Book: Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
Date Read: December 23, 2021 to January 1, 2022
Rating: 4 (of 5) stars
One of the funny things about being a reader is the odd habits that you develop over time related to your reading. Currently, I take pictures of my books with my cats. I used to track the number of books I read by using a different bookmark for every book I read, and then counting up my pile of bookmarks at the end of the year. Perhaps my oddest bookish habit is my text exchanges with a particular friend: we frequently text each other about the books we are reading, but rarely actually share which book we are talking about.
This past December, my friend was texting me about a book that had her on an emotional rollercoaster. She thought she had picked up a romance, but ended up with a story that had much more depth. With each unexpected turn in the story, I got an update about how every prediction made was turning out to be wrong. So toward the end of the month when I ended up waitlisted for all of the audio books I had hoped for on my holiday driving, this turned into a natural recommendation. It is not exactly the book that I would typically pick up on my own, but as she had said, it was much more than the fluffy romance novel that she had anticipated.
Although the romance storyline was definitely there, I felt like this book was much more about friendships and family. It all starts with a friend group and a pub quiz—a new romance trope, I think. Our main character, Eve, introduces the dynamics of the group just before finding herself on a romantic misadventure. This is around where things begin to veer into the unexpected, starting with a tragedy within the friend group.
I try not to give too much away when writing these, so I will just say that the story did not turn out to be anything like what I predicted along the way, while somehow still hitting all the things I would expect from a romantic comedy. McFarlane had me alternately laughing and crying, and did an excellent job of handling some serious topics without straying too far from the heart of the genre.
Boris’s Thoughts: “I never saw this book, so I don’t believe you actually read it.”