Before I start this review, I should probably admit to my prejudices.
I received Billy And Me in the post and was excited to have another light read to devour in the bath with a glass of wine. Then I read the press release, and put it aside for a couple of days. Why? Because of the bio:
Actress and journalist Giovanna is married to Tom Fletcher from McFly. This semi-autobiographical novel…
Great, I thought, another novel by a WAG. Not so much because of who she’s married to, but because someone had thought it necessary to put it on the back cover. In my mind, that was basically like screaming “READ MY BOOK! MY HUSBAND’S FAMOUS!” And that, in turn, made me not want to read it.
After a few days, though, I was so desperate for a break from textbooks that I decided it’d be better than reading nothing at all. I ran myself a bubbly bath, made a hot chocolate and jumped in. To the bath, that is.
Plotline: Country village girl Sophie May feels contented with her life. She lives with her mum in the house she grew up in, and works at the little tea shop down the road. Life plods along, until one day a tall, dark, handsome stranger wanders in and orders a coffee. When Sophie discovers that the stranger is a movie star, her life takes a dramatic turn as she is whisked into a romance she never envisioned. But every girl has her secrets, and Sophie May is terrified that hers will be revealed. The question is, will her relationship stand up to the test?
Honestly, after about the first five pages I was hooked. It’s a sweet, sensitively written, intrinsically lovely story about a girl you couldn’t possibly hate, and how life can spiral horribly out of control for the best of reasons.
Giovanna Fletcher captures the feeling of being trapped between two situations you love, feeling like you’re always letting down someone regardless of what you choose. The day to day frustrations of any normal relationship are shown alongside the celebrity-specific problem of waking up and seeing your personal business splashed all across trashy magazines.
It’s a beautifully written book, and one that shattered a lot of my preconceptions. A fantastic summer read. You should check it out. And Mrs. Fletcher, I apologise for being a prejudiced bitch. You are a wonderful author and I hope to read more!