyline that just fizzles out. There are occasional over the top moments and the novel ran on a tad long but in general it was a frothy bit of chick lit, easy and quick to read despite its length.

For more information about Mhairi McFarlane and the book, check out her website, like her Facebook page,, follow her on Twitter. Takes a look at the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for review.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, Parsnip?! That is a fantastic name! I love it!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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