Don’t You Forget About Me
By Mhairi McFarlane
Published September 2019 by HarperCollins
If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.
Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.
Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…
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Don’t You Forget About Me isn’t really a story about romance. I mean, it is, but really the story is about the emotional journey and growth of one woman.
We start the story with Georgina in high school and follow her whirlwind romance with Lucas. They go to a party, something unexpected happens and then….nothing. We are suddenly swept into present day and there’s no mention of Lucas. Until there is.
Georgina’s character was so relatable. She’s 30 and trying to figure her life out. She wants to be a writer but hasn’t written anything. She uses humor as a coping mechanism. Our story starts with her losing her job and her boyfriend in the same night.
Robin is a jerk. And he does it all on the guise of being funny. I’d like to say he does something redeeming in the book, but really don’t hold your breath haha.
Her family life is dysfunctional at best. Her sister is trying to maintain a semblance of a perfect family life by having everyone over for a meal. But their mother married a man who is emotionally abusive, and Georgina hates going because it’s always a discussion about how she should be doing better things with her life.
As the story goes on, we get to learn a lot more about Georgina’s family life, particularly her father. I don’t want to give too many details away, but it was a good reminder that even two children who grow up in the same household have entirely different perspectives on their childhood.
Georgina takes a new job as a bartender, and runs into Lucas. Awkward is great word to describe that whole scenario. As they learn to navigate each other and the workplace, we start learning more about what Lucas has been up to the past 12 years.
While this book has light-heartedness to it, there’s also heaviness to it as well. I found myself laughing out loud at parts and also crying, yes actual sobbing, at other parts.
This is my first Mhairi McFarlane book and it certainly will not be my last. I loved this book!