Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob – the man she’s about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben – best man and the best friend any two people ever had.
And that’s the problem.
Because if it wasn’t Rob waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?
Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it…
When I heard that Giovanna ‘Mrs Tom McFly’ Fletcher had ventured into the world of Chick-Lit I didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit I did the usual well it’s easy to get published when you’re already famous by default thing, which I realise is a horrible thing to think, but I’m cynical like that.
And then I saw some really good reviews of her first book, Billy and Me, so I decided I should check them out for myself. I never did get round to Billy and Me but as soon as I saw this one on Netgalley I decided to request it.
You’re the One That I Want pleasantly surprised me and would make a great beach read, but I wasn’t completely won over by it.
Maddy has grown up with two best friends who just happen to be boys. They’re inseparable from childhood to adulthood, through thick and thin. But when adolescence hits, things begin to change. Both boys start to see Maddy as more than a friend, but which one will declare their feelings first? And which one, if any, will Maddy end up with?
I’m not a hater of the love triangle trope like a lot of people are, so I wasn’t put off by that aspect of the book. I was interested to see how the choices that were made could affect the strongest of friendships and I definitely found myself engrossed in the story. Like Maddy, I was torn between Robert and Ben at different stages of their lives.
But there were a few things that prevented me from really loving this book. The writing wasn’t bad, but I felt like the tone, and some of the ideas were way too immature, even as the characters got older. I mean, I know people mature at different ages but it seemed like these friends led pretty sheltered lives until they got to Uni. They were climbing trees and not allowed out after dark at the age of 15 which didn’t strike me as being very realistic – or maybe I just grew up different!??
When they go away to Paris for a 6th Form trip, it’s like they’ve never been away from home before, and when they get to Uni, it’s like they’ve never got drunk before – I found it odd. However, I loved the second half of the book – once they were at Uni – finding it much more riveting and realistic than the first, and I was eager to find out who Maddy had chosen, and if they would all be able to remain friends.
I thought the structure of the book really worked too. I’m not always a fan of multiple narrators, but it was definitely the way to go for this book. I also liked that it was written from the present time of ‘the wedding’ but not knowing who she had chosen, and looking back in chronological order as to what had led them there.
You’re the One That I want developed into an interesting story of friendship and love, how those lines can be easily blurred, and how one decision can change the course of your life forever. I was impressed by Fletcher, even if I didn’t completely love it.
It makes a really nice summer/holiday read. Give it a chance.
Disclosure?: I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: You’re the One That I Want
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Details: Paperback; Kindle; 320 pages
Published: May 22nd 2014 by Penguin
My Rating: 3/5