Book Review: Mad About You

Mhairi McFarlane

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

published: 31st March 2022
spoilers? no


Two reluctant housemates.
Two broken promises.
One crazy plan…

Harriet Hatley may be one of the most in-demand wedding photographers in Leeds, but she hates the idea of marriage.

Cal Clarke is used to the world falling in line with his plans – apart from his own love-life, which has gone hopelessly wrong.

When they become unlikely housemates, it’s clear they’re both running away from something bigger.

Can they take a crazy risk to face the past and change everything?

Galley provided by publisher

CWs: death of a parent, emotional abuse, abusive relationships

Mad About You is another excellent Mhairi McFarlane book. I’m pretty sure at this point, I’m guaranteed to love whatever she writes, and Mad About You was no different. From page one I was sucked in, and I read the entire thing in a single sitting.

There’s not a whole lot I can say different here to how I’ve reviewed McFarlane’s previous books, to be honest. Yes, it’s a different book, with a different story, but it’s also Mhairi McFarlane, with her signature beats. There’s the humour, the romance, the friendship, and the balance of the narrative as it treads along heavier topics—all of it ties together into a book which, although it might not be my outright favourite of McFarlane’s, is up there among them.

What I love best about Mhairi McFarlane’s books, really, is how distinct they all are from one another. Maybe this is a bit harsh a generalisation, but after 8 books, you might expect books to start blurring into one, particularly the characters. But none of that happens here. Harriet and Cal are as distinct as any of the mains of the previous books. They feel real, they jump off the page. This is a book you won’t be able to put down and it’s because of them.

And while this has similar themes to previous books, they have a new twist to them. This is, in part, because they’re viewed through different lenses—Cal and Hattie are both characters who’ll react differently to the events they experience than those before them. And, as ever, the story that is told is treated with kindness and gentleness.

All of which to say, this is a highly insufficient review to really get across just how much I loved this book. Perhaps it should have been wholly expected—I was always going to love it, and I was always going to struggle to find the words to explain exactly why.

Although it’d be nice if I could at least come up with a single synonym for “different”.

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